With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Itching Ears and the People Who Scratch Them

Being a too-active member in blogland, I've discovered that there are many who presume to be preachers and teachers (which incidentally is in direct opposition to Saint James' advice, oops). I've also discovered that their many messages often disagree with one another. So what's a Christian to do?

How do you decide who to listen to?

How do you choose which message to believe?

What are the criteria that absolutely must be met in order for something to pass?

If we all just believe whatever sounds good to us at the moment, it seems we have itching ears (which the Bible warns about). And you know as well as I do that when something itches, we're gonna make sure it gets scratched...if we don't scratch it, there are plenty of scratchers out there just waiting.

So help me out. How do YOU decide what to believe?


Bryan L said...

I use a magic 8 ball and believe God is supernaturally guiding the answers. I used to use a ouiji board but then I found out it was evil. oops.

: )

Bryan L

MLM said...

Bryan L:

Well that explains a lot of your beliefs. :o)

Pascalian Awakenings said...


If the magic 8 ball doesn't work, I find the Wesley Quad to be of use: Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason.

Nathan Talbot said...

I listen to who I know or who a trusted friend family member reccomends.

As for new people I am very careful and listen very carefully to what they say. I don't want to be filled with things I don't believe.

Most new folks I here don't cut it. Way too many folks out there who think God does bad things to us to teach us something or that we still have to live by the law and don't freely receive grace and mercy after salvation. As soon as they start talking like that they are off my list.

Jane said...

I have really been debating on whether or not to answer this question. My uncertainty stems from the fact that I am currently asking myself similar questions. What do I believe? Why do I believe that?

I am familiar with Wesley's quad and think it has merit, but right now in my life one of the things that I am questioning is tradition...specifically some the traditions that I was raised in.

Thankfully God has placed several people in my life that I trust and can talk to. However, I have to remind myself...and I know this may be shocking...that none of them (and I include myself in this statement) are perfect. There is a chance that they could be wrong...there is a chance that I am wrong on some things...Shocking, I know! It doesn't mean that I am not going to ask their opinion or ask for their advice. It also doesn't mean that I am going to accept what they tell me at face value.

There is only one thing that is perfect. Only one thing that will stand the test of time. It's the Word of God.

Everything I believe has to be placed up against it. If it aligns, great. If not I need to see what it says, and make my beliefs align. It is a filter that will not fail.

What I am learning right now is that I have to put tradition up against the Bible. That which filters through I can take and continue believing, but that which does not needs to be left behind. The same goes with experience and reason. I was reading in 1 Corinthians earlier and was reminded how the cross can be foolishness and a stumbling block to unbelievers. So much of what we believe as Christians doesn't make sense to the world because the are "spiritually appraised" (1 Cor. 2:14).

Anyway, that is my two cents on the subject.

pilgrim said...

Jane, your two cents may be worth at least a nickel in today's inflation ;-)

As you correctly stated -
"There is only one thing that is perfect. Only one thing that will stand the test of time. It's the Word of God.

Everything I believe has to be placed up against it. If it aligns, great. If not I need to see what it says, and make my beliefs align. It is a filter that will not fail."

The Bible is a tried and true guideline to what we must believe. The Word of God will build up, correct, reveal to and transform your understanding over a lifetime of study. It was written by believers of old, moved by the Holy Spirit, to record and verify the lives and actions of men & women chosen of God to lead and teach His people. This Word is how God has determined to reveal Himself to mankind, and we must accept it as the final authority for our faith and belief system.

The Bible validates itself in its writings. King David said in Ps.119:15,16 - "I will meditate on your precepts, and have respect to your ways (the paths of life marked out by Your law). I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your Word." Ampl.

II Tim. 2:15 - "Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing - rightly handling and skilfully teaching - the Word of Truth." Ampl.

"Every scripture is God-breathed - given by His inspiration - and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness (that is, in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose and action). So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well-fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." II Tim. 3:16,17 Ampl.

So, we look for our plumline in the scriptures. Then we must line up our ongoing decisions, actions, and development with what the Bible says. Too many times, we make our decisions on what we have been told by someone else, the 'traditions' we have been brought up in, the original church where we began our spiritual search, or what our friends and family are following. Others, when they are offended by the 'narrow way' of the Bible, get sidetracked in a 'broader' base of religious activity - such as good works, or greater tolerance, or more humanistic acceptance of the unbeliever - and they are weakened or stunted by the thwarted development of their beliefs.

If you have not been properly taught, or have not thoroughly studied to know the Bible, you will not be able to discern who is teaching what. As MLM pointed out, you may just "believe whatever sounds good to us at the moment". Some things in the Bible are hard to understand with our mind. You cannot make choices on how you 'feel' or 'think' about something in the Word. Our whole life as a believer, is a 'walk by faith'. We must break down our resistance to what is hard for us to accept mentally and step out on the veracity of the Word itself. When we do, we will reap the benefits of all God has for us in His Word and His promises for our inheritance through Jesus Christ.

This will stabilize our spritual life and provide insight as to who we should listen to or follow after. Our mind is the gateway to our spirit, and it must be guarded and protected. Not everyone who wants to be heard should be listened to or followed after. Jesus said to His disciples that all who preach in His name are to be left alone, but each one of us must find those who teach the 'whole gospel' and base our ongoing learning on their revelation as it lines up with the Bible. God will also bring other people into our life who have had additional revelation from the Word to speak into our darkness in certain areas. We may have to change or rearrange some of our other relationships or habits to pursue the truth as it is shown to us, but it is so worth it.

I John 5:4 states that God's word (His commands - orders, charges, ordinances) "are not irksome - burdensome, oppressive or grievous. For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world...who is it that is victorious over (that conquers) the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God..." We begin on this premise by faith, and we walk out our salvation by faith in the confidence that all we need is in that relationship. The Word of God provides the teaching tool to prosper us with all that will develop this relationship to its fullest. If we judge those who teach and preach by this yardstick, as Jane so aptly stated, "it is a filter that will not fail".

M, J, B, G...and Sam. said...

If it lines up with the Word of God and you are in tune with the Holy Spirit, who is our guide, you have nothing to worry about. He, The HS, will let you know when something is "off". Of course, you must be tuned in to His voice for that to work...and the more time you spend with Him and in prayer, the better you'll be able to recognize that gentle nudging.