Zeal Without Knowledge

“They are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

The most dangerous people you will meet on this journey are those who are zealous for God, but have no knowledge of the ways in which God works. They are the proverbial bulls in the china shop, demanding that people see things the way they do and bashing those who don’t in hopes that the added pressure will make them conform. So certain are they that their way is the only right way, the bully their way into people’s lives demanding that they conform to their interpretation of any number of proof texts. Paul understood them well. He was one. I do too; so was I.

And now I run into them frequently. One ‘elder’ told me he was going to forbid his mother-in-law to read my blog since I was espousing such great error on the body of Christ. I wonder how well that worked. When you decide it is your job to force others into truth, you prove by doing so that you think too highly of yourself and too lowly of the truth. I have found that the truth will win out in the end. It is stronger than every sin, doubt and lie. You don’t have to scream it in their ear or threaten them with punishment if they ignore you. You only need to whisper it gently and watch it grow in hearts that are receptive.

I was listening to a recording of one of the most profound New Testament scholars of our day, whose insight into the Scriptures is second to none. For an academic, I’m always surprised at the wisdom he brings to the Scriptures. At the end of this presentation, however, he offered this disclaimer: “At least two-thirds of what I’ve said today today isn’t true. The only problem is, I don’t know what two-thirds it is, or I wouldn’t have said it. And the two-thirds figure may even be generous to me.” Now there’s a man who is still growing on a journey and knows it. His humility invites others on the path to discovery, realizing our confidence can only rest in the Spirit who guides us, not the wisdom of any one human being.

The next time someone tries to bully you into their version of truth, just remember Paul’s words. There are many out there who have great zeal for what they perceive to be the truth of God. But it seems those most zealous, most miss the mark. In fact their passion seems to compensate for their insecurity that they can’t bear to admit. How do you recognize them? They are always trying to accomplish in God’s stead what they don’t consider he can do for himself. That’s what Paul went on to say, “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:3)

People who are ignorantly zealous do an awful lot of damage, and never see it because they never question their own motives or tactics. They leave a wake of abused people behind them thinking they are doing God a favor. The next time you are tempted to do something for God, just remember the damage that misplaced zeal can do to one of the kids God loves. Remember, in this kingdom we’re not asked to do anything for God. We’re invited to go along with him.

Follow alongside him and you’ll never need to bully or berate anyone else to embrace what you think is true. And when you find someone trying to do it to you, smile gently, pray for him or her, and just keep on following Jesus down the road. You don’t need their permission or their agreement. Rather than arguing with them in hopes they’ll see the error of their ways, continuing to live free is the best response you can give.

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42 Comments
  1. kent May 31, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I have referred to that very statement, about two-thirds of what I just said being wrong several times myself after hearing it. I long to hear it more often.

    Great advice Wayne.

  2. rob horton May 31, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    excellent stuff wayne – you should write a book some day!

  3. Rick Creech May 31, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Great words, how true they are!!!

  4. kent June 1, 2007 at 12:21 am

    I have referred to that very statement, about two-thirds of what I just said being wrong several times myself after hearing it. I long to hear it more often.

    Great advice Wayne.

  5. rob horton June 1, 2007 at 12:22 am

    excellent stuff wayne – you should write a book some day!

  6. Rick Creech June 1, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Great words, how true they are!!!

  7. glen tschirgi June 1, 2007 at 4:02 am

    How interesting that Jesus called as one of the Twelve Simon THE ZEALOT. This is one of those times where I wish that we had more conversations recorded between Jesus and the disciples; I would love to know some of the talks he had with Simon the Z. You know, i can imagine the FCC-TV (First Century Christian TV) having a reality show,”Pick the Betrayer!” where contestants try to figure out which disciples will betray Jesus. I would guess that the ‘smart money’ would be on Simon the Zealot as it seems to be zealots who so often turn against their friends if they don’t get what they want.

  8. Heather June 1, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Excellent post … thanks 🙂

  9. glen tschirgi June 1, 2007 at 7:02 am

    How interesting that Jesus called as one of the Twelve Simon THE ZEALOT. This is one of those times where I wish that we had more conversations recorded between Jesus and the disciples; I would love to know some of the talks he had with Simon the Z. You know, i can imagine the FCC-TV (First Century Christian TV) having a reality show,”Pick the Betrayer!” where contestants try to figure out which disciples will betray Jesus. I would guess that the ‘smart money’ would be on Simon the Zealot as it seems to be zealots who so often turn against their friends if they don’t get what they want.

