Breaking Free From Error

Michael Beck

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)

Doctrine should not be built on cleverly strung together “proof-texts.” Sound doctrine is established from the whole Word of God. Those who are more interested in holding to their dogma harp on those verses that appear to substantiate their beliefs. They rarely delve into the context of a passage, or weigh their teaching against all God has spoken. They raise their flag on a small piece of biblical “real estate” and claim the battle is won – they are right and all others are wrong.

It can take people a very long time to exit the theological “ghetto” they live in. They associate with people who believe exactly the same way they do. They have the same doctrines reinforced from the pulpit week after week, month after month, year after year. They only read books and listen to teachers of their same stripe. And they brush away as error anything that challenges their deeply held belief system.

What can begin to move one from error to truth? Firstly, God uses life to correct error. No, our experience should not trump the Word of God; but, life should drive us deeper into scripture, opening up to us truth we have not seen before. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Ps. 119:18) It is not okay to doubt the truth of God’s Word, but it is more than okay to doubt whether anything we have received is chaff not wheat.

One day we will all stand before the Lord. We will have to give an account for how we lived; and the way we live is determined to a large degree by what we believe. To the extent our beliefs are wood, hay, and stubble, our actions will be wood, hay, and stubble.

We should be open at all times to correction, both in our actions and in our beliefs. It is entirely appropriate for us to continually pray: “Lord, if what I believe is off in the slightest degree, I want You to bring me into line with Your truth.” God liberally gives wisdom to all who want it.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.