This is a re-blog because I found it interesting. I’ll leave the writer and context anonymous to keep things intriguing and mysterious.
I was talking with a friend who is also (like me) a Christian. He had recently returned from a Christian conference where he had heard many speakers deeply grounded in their firm theologies and fine expository preaching. My friend noted how densely packed with precise, academic jargon their messages were, a characteristic which was not quite to my friend’s personal liking. He told me that while he did appreciate that “headiness” and “intellectualism”, it just wasn’t “his thing”. He’s “more about” showing practical love and doing things. I have a great respect for this friend because he has shown me and so many others throughout his life testimony that he certainly does practice what he preaches, sacrificially loving and investing in others in remarkable ways and continually exuding an undying and contagious joy that can only be so through the Holy Spirit. My respect for him coupled with the fact that I do think I personally identify as more of the intellectual, deep-thinking type makes this difficult, but I do have to respectfully disagree with his stance to brush aside the intellectual depths of theology for himself. I believe every Christian has a duty to pursue an understanding of the nuances of his (or her) beliefs and the ability to clearly explain and defend every said nuance.
This is especially critical in a society with so many varying belief systems to choose from. I’m not just talking about the classic-example, big-name religions you always hear about: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam. But even under the umbrella of monotheistic “Christianity” there are so many lenses through which someone could choose to understand God, Scripture, and Christian living: religious syncretism, Christian hedonism, pragmatism, and asceticism are just a few of these popular, controversial lenses. (You should look them up and learn about them if you don’t know what they are.) People find it ludicrous that out of the hundreds if not thousands of these different theologies out there there could be a single “correct” one.
But the Word of God begs to differ.
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” -2 Peter 1:20-21 NASB
Anything that does not agree with Scripture distorts Scripture. The apostle Paul often warned about this in his epistles:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” -Colossians 2:8 NASB
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” -2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB
Scripture indicates that spiritual warfare is related to what happens in your mind:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” -2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASB
When we stop pursuing sharp, discerning minds we lose the ability to distinguish between what is truth and what is a distortion of the truth. These distortions of truth are usually very close to truth — they are not overtly wrong, because then who would fall for it? — and sound very good, but ultimately are misleading and result in a false gospel, a false Christianity, and a false salvation.
This is why Paul prayed that “your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ…” (Philippians 1:9-10 NASB).
I will never forget my pastor saying that Satan doesn’t really care about making you do little sins here and there. What he really wants is your soul. He wants to keep you from salvation and drag you down to hell with him. And he is strategic, crafty, and powerful. What better way to damn you to eternal punishment in hell than to make you think that you are saved when you really are not? I believe Satan has played a major role in bringing about the great diversity of philosophical thinking that we see today in order to divert people from thorough exegesis of Scripture and adoption of sound doctrinal principles that lead to our justification and sanctification in Christ.
So what are you going to do about it?
United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
-Casting Crowns, “While You Were Sleeping”