  10. Heather June 1, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Excellent post … thanks 🙂

  11. Michael June 1, 2007 at 10:45 am

    I was a “bull in a china closet” too. Can’t remember how many times I, as a pastor, bashed someone, “speaking the truth in love.” Groan! Now, we have just spilled out of another church in which we were told we have a “low view” of the importance of the church (meaning: that local church), and that one of the main purposes of elders is to be “doctrine police.” It’s hard to love ’em when they’re trying to line ME up with their view of truth, but it helps me to forgive when I remember I used to have the same misdirected zeal.
    We’re grateful for your encouragement to just listen to Jesus through this time, Wayne. We’re resting in the peace of not having to find another place to “join.” And believing that Father is growing a bigger crop of grace that we can share with other hurting folks.

  12. now and then June 1, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Excellent article Wayne! Upon meeting an elder at a men’s breakfast for the first time in a new church (we had relocated) he asked me if I was “saved.” I told him I was and he remarked, “…that’s good ’cause if you ain’t saved we can’t pray for you…” Surprised, I told him, “Paul says to pray for all men, even kings.” He said, “…I don’t know about that…all I know is if you ain’t saved, we can’t pray for you.” After breakfast, a member of that church told me this particular elder was, “on fire for the Lord.” Funny thing, I never returned.

  13. Andrew June 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    From a guy who came from a mega church with private Christian schooling, through the process of house churches to the way of trusting Father – I was one angry individual. The anger I had poured out into every aspect of my life. I was an angry and grumpy Christian from the Easter only crowed to the business run church crowed. It is a beautiful thing to say that Daddy has removed my anger and contempt for so many people and replaced it with love and compassion for those who are frightened of my Father.

    thanks Wayne for writing this.

    Andrew

  14. Michael June 1, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I was a “bull in a china closet” too. Can’t remember how many times I, as a pastor, bashed someone, “speaking the truth in love.” Groan! Now, we have just spilled out of another church in which we were told we have a “low view” of the importance of the church (meaning: that local church), and that one of the main purposes of elders is to be “doctrine police.” It’s hard to love ’em when they’re trying to line ME up with their view of truth, but it helps me to forgive when I remember I used to have the same misdirected zeal.
    We’re grateful for your encouragement to just listen to Jesus through this time, Wayne. We’re resting in the peace of not having to find another place to “join.” And believing that Father is growing a bigger crop of grace that we can share with other hurting folks.

  15. Pamela June 1, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    This is an interesting article. When I first read this it sounded like (1) we cannot not know absolute truth because any truth we think we have is our view of it and (2) if we do have truth we cannot share it for fear that we are trying to force ‘our view of truth’ on others and showing our pride and lack of respect for ‘the truth’. I hope the point of this article is dealing with the tendency to try and force people to change and not the idea of sharing truth at all. If we are relating to others AND our relationship is the focal point of our lives at some point we will discuss what the Holy Spirit has taught us. Do we keep quite so we will not appear prideful or do we share knowing that we may be falsely accused of trying to force something on someone else?

    Even though I believe the attempt is to be humble before the Lord and with other people, there is truth that can be revealed. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. We do not have to be adamant about it but it is a fact in the word of God, that is, through the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. If a teacher gets up and says that 2/3 of what he said is untrue AND that he does not know which 2/3 is that person is just speaking for his own pleasure. The Bible has leaders that boldly said to follow them as they followed Christ. Were they prideful and ego driven? Were they trying to force their ‘view’ on others? Or were they proclaiming truth because of their relationship with Christ? For example Paul, who wrote 1 Corinthians 13, is the same one that pronounced judgment on a man sleeping with his stepmother. Was he trying to force his view on the Corinthian church or was he lovingly trying to rescue them from doctrinal error that he learned from the Holy Spirit?

    Jesus is the perfect example of one that loved in a way no other human being has loved us. The same Jesus that forgave the woman caught in adultery and told her to sin no more is the same Jesus that used a whip to drive out the moneychangers from the temple. He also used very strong language on more than one occasion to try and rescue the Pharisees and Saducees from religion and spiritual death. I’m sure no one would suggest that He was full of pride or trying to force something on someone.

    This type of logic is used by some of the mainline denominations to justify changing what the word of God says according to what society says. If what they say is challenged by mentioning the word of God, they are accused of being prideful and going against Christ and ‘the truth’. This is used to persecute those that want to live according to what the Bible clearly says.

    Maybe I’m misreading this article. If so maybe someone can clarify this for me.

  16. now and then June 1, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Excellent article Wayne! Upon meeting an elder at a men’s breakfast for the first time in a new church (we had relocated) he asked me if I was “saved.” I told him I was and he remarked, “…that’s good ’cause if you ain’t saved we can’t pray for you…” Surprised, I told him, “Paul says to pray for all men, even kings.” He said, “…I don’t know about that…all I know is if you ain’t saved, we can’t pray for you.” After breakfast, a member of that church told me this particular elder was, “on fire for the Lord.” Funny thing, I never returned.

