Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How Biblical Change Looks When It Happens -- And the Opposite

Biblical change starts with conviction.  The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin (Jn 16:8).  The Greek word is not about a feeling someone has, but someone convinced, as in being proven guilty. Romans 12:1 says true, perpetual worship of God is reasonable. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

Every major change in my life started with scripture.  Every church problem I've ever seen relates to something unscriptural.  The solution to the problem is in the Bible, because God's Word is sufficient. Something needs to be changed to line up with the Bible.

When I think our church is doing something wrong, it started with scripture.  The Holy Spirit used scripture to convince me.  Whatever change we need to make is because our church is failing to believe and practice something in the Bible.  Before our church changes, I've changed.  If the church is going to change too, then I've got to teach on it.  I spend weeks on it and then open it to question and answer, until we're all on board.  God wants unity too (1 Cor 1:10, Eph 4:3).

Change starts with scripture.  If it's something we are not believing or not doing, I see it in the Bible first.  I wonder if it is historical too.  Is this something that Christians have believed and practiced as well.  If it's true, it won't be new.  That doesn't mean there will be a devastating historical argument, because we can't rely totally on history like we do the Bible, but we should expect that a true position would be found in history.

Scripture comes.  The Holy Spirit works.  Our souls are enlightened.  We submit to what God says. That's how change occurs.

Many new theological or religious positions have arisen through history and especially in the last one hundred years. If someone teaches you proxy baptism, baptism for dead people, and you haven't heard of that, what would you do?  You should ask where it's in the Bible.  Once you start to hear where that doctrine comes from, you might wonder why you haven't heard it before.  Is that what that scripture means?  If not, what is it talking about?

I've noticed that leftward changes don't start with the Bible.  They start with pragmatism or lust. They don't start with Bible reading, where something jumps out in scripture, and then it's found in history too.  No.  It starts with something that someone wants to do, and he goes to scripture second, and for the purpose of justifying or vindicating what he's going to do.  This is how the Bible gets twisted or wrested, the way Peter put it in 2 Peter 3.  Whole new doctrine proceeds from attempting to accommodate practices once forbidden.

When women started wearing pants, that didn't start with women studying the Bible.  It didn't start with Christian men thinking of how scripture applied to helping their wives and daughters.  Now when women adjust their skirts to above their knees, that isn't starting with a prayer meeting, and a time of careful exegesis.  Along with the change in practice, new teaching does arise.  I've seen it most prevalent in a new view of the grace of God.  Love changes in meaning.  These serve to justify a lot of varied behavior.

At a particular juncture in time, a religious leader says, "Things aren't working as they should, so let's try this, to see if it works."  It's tried and it seems to work.  People keep doing it.  Others try it because it works.  Change occurs.  This isn't biblical change.  It isn't someone being convinced by scripture.  It's someone being persuaded by his own lying eyes.

Godly men confront wrong changes.  They don't want the change. Those changing push back.  A battle ensues.  Godly men stop confronting change.  They capitulate.  The change becomes the new norm, until another leftward change starts the process again.

Over a longer period of time, leftward changes send people and their institutions away from God. They don't start with scripture.  We have a school and I teach in it.  A student might stop doing his homework.  That's a change. I confront it.  He still doesn't do the homework.  I stop confronting him. He discontinues homework.  Not doing homework is the new standard.

Children sit quietly in the classroom while an adult teaches.  A child talks to another child.  The teacher corrects it.  The child keeps talking.  The teacher stops correcting.  Talking is the new normal. It's a change.  Some might call it a gracious change.  The child wants to talk.  He gets to talk.  An adult gives the child what he wants.  Some call that love.

Men change.  Society changes.  Does God change?  He doesn't need to.  If we need to change, it's to be like God.  Instead men change, become less like God.  That's accepted.  Change to be like God is rejected.  Today there is far more ungodly change than godly change.

No comments: