A few good friends and I were chatting on line the other day about the plague of false teaching spreading rapidly in certain sectors of Christianity. It seems that some well known church leaders are teaching hyper Calvinism and other demonic doctrines. A popular one with male followers promotes the subjugation of women that reduces them to providers of kinky sex for their ruling husbands. Another choice offering from these false teachers has it that people who are not part of the “elect” are damned before they’re born. The reason God gives them bodies is so they can burn in hell!
These false teachers, some of whom have made valuable contributions to the body of Christ earlier in their life, are obsessed with doctrine. They believe the truth is found in “rightly dividing” the scriptures. They’ve applied their considerable intellects to this passion and have come up with conclusions that are as evil and they are stupid. Their relationship begins and ends with the written word, because they don’t realize that the truth is not found in words written on paper in the Bible. Written words made alive by the Holy Spirit can lead you to the Truth while the Bible read by those who worship intellectual knowledge will become a stumbling block to the Truth. The inspired scriptures were written for the purpose of leading us to Christ who, alone, is the truth.
My friend, Steve Crosby, shared the literal definition of truth as it is spoken of in the scriptures. It had to do with fidelity in relationship. Jesus spoke of himself as the truth, because he was true to the original, who is God. So in the biblical context, truth can only be realized in faithful (to the original) relationships. When Jesus said that the truth would set his listeners free, the New Testament wasn’t yet written. Jesus never suggested that we should have a relationship with the Bible. Many who have an intellectual relationship with the scriptures fail to have a relationship with the One to whom the scriptures point. The result ranges anywhere from boring to disastrous.
The good news is that when our lives become integrated with Christ’s though child-like trust and abandonment of all that distracts, we are set free from everything that holds us back from living life in him to the fullest. The struggle brought on by the futile attempt to grasp spiritual understanding with our mind is put to an end and our spirit is set free to explore the unfathomable wonders of his love and grace.