September 30, 2013

Be Careful What You Search For

Google is amazing...am I right?  I mean, you can type anything into that beautiful little search box, and you are instantly connected to a wealth of information.  While online searches are wonderful, I'd like to caution you to be careful what you search for.  Just ask anyone who's ever done an image search, and they'll tell you to be cautious lest all things pornographic pop up.  However, "dirty pictures" are not the topic of my post today.  BAD THEOLOGY is.



Bad theology is ALL OVER the internet!
You must know how to carefully craft the words you enter into that magical search box in order to get the good stuff.  False teachers abound - just peruse the Scriptures below:
Romans 16:17 states, "I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them."
2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."
2 Peter 2:1-2 reads, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed."
1 John 4:1 declares, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world."
What must we do in order to have GOOD theology?  We must study the Word.  If has been said that the experts who confiscate counterfeit money do not study the counterfeit but rather the real thing.  Cold, hard cash.  If they know the REAL THING inside and out, backward and forward, they can spot a fake.  This principle holds true for biblical doctrine as well.  We must "study to show ourselves approved" (2 Timothy 2:15).  Can we use helps?  Of course!  There are so many solid teachers out there who have written amazingly in-depth manuals on the original biblical languages, theology and doctrine, etc.  However, the Bible should be our main source of study.  If we are spending more time reading books ABOUT the Bible than we are devouring Scripture itself, we are in the wrong.
So, how ought we search for the good stuff?  Gain wisdom from your pastor, Bible study or small group leader, or through websites maintained by your denomination or their seminaries.  If you are questioning your church or its affiliations, ask yourself why.  Is it because they do not line up with Scripture, or is it because you are being led astray by false teaching?  It could be either.  Examine your heart, and commit to prayerful, earnest Bible study...understanding passages IN CONTEXT and in-line with the meaning that would have made sense to the original audience.
One last thought on this: please make certain that you are reading the Bible and then gaining your beliefs from that Word.  Oft times we get this process twisted around, and we decide what we want to believe first...and then we read what we want to see into the Scriptures.  This is a dangerous and misleading practice.  Scripture should guide us, not the other way around.
Many hugs to you ladies who are out there deeply studying the Word.  Please let me know if you have any questions for me as we journey along this road together!

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