  17. Andrew June 1, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    From a guy who came from a mega church with private Christian schooling, through the process of house churches to the way of trusting Father – I was one angry individual. The anger I had poured out into every aspect of my life. I was an angry and grumpy Christian from the Easter only crowed to the business run church crowed. It is a beautiful thing to say that Daddy has removed my anger and contempt for so many people and replaced it with love and compassion for those who are frightened of my Father.

    thanks Wayne for writing this.

    Andrew

  18. Pamela June 1, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    This is an interesting article. When I first read this it sounded like (1) we cannot not know absolute truth because any truth we think we have is our view of it and (2) if we do have truth we cannot share it for fear that we are trying to force ‘our view of truth’ on others and showing our pride and lack of respect for ‘the truth’. I hope the point of this article is dealing with the tendency to try and force people to change and not the idea of sharing truth at all. If we are relating to others AND our relationship is the focal point of our lives at some point we will discuss what the Holy Spirit has taught us. Do we keep quite so we will not appear prideful or do we share knowing that we may be falsely accused of trying to force something on someone else?

    Even though I believe the attempt is to be humble before the Lord and with other people, there is truth that can be revealed. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. We do not have to be adamant about it but it is a fact in the word of God, that is, through the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. If a teacher gets up and says that 2/3 of what he said is untrue AND that he does not know which 2/3 is that person is just speaking for his own pleasure. The Bible has leaders that boldly said to follow them as they followed Christ. Were they prideful and ego driven? Were they trying to force their ‘view’ on others? Or were they proclaiming truth because of their relationship with Christ? For example Paul, who wrote 1 Corinthians 13, is the same one that pronounced judgment on a man sleeping with his stepmother. Was he trying to force his view on the Corinthian church or was he lovingly trying to rescue them from doctrinal error that he learned from the Holy Spirit?

    Jesus is the perfect example of one that loved in a way no other human being has loved us. The same Jesus that forgave the woman caught in adultery and told her to sin no more is the same Jesus that used a whip to drive out the moneychangers from the temple. He also used very strong language on more than one occasion to try and rescue the Pharisees and Saducees from religion and spiritual death. I’m sure no one would suggest that He was full of pride or trying to force something on someone.

    This type of logic is used by some of the mainline denominations to justify changing what the word of God says according to what society says. If what they say is challenged by mentioning the word of God, they are accused of being prideful and going against Christ and ‘the truth’. This is used to persecute those that want to live according to what the Bible clearly says.

    Maybe I’m misreading this article. If so maybe someone can clarify this for me.

  19. Clifton June 2, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Good post, Wayne. Those who yell the loudest are usually the least sure of what they’re yelling about. Like the people who stand on street corners with bullhorns shouting at passing cars. Hey, I just noticed something—-bullhorn, bullheaded, bull……..well you get the picture. How about Kevin Smith’s word, bulldust.

  20. Clifton June 2, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Good post, Wayne. Those who yell the loudest are usually the least sure of what they’re yelling about. Like the people who stand on street corners with bullhorns shouting at passing cars. Hey, I just noticed something—-bullhorn, bullheaded, bull……..well you get the picture. How about Kevin Smith’s word, bulldust.

  21. Lew June 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for reminding me of Paul’s words in this text, they have ministered to me just now in a way that was very much needed.

    God’s Glory,
    Lew A

  22. Wayne June 4, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Pam,

    I’m not sure how this is an affront to absolute truth. This was about people who think they know absolute truth but really don’t, or use it the way the Pharisees did to kill those who disagreed with them even if they did know a thing or two about the God who made heaven and earth.

    Jesus’ zeal, was of course, with knowledge and he did those things that would most open peopel to the reality of God’s truth. So, I’m not sure why you’re reacting to this post the way you have…

    Wayne

  23. kent June 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I used to think of this being about me being a POSSESSER of truth. Today I see myself as being a SEEKER of truth. Or should I say The Truth. Jesus is absolute truth and I trust him, I don’t trust my ability to have that worked out absolutely anymore. Mere beliefs based on our understanding of truth seem to rarely if ever produce faith. When I began to embrace my limited ablitity to have it figured out, I began to see how much my belief system actually stood in the way of a life of faith, trusting the one who sees it all.

  24. Lew June 4, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for reminding me of Paul’s words in this text, they have ministered to me just now in a way that was very much needed.

    God’s Glory,
    Lew A

  25. Wayne June 4, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Pam,

    I’m not sure how this is an affront to absolute truth. This was about people who think they know absolute truth but really don’t, or use it the way the Pharisees did to kill those who disagreed with them even if they did know a thing or two about the God who made heaven and earth.

