Thursday, November 23, 2017
When Jesus was before Pilate, Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” Pilate’s reply was, “What is truth?” John 18:38 (NKJV). The failure in recognizing truth goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Satan didn’t inform Eve, “I am the devil and when I open my mouth it is to deceive you with lies.” He began with a question to put doubt in Eve’s mind. He wanted Eve to question God’s truth and accept his lies. She and Adam allowed their foundation to be displaced with a sandy Rock of Gibraltar.
One of the biggest lies that Satan has deceived people with is, “We have the truth and our truth cannot be wrong!” It is true that truth cannot be wrong. The fault lies in folks accepting as truth something built upon a false premise!
Have you ever heard someone tell a friend, “Don’t accept something because your preacher says it, accept it because the Bible teaches it”? That sounds exceptional when rolling off our tongue. But what if it comes from someone who is addressing “their” truth? Where did we get the things we believe? Did we go to the Bible and get it without any help from someone else? Did it come from the pulpit? You see, we can be spoon fed by our preachers and teachers just like our religious friends are with theirs. They believe their teaching comes from the Bible just as much as we believe our faith comes from that source! They are just as convinced as we are. To believe they are wrong because our preachers are always right, is to build our faith upon the wrong standard! Even Corinth had inspired prophets, yet accepted denominationalism! (1 Corinthians 12:28-29; 1:10-13)!
To determine that one is right because he is honest and sincere, while charging that those who disagree are not, is to wallow in Satan’s logic. He uses pride to establish such presumptions. What one believes may be constructed upon an assumption, whose premise only appears valid. Time and repetition from honored and respected ministers hides its origin and disguises it as truth! Did those in Corinth who believed one was not resurrected think they were accepting error or truth? Were they honest and sincere in that belief?
Over forty years ago, preachers advanced the argument that Jesus is never referred to in the Greek neuter gender. Because our opponents were not prepared for our argument, it was not answered. So, the teaching was passed on and accepted by future debaters, who continued presenting it as biblical truth. Since it was not answered, it had to be true. If it was a false argument, notable preachers in the past would not have advanced it. Since they did, it was true! Isn’t that “Spoon Feeding”?
Assumptions often have a habit of failing! In 1974 a United Pentecostal preacher did his homework and pointed out that Jesus was referred to in the neuter gender in 1 John 1. William Woodson, a teacher at Freed-Hardeman College, validated his disclosure as true. That meant our argument was and had always been false! We were honest and sincere men advancing a false argument! Preachers were passing it on to other preachers. Members were taught and accepting it as contending “for the faith” (Jude 1:3)! Some continued to use it as if it was the truth. Why? Either they had not discovered that it is a lie, or their homework is faulty, or they can’t give it up as a lie, so they cling to it as if it is the truth! Truth does not need to be supported with a lie. Some continue to follow the devil’s leading, “We have the truth and our truth cannot be wrong!” No matter how honest and sincere we were, we were guilty of teaching a lie! “What is truth?” It wasn’t what we were upholding on that point.
We were so convinced that we were right on that point, that when the United Pentecostal preacher introduced his rebuttal, we had no idea what he was talking about. Since he did not pursue his point, that failure saved our “skin.” Imagine our surprise the next morning when William Woodson informed us that the UPC preacher was correct?
The apostle Peter stated, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Peter’s instruction is still truth today! Spoon feeding is necessary, only if we are babes in Christ! (1 Peter 2:2). Otherwise, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Just because a preacher is held in high esteem isn’t a guarantee that he is always right. How many inspired teachers did Corinth have? Paul, an inspired apostle, argued sharply with Barnabas because he didn’t think Mark was worth a second chance. Was he right (Acts 15:36-40; 2 Timothy 4:11)? Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians is applicable to us all. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12)!