Tuesday, February 14, 2012

There's an app for that.

Bible study?

There's an app for that.

Actually, there's bunches of them! There's softwares, programs, and applications that you can readily have at your fingertips to research the Bible with. You can go on the internet to find every resource known to man. E-books offer a wealth of information to help understand and interpret the Bible.

Exegesis. Sanctification. Ecclesiology. Calvinism. Arminianism. Intercession. Premillennialism. Postmillenialism. Reformed. Zionism.

You can now know what all those mean and where you stand on those issues! Great, right?

Well, that depends.

The great thing about all of these resources that are available is that we can truly grow in our ability to stand firm in the truth of the Gospel. In reference to protecting the truth, the Apostle Paul says to his disciple, "O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you." (1 Tim. 6)

So that's good.

But the reason that I say that all of this readily available knowledge might be dangerous is two-fold:

How do you know that what you're reading is legit? Do you know if the author is being held accountable for what he is writing? Do you know whether or not you are being led astray by something that sounds very good, but ends up being as wrong as a man shaving his legs.

And yes, I'll even subject Kingdom Eyes to the same standards: As far as being held accountable, the words that are written here are measured by other solid members of faith. And as for the other two questions, it's up to you to match what I say against the entirety of Scripture, and look at Kingdom Eyes with a careful eye. Just like anywhere else.

Getting lost.
Even with all of the valid resources that remain after you've knocked out the crazy guys, there's a very present danger of something that I see happening a lot. Falling in love with the Bible and not falling in love with Jesus.

Sounds weird, right? Well, humor me.

This week I listened to a podcast by Matt Chandler, and he made a point I never recognized before. I'll try to condense what he said: the church in Ephesus was too legit to quit. Seriously. Out of all of the churches in the New Testament, this one was off the chain. They were growing by ridiculous numbers, and at one point, had enough influence to make sure that, "all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19)


And when we get to Revelations, we see that this description of the Ephesian church:
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary."
 Among other things, John says that they are pretty good at sniffing out lies and getting rid of them in the congregation. But there's a problem. He goes on to say this: 
"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." 
Ouch. There issue was that they had stayed hardcore about the doctrinal truth of the Gospel, but had let their love and intimate passion for the person of Jesus die down. And the impending consequences for this, despite all of their good works, were pretty serious.

So, here's what I say: Congrats to the people who are serious about knowing where they stand on the truths of the Scriptures. You should be. But don't lose yourself in thinking that that's enough. Loving Jesus and knowing the truth He gives us in His Word go hand in hand. Like cream cheese and marshmallows.

So always make sure that what you're ingesting spiritually is true. And always make sure that you don't let your love for doctrine outweigh your love for God.


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