    Jesus’ zeal, was of course, with knowledge and he did those things that would most open peopel to the reality of God’s truth. So, I’m not sure why you’re reacting to this post the way you have…

    Wayne

  26. kent June 4, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    I used to think of this being about me being a POSSESSER of truth. Today I see myself as being a SEEKER of truth. Or should I say The Truth. Jesus is absolute truth and I trust him, I don’t trust my ability to have that worked out absolutely anymore. Mere beliefs based on our understanding of truth seem to rarely if ever produce faith. When I began to embrace my limited ablitity to have it figured out, I began to see how much my belief system actually stood in the way of a life of faith, trusting the one who sees it all.

  27. Pamela June 5, 2007 at 4:38 am

    Wanye,

    “At least two-thirds of what I’ve said today today isn’t true. The only problem is, I don’t know what two-thirds it is, or I wouldn’t have said it. And the two-thirds figure may even be generous to me.”

    The above quote bothered me. I felt that it communicated that we could not know truth. It was very hard for me to get past that statement. You heard his entire message so you have a context for the quote that I do not have. Maybe if I knew the context of the quote it would have made sense to me. Of course it would not have been appropriate to quote his entire speech here:) I probably overreacted because of unscriptural junk I heard in the past.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Have a great day. Glad you are having some fun these days.

  28. Pamela June 5, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Wanye,

    “At least two-thirds of what I’ve said today today isn’t true. The only problem is, I don’t know what two-thirds it is, or I wouldn’t have said it. And the two-thirds figure may even be generous to me.”

    The above quote bothered me. I felt that it communicated that we could not know truth. It was very hard for me to get past that statement. You heard his entire message so you have a context for the quote that I do not have. Maybe if I knew the context of the quote it would have made sense to me. Of course it would not have been appropriate to quote his entire speech here:) I probably overreacted because of unscriptural junk I heard in the past.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Have a great day. Glad you are having some fun these days.

  29. Wayne June 5, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Pam,

    I think the context was not that we don’t know truth, but that we are growing in truth. That we see what we see today, but that further growth will show us that some things we think today are not worthy of him or his ways of working. I guess I liked the quote so much, because I’ve seen God change my heart about so many things over the years and I still like knowing today that he’s got even more wisdom to give up the road.

    So the 2/3rds is really a statement of humility not uncertainty, and why we have to know him who is Truth, more than we trust our interpretations of what we think truth to be. Of course this doesn’t affect the large-ticket items like Jesus as our Savior and soon-coming king, God as a Loving Father, or other things Scripture is absolutely clear about. But our learning to walk in those realities is a journey. As Paul says, we know in part and see in part. The joy of living in him is watching how he transforms us in the process.

    I’ve known many people to expound a certain truth, push others to believe it, and then realize a few years up the road that they had it wrong. That’s why we all need to be careful not to believe something because someone else said it, but because it abides the test of Scripture, of God’s confirmation in my spirit, and the corporate vision of Christ’s body in the earth, which is the fulness of him who fills everything….

    I appreciate your heart,

    Wayne

  30. Wayne June 5, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Pam,

    I think the context was not that we don’t know truth, but that we are growing in truth. That we see what we see today, but that further growth will show us that some things we think today are not worthy of him or his ways of working. I guess I liked the quote so much, because I’ve seen God change my heart about so many things over the years and I still like knowing today that he’s got even more wisdom to give up the road.

    So the 2/3rds is really a statement of humility not uncertainty, and why we have to know him who is Truth, more than we trust our interpretations of what we think truth to be. Of course this doesn’t affect the large-ticket items like Jesus as our Savior and soon-coming king, God as a Loving Father, or other things Scripture is absolutely clear about. But our learning to walk in those realities is a journey. As Paul says, we know in part and see in part. The joy of living in him is watching how he transforms us in the process.

    I’ve known many people to expound a certain truth, push others to believe it, and then realize a few years up the road that they had it wrong. That’s why we all need to be careful not to believe something because someone else said it, but because it abides the test of Scripture, of God’s confirmation in my spirit, and the corporate vision of Christ’s body in the earth, which is the fulness of him who fills everything….

    I appreciate your heart,

    Wayne

  31. The Other Pam June 6, 2007 at 7:45 am

    There are now two of us Pams as regular visitors to this blog. Maybe she can be Pamela and I’ll be the other Pam.

    I think the attitude of being the “possessor” of the truth as Kent said is what distinguishes this kind of thinking, One of my professors at Calvin College over 20 years ago said to be careful about thinking we have a corner on truth. That was a bold statement because at the time in the denomination I grew up in we had a tradition of making people sign forms of subscription which were commitments to defend and adhere to certain doctrine. It was to prevent “error”. In fact what it probably did was preserve error. It didn’t allow us to ask the good questions (as Pamela has) and have the kind of dialogue we have here. In that enviroment you can’t think as you’re walking with God and continuing to read scripture, “that bothers me” and explore it with Him.

