Whole Counsel Theology

Thursday, February 16, 2006

An Important Side Note

A wise, very dear friend and brother of mine pointed something out to me about my recent blog post about God's sovereignty. His concern was that, in talking about experiences I've had at my particular church and with people in my church, what I say could be construed as an attack against my church or people in it if I'm not very careful.

This is an important concern. When people give warnings like that (especially when they come from someone I trust so much), they must be taken seriously. I received a similar warning when I first started my blog back in December from another friend at my church about my post on The Lord's Supper. The rebuke he offered led me to write my following post in which I affirmed my love and devotion to the church that God has placed me in as a member and teacher, and yes, as a person under the authority of men with whom I do not always see eye to eye, but men who I love dearly as brothers in Christ.

I was reading a post by James Spurgeon over at TeamPyro earlier today that struck home and made a very good point. We all need teachers, and God will teach us through people who are not completely theologically correct. How do I know this?

Well, I've been a teacher of sorts for a while, and I'm certainly still learning about God. I would dare say that anyone reading this blog, whether they are a teacher or not, doesn't know everything there is to know about God. :) We are always learning, and each of us is at a different stage in our discipleship and sanctification process.

I have leared a lot of things from people with whom I've disagreed. Many of those people with whom I've disagreed in the past I now count as some of my greatest teachers, people who God used to bring me more into the likeness of Christ, and to increase my understanding of Him. In some cases, I still don't agree with them. In many cases, I now do.

It's no secret that I disagree with my pastor on a few issues. However, does this mean I don't submit to him? It most certainly does NOT mean that. Does it mean that I cannot learn from him? NO! I can and HAVE learned from him, and I thank God for that! There are areas where God has brought him that I have not been -- and I desire God to teach me through him about those things!

We all have areas where we need to grow. I truly see greater understanding in areas like God's sovereignty (see previous post) as matters of discipleship. The more we learn about our great God, the more we want to worship Him, and the more we want others to worship Him. God has seen fit to give me some understanding in this area -- and I have much more to learn. However, He has also seen fit to give different understanding to others, even people with whom I don't agree completely (go figure). :) I need to learn from those people, and from the understanding God has given them in His Word.

I know this has been a bit of rambling, but I hope it makes a good point. God can and will teach us many things through His Word and through people who have had different levels of exposure to Him in His Word and in His world. We must always be ready to listen to what God has done when we hear something; take it back to the Word to see if it is true, and if there is anything which is true, we accept it, no matter who it comes from.

I love my church. I love the people in my church. I love my pastors. I love being in my church; I pray that God would continue to reform my church to be completely in line with His Word in doctrine and deed. Sure, there are frustrations at times, but that's ok. God is still in control, and is still working out His wonders. He is still making and growing worshipers for Himself. He is still teaching me where I am, and always will be.

He'll teach you where you are too. Be thankful to be where you are!

To God Alone Be the Glory!


  • Well said. I am struggling with many of the same issues. I believe God led me to read this post today because I have been feeling very frustrated at my church over these very issues. I now know that I must submit to my pastor even though I don't agree with his theology in many areas.

    By-the-way, I don't think you rambled at all. :)

    By Blogger Mike Ratliff, at Thursday, February 16, 2006 1:47:00 PM  

  • Mike:

    Thanks for the encouragement. :) A verse that comes to mind is:

    Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

    It's an easy verse to quote when we're the ones who are the leaders, but perhaps not so easy when we need to be the ones submitting.

    By no means are we off the hook.


    By Blogger David B. Hewitt, at Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:33:00 PM  

  • Good stuff Dave,
    To slip off either extreme is to fall into error and unbiblical teaching. You fall off one side you're a legalist who says leave the church and burn the parsonage if your pastor says one thing wrong. Others, will say theology doesn't even matter.
    You're right, God does indeed draw a straight line with a crooked stick.


    By Blogger Jamin Hubner, at Friday, February 17, 2006 8:09:00 PM  

  • Slammin, I'm glad for that -- otherwise, he'd never draw anything straight with me!


    By Blogger David B. Hewitt, at Sunday, February 19, 2006 10:12:00 PM  

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