The world has always been focused about forming the church and Christians into their faulty, fallen fallacy. We are used to that. There is nothing new about being encouraged to conform to the prevailing culture of society. We’ve always had to be counter-culture with the world. For decades we have struggled but things seem to be sliding quickly closer and closer to home. Now, things have turned. Not only are we called upon to be counter-culture with society but with the church world.
I recently was with a couple of young people talking about the most recent books they had been reading. I was unpleasantly surprised. I walked away deeply concerned. I’m sure they thought through reading they were fulfilling Paul’s encouragement to Timothy in II Timothy 2:15. Or, at least, I hope that was their motivation. There is a big difference between studying the Word and the word of others. One is approved by God, enabling us to be a worker in God’s kingdom without shame, rightly dividing His Word. The other is detested by God, produces a person muddled, misinformed, mistaken, and mixed up; un-rightly and dangerously dividing the Word of God. Scares me just typing it! Later, I thought—and I know it isn’t rocket science—there is an enormous metamorphosis between being studious and stupid.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in being cutting-edge and up-to-snuff. I really do! Finding modern ways to express the old path; that is cutting-edge and culturally relevant biblically. I want to be liberal enough to use new ways and conservative enough to stick with God’s solid, specific path.
Changing apostolic doctrine to fit the times is just plain stupid. It’s dangerous and not merely on the edge; it’s totally over it. I nearly freaked out an entire primary school one time when I used the word “stupid.” They had been taught using the word was paramount to cursing. Perhaps so! Changing God’s Word to facilitate prevailing thinking may very well bring a curse. Let me try to improve my wording. Changing apostolic doctrine to fit the times is unwise, senseless, ill-advised, and thoughtless. How’s that?
I am deeply disturbed and profoundly perplexed when I meet young and old alike that cannot explain why they believe our foundational, fundamental doctrine. They know what they believe but have no idea why they believe it. The danger in that is one day we could produce a generation that does not believe. What a tragedy! But the reverse is so inspiring and encouraging: “And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the paths to dwell in” (Isaiah 58:12).
Here are four ways that make that possible. I’m sure there any many more.
- Speak it. Speak the Word of God in your life continually.
- Study it. Be committed to studying God’s Word and receiving it.
- Do it. Be willing to do what the Word of God says.
- Love it. Love God’s Word. Depend on it; not merely the philosophies of me.
Follow those four points and you will stay away from stupid!