    I have had the privilege of walking with Christians from very different backgrounds. We do hold many essential truths in common without much effort, most of them are about Jesus who He is and what He did. I used to teach in a Christian school and among the faculty the church I attended was the “off brand” from everyone else. How I got that job I don’t know. I had one student who would try to bait me on certain issues. Her family was very much into “right doctrine” and wasn’t to happy I was there. I would just steer the conversation back to Jesus and where He was leading her.

    That kind of thinking leads us to believe we have understand it all in order be saved and walking in relationship to the Father when I think all we need to get started is to understand Jesus loves us. The Russian Orthodox kid at our school was told by the Bible teacher he isn’t saved. Well I know that kid; I’m not so sure that’s true. I was taught to believe all Catholics were unsaved (sorry Catholics), but I don’t believe that anymore either.

    I was visiting with Wayne after his talk about the cross. I was processing and changing my thinking. I was feeling a little like I’d misunderstood tha whole gospel all of my life. I was feeling cheated. I realized that my relationship with Him up to that point had to be real. He was only seeking to deepen my understanding of Him. Something I’ld been asking for all of my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t know any truth, but my understanding needed to deepen and mature. It still does. I’ve changed my mind about so many things. I am still processing these institutional church questions Wayne has going on. I only react to ideas when I feel pressure to accept something before the Lord has made me ready. I think we can do great damage to people if we insist they accecpt a truth before the their heart has been made ready by the Holy Spirit. We can teach and write with confidence about the scriptures because that same Holy Spirit is at work helping us to sort it all out. He has it right.

  32. The Other Pam June 6, 2007 at 10:45 am

    There are now two of us Pams as regular visitors to this blog. Maybe she can be Pamela and I’ll be the other Pam.

    I think the attitude of being the “possessor” of the truth as Kent said is what distinguishes this kind of thinking, One of my professors at Calvin College over 20 years ago said to be careful about thinking we have a corner on truth. That was a bold statement because at the time in the denomination I grew up in we had a tradition of making people sign forms of subscription which were commitments to defend and adhere to certain doctrine. It was to prevent “error”. In fact what it probably did was preserve error. It didn’t allow us to ask the good questions (as Pamela has) and have the kind of dialogue we have here. In that enviroment you can’t think as you’re walking with God and continuing to read scripture, “that bothers me” and explore it with Him.

    I have had the privilege of walking with Christians from very different backgrounds. We do hold many essential truths in common without much effort, most of them are about Jesus who He is and what He did. I used to teach in a Christian school and among the faculty the church I attended was the “off brand” from everyone else. How I got that job I don’t know. I had one student who would try to bait me on certain issues. Her family was very much into “right doctrine” and wasn’t to happy I was there. I would just steer the conversation back to Jesus and where He was leading her.

    That kind of thinking leads us to believe we have understand it all in order be saved and walking in relationship to the Father when I think all we need to get started is to understand Jesus loves us. The Russian Orthodox kid at our school was told by the Bible teacher he isn’t saved. Well I know that kid; I’m not so sure that’s true. I was taught to believe all Catholics were unsaved (sorry Catholics), but I don’t believe that anymore either.

    I was visiting with Wayne after his talk about the cross. I was processing and changing my thinking. I was feeling a little like I’d misunderstood tha whole gospel all of my life. I was feeling cheated. I realized that my relationship with Him up to that point had to be real. He was only seeking to deepen my understanding of Him. Something I’ld been asking for all of my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t know any truth, but my understanding needed to deepen and mature. It still does. I’ve changed my mind about so many things. I am still processing these institutional church questions Wayne has going on. I only react to ideas when I feel pressure to accept something before the Lord has made me ready. I think we can do great damage to people if we insist they accecpt a truth before the their heart has been made ready by the Holy Spirit. We can teach and write with confidence about the scriptures because that same Holy Spirit is at work helping us to sort it all out. He has it right.

  33. Veritas June 6, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    How do we decide which truths are “essential” and which arent?

    How can a man worship in spirit and in truth if he only thinks one third of what he is saying is true?

    Isn’t pushing people not to push truth pushing a truth on people?

    Shouldn’t we always be speaking truth, for if you aren’t sharing truth, aren’t you speaking a lie?

    Why would a pastor speak unless he plans to speak truth to edify the body for… 2nd Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God breathed and is useful for TEACHING, RUBUKING, CORRECTING AND TRAINING in righteousness.

    I think scripture says it best, and being scripture we know its true, 1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.

    Share truth, do it with respect and love wich is the fullfillment of the law, and basis of our passion for Christ and our desire to see others know him.

    God Bless

  34. Veritas June 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm

    How do we decide which truths are “essential” and which arent?

    How can a man worship in spirit and in truth if he only thinks one third of what he is saying is true?

    Isn’t pushing people not to push truth pushing a truth on people?

    Shouldn’t we always be speaking truth, for if you aren’t sharing truth, aren’t you speaking a lie?

