by Paul Proctor
Have you ever tried to reason with a religious agenda? It’s hard to do, isn’t it? You can quote God’s Word until you’re blue in the face, but those who have fully invested themselves into it will not be easily swayed even when it doesn’t square with scripture.
Often, what comes into play is a mystical mindset and performance-based pride involving a “passion” or “vision.” Persuaded with sentimental stories, tender tears, and a charming demeanor, a misguided group can, over time, become spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind to anyone and anything outside that vision, including God’s Word – following along with a misplaced faith in someone’s persona, position, or personal experience.
This happens in the Church today because Christians have largely relegated all things scriptural over to leaders for interpretation having made ministers into magistrates and pastors into priests – relying on professionals to perceive God’s Will for their lives rather than prayerfully reading and studying His Word for themselves like the Bereans of Acts 17 who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
Having now put so great an emphasis on our relationships with one another and the results we covet, no longer do we turn to the Bible for answers to the issues of life, instead, allowing the counsel of the compromised to compel us along with their practical advise and benevolent ventures, assuming they are anointed and appointed by God to do so. It is a sweet seduction with eternal consequences and a spiritual short cut for the shortsighted and undisciplined.
Of course, we’re all in need of good relationships and good counsel; but when we rely on “smooth words” instead of God’s Word to direct us, we set ourselves up for deception, disobedience, and disaster. And, when we eventually fall and fail, how quickly we offload the blame onto those who misled us rather than taking responsibility for our own neglect – cleaning up the embarrassing mess left behind only to search yet again for another to lead in like manner – never repenting but always repeating the same ecclesiastical error over and over. This is what happens when we think and act relationally and experientially rather than biblically.
God gave us His Word for a reason, not as an option or a last resort. He does not yield to cultures and trends, as do we in the Church today. Nor does He need to try this or that to see what works and experiment with the things of this world to bring about His eternal ends. He who called creation into being with His Word need not alter it to accommodate the flesh and bring rebellion into repentance and faith.
It is only men who change, adjust, and experiment – leaning on their own understanding to try and help the One who needs no help – all the while bringing glory to self.
As it was in the Garden of Eden, so it is today; we continue to set aside the Word of God in the interest of Results and Relationships, forgetting that forsaking our way of doing things for His and learning obedience by faith was the point all along.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
Used with permission. Copyright Paul Proctor