    Why would a pastor speak unless he plans to speak truth to edify the body for… 2nd Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God breathed and is useful for TEACHING, RUBUKING, CORRECTING AND TRAINING in righteousness.

    I think scripture says it best, and being scripture we know its true, 1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.

    Share truth, do it with respect and love wich is the fullfillment of the law, and basis of our passion for Christ and our desire to see others know him.

    God Bless

  35. Sergei June 7, 2007 at 7:31 am

    I really liked the article. We don’t try to carve the truth into people, we sow it into them and watch it grow. Whenever we share the truth, we trust the work of the Spirit of Truth. Only the Spirit of Truth can lead us into all truth; we can’t.

    The problem with zealots without knowledge is that they often mistake their pet doctrine for truth. However, Jesus is the truth. To share the truth is to manifest the life of Jesus in our living. You know – to spread the fragrance of Christ.

    From my experience, I also noticed that zealots without knowledge usually try to protect their institutions, rather than lead people to Jesus Christ.

  36. Sergei June 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I really liked the article. We don’t try to carve the truth into people, we sow it into them and watch it grow. Whenever we share the truth, we trust the work of the Spirit of Truth. Only the Spirit of Truth can lead us into all truth; we can’t.

    The problem with zealots without knowledge is that they often mistake their pet doctrine for truth. However, Jesus is the truth. To share the truth is to manifest the life of Jesus in our living. You know – to spread the fragrance of Christ.

    From my experience, I also noticed that zealots without knowledge usually try to protect their institutions, rather than lead people to Jesus Christ.

  37. Wayne June 8, 2007 at 8:34 am

    “Veritas” (by the way, isn’t that name a bit presumptive? Isn’t Jesus Truth itself?),

    I think you missed the point of what was being said here. My post does not challenge the 100% accuracy and authenticity of the Scriptures, but the flawed interpretations of many who seek to expound on it. Actually, a 30% accuracy rating is far higher than I’ve heard from the vast majority of pulpits and perhaps even higher than in your comment.

    I think the speaker himself has a far higher accuracy rating than that, but I think the humility of ‘I’m still growing in truth” is far more gracefull than the arrogance of, “I know all the truth there is to know.” Even Paul said he knew in part, as through a darkened glass. Isn’t that the essence of this journey, that we are continuing to discover the Truth and learning to live in it with greater joy and freedom?

    I can only assume you misunderstood what I wrote or you’ve never had the joy of of discovering that something you were taught about the Scriptures was a distortion of them and not an accurate interpretation. Some of the most dangerous people out there are those who never seek to ensure that their interpretations of Scripture are as accurate as they can be and not just the flawed conclusions of someone using Scripture to further their own agenda. For they have stopped growing to discover the fullness of truth and the fact that they think they’ve cornered that market is probably reason to stop listening to them.

    And I honestly don’t think it is that hard to assesss those things that Scripture is absolutely clear on that are essentials, and those things that brothers and sisters can see a bit differently as Spirit continues to lead them into all truth. Even Paul and the other apostles made room for such differences and encouraged us to continued growth in the Truth and not the assumption that they had arrived at the end of it in this age.

    Wayne

  38. Wayne June 8, 2007 at 11:34 am

    “Veritas” (by the way, isn’t that name a bit presumptive? Isn’t Jesus Truth itself?),

    I think you missed the point of what was being said here. My post does not challenge the 100% accuracy and authenticity of the Scriptures, but the flawed interpretations of many who seek to expound on it. Actually, a 30% accuracy rating is far higher than I’ve heard from the vast majority of pulpits and perhaps even higher than in your comment.

    I think the speaker himself has a far higher accuracy rating than that, but I think the humility of ‘I’m still growing in truth” is far more gracefull than the arrogance of, “I know all the truth there is to know.” Even Paul said he knew in part, as through a darkened glass. Isn’t that the essence of this journey, that we are continuing to discover the Truth and learning to live in it with greater joy and freedom?

    I can only assume you misunderstood what I wrote or you’ve never had the joy of of discovering that something you were taught about the Scriptures was a distortion of them and not an accurate interpretation. Some of the most dangerous people out there are those who never seek to ensure that their interpretations of Scripture are as accurate as they can be and not just the flawed conclusions of someone using Scripture to further their own agenda. For they have stopped growing to discover the fullness of truth and the fact that they think they’ve cornered that market is probably reason to stop listening to them.

    And I honestly don’t think it is that hard to assesss those things that Scripture is absolutely clear on that are essentials, and those things that brothers and sisters can see a bit differently as Spirit continues to lead them into all truth. Even Paul and the other apostles made room for such differences and encouraged us to continued growth in the Truth and not the assumption that they had arrived at the end of it in this age.

    Wayne

  39. Veritas June 11, 2007 at 11:03 am

    “Wayne” First off, I meant no harm sir. These questions are earnest one I struggle with in my own life. Your views on many things are very different than mine. I appreciate hearing different views because it forces me to conceder my one in a more critical way. My questions were honest. You seemed to have taken them perhaps personally and that was not my intent. My intent is at best to discover that truth which is Gods, and at least to draw a little closer to that goal.

    “Veritas” is simply and handle, I selected it after reading your blog entry because it seemed appropriate, not because I claim to be truth, that would, I agree be absurd and arrogant. It is simply a relavant name my friend.

    Just as a curiosity, my post was only about 10 percent statement. Since %90 percent of it was either a question or quoting scripture itself, as I agree with you that God alone is truth and scripture is inerrant, how exactly could I obtain a less than %30 percent accuracy rating? Is asking a question inherently wrong, or was the scripture I quoted wrong?

    I don’t intend to be completely critical. I also appreciate, and like any other human who is not omniscient, must accept that there is much I do not know, much that I still must learn, and expect that some of what I know now will indeed change as I learn more. I don’t deny this, again it would be silly to do so because we know from scripture that God alone is omniscient and we can never have that expectation of ourselves even when we are reborn into Glory.

    Yet my question still remains. It is a question to myself, as much as to others, for the encouraging of thought, how then do we make an assertion. I do not know what speaker or author you are talking about so I have no idea if I agree or disagree with him, but that point is virtually irrelevant. I say it only so you know I don’t intend disrespect or malice to him, because I don’t even know him. I would have a tremendous amount of fear speaking, especially in an instructive way about the truth himself, God, if I was so unsure of what I was saying. He may have been %100 correct in everything he said, but my point is how does a man speak without substantial fear, if he does not know if he speaks truth. If we can’t know the truth even if we accept that there is one, why do we try to speak it.

    I would even ask with respect, if we should be so unsure of the things we say how can any man claim that he is probably more right than %30, or that most pastors fall far below that rating as you have said. How does a man come to a point where he feels he is able to determine the accuracy of another man without assuming he himself knows the truth. I don’t ask that question to be critical but because I am sincerely curious about how you yourself make those judgments as a man who loves and follows Christ as I do, because I myself don’t often know how to make them. I have spent much time lately looking at many differing opinions on a great number of topics and see so much disagreement yet I know we have a God of truth, not a God of opinion. How do you yourself determine these things? Is there a system for the discovery of truth? Is it entirely spirit led? I have met men who dearly love the Lord who disagree, yet both live lives which are honoring to the Lord, but have apposing opinions that can’t both be true.

    In this blog it has been said that men who use scripture for their own agenda are dangerous, I of course passionately agree. We are not here to create any agenda but to live a life in the passionate love of God and to follow his leading and will. I pray earnestly I can do that. How though do we determine the rightness of one man, and the wrongness of another without making serious truth claims, and if we can’t make truth claims, than we can’t say that a man is using scripture for his own purposes because that would be claiming that a specific scripture has a singular and specific interpretation and that we understand it and others don’t.

    So you see, my questions still remain. Which truths are the essentials that we should not budge on. Salvation? Church Polity? Spiritual Disciplines? Is there any? If we are honestly attempting to fulfill the great commission of discipleship which of these must we share as necessary to those ho seek to live a life that demonstrates our love for God, when Christ says that those who love him obey him commands?

    Christ does tell the woman at the well that we are to worship in spirit and in truth. In order to worship in truth we would have to know it. What is that method of knowing it, or have I misunderstood the intent of the scripture?

    Again, if we make assertions for the purpose of instruction with the though that those assertions will likely be nullified later on, wouldn’t it be wiser to not make that assertion to begin with? If we present that assertion with the disclaimer that it could very possibly be untrue so others don’t assume it is truth, then why would anyone want to hear it?

    I understand you probably with not post this due to it’s length, if in any way however you could post a response, I would truly like to know how you view and deal these topics. They are issues I personally am trying to understand as I go into the world and attempt to fulfill my calling to love God, and love others with the understanding that the most loving thing I can do for others is show them my love of God, and his glory as seen on the cross which enabled our relationship with him.

    Thanks for the help,

    Veritas

  40. Veritas June 11, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    “Wayne” First off, I meant no harm sir. These questions are earnest one I struggle with in my own life. Your views on many things are very different than mine. I appreciate hearing different views because it forces me to conceder my one in a more critical way. My questions were honest. You seemed to have taken them perhaps personally and that was not my intent. My intent is at best to discover that truth which is Gods, and at least to draw a little closer to that goal.

    “Veritas” is simply and handle, I selected it after reading your blog entry because it seemed appropriate, not because I claim to be truth, that would, I agree be absurd and arrogant. It is simply a relavant name my friend.

    Just as a curiosity, my post was only about 10 percent statement. Since %90 percent of it was either a question or quoting scripture itself, as I agree with you that God alone is truth and scripture is inerrant, how exactly could I obtain a less than %30 percent accuracy rating? Is asking a question inherently wrong, or was the scripture I quoted wrong?

    I don’t intend to be completely critical. I also appreciate, and like any other human who is not omniscient, must accept that there is much I do not know, much that I still must learn, and expect that some of what I know now will indeed change as I learn more. I don’t deny this, again it would be silly to do so because we know from scripture that God alone is omniscient and we can never have that expectation of ourselves even when we are reborn into Glory.

    Yet my question still remains. It is a question to myself, as much as to others, for the encouraging of thought, how then do we make an assertion. I do not know what speaker or author you are talking about so I have no idea if I agree or disagree with him, but that point is virtually irrelevant. I say it only so you know I don’t intend disrespect or malice to him, because I don’t even know him. I would have a tremendous amount of fear speaking, especially in an instructive way about the truth himself, God, if I was so unsure of what I was saying. He may have been %100 correct in everything he said, but my point is how does a man speak without substantial fear, if he does not know if he speaks truth. If we can’t know the truth even if we accept that there is one, why do we try to speak it.

    I would even ask with respect, if we should be so unsure of the things we say how can any man claim that he is probably more right than %30, or that most pastors fall far below that rating as you have said. How does a man come to a point where he feels he is able to determine the accuracy of another man without assuming he himself knows the truth. I don’t ask that question to be critical but because I am sincerely curious about how you yourself make those judgments as a man who loves and follows Christ as I do, because I myself don’t often know how to make them. I have spent much time lately looking at many differing opinions on a great number of topics and see so much disagreement yet I know we have a God of truth, not a God of opinion. How do you yourself determine these things? Is there a system for the discovery of truth? Is it entirely spirit led? I have met men who dearly love the Lord who disagree, yet both live lives which are honoring to the Lord, but have apposing opinions that can’t both be true.

    In this blog it has been said that men who use scripture for their own agenda are dangerous, I of course passionately agree. We are not here to create any agenda but to live a life in the passionate love of God and to follow his leading and will. I pray earnestly I can do that. How though do we determine the rightness of one man, and the wrongness of another without making serious truth claims, and if we can’t make truth claims, than we can’t say that a man is using scripture for his own purposes because that would be claiming that a specific scripture has a singular and specific interpretation and that we understand it and others don’t.

    So you see, my questions still remain. Which truths are the essentials that we should not budge on. Salvation? Church Polity? Spiritual Disciplines? Is there any? If we are honestly attempting to fulfill the great commission of discipleship which of these must we share as necessary to those ho seek to live a life that demonstrates our love for God, when Christ says that those who love him obey him commands?

    Christ does tell the woman at the well that we are to worship in spirit and in truth. In order to worship in truth we would have to know it. What is that method of knowing it, or have I misunderstood the intent of the scripture?

    Again, if we make assertions for the purpose of instruction with the though that those assertions will likely be nullified later on, wouldn’t it be wiser to not make that assertion to begin with? If we present that assertion with the disclaimer that it could very possibly be untrue so others don’t assume it is truth, then why would anyone want to hear it?

    I understand you probably with not post this due to it’s length, if in any way however you could post a response, I would truly like to know how you view and deal these topics. They are issues I personally am trying to understand as I go into the world and attempt to fulfill my calling to love God, and love others with the understanding that the most loving thing I can do for others is show them my love of God, and his glory as seen on the cross which enabled our relationship with him.

    Thanks for the help,

    Veritas

  41. Pamela June 12, 2007 at 6:52 am

    Wayne,

    I’m with you 1000%. When I quit attending the last club several years back I said to the Lord the following (in essence):

    “Lord I’m starting over my walk with you. I will proceed with the following assumptions:
    1 – I am saved by Your blood and nothing will take that from me.
    2 – You have filled me with your precious Holy Spirit who is my true teacher.
    3 – That you love me beyond measure.
    Everything else that I ever thought was right is subject to change.”

    I have changed so much the past 2-3 years that I do not recognize myself at times. The journey has been really interesting and wonderful. It has been a whole lot easier than before. I’m so grateful. The issue for me has not be just what I believed but more the change in relationship with the Lord. This site has had a big part in the process of change.

  42. Pamela June 12, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Wayne,

    I’m with you 1000%. When I quit attending the last club several years back I said to the Lord the following (in essence):

    “Lord I’m starting over my walk with you. I will proceed with the following assumptions:
    1 – I am saved by Your blood and nothing will take that from me.
    2 – You have filled me with your precious Holy Spirit who is my true teacher.
    3 – That you love me beyond measure.
    Everything else that I ever thought was right is subject to change.”

    I have changed so much the past 2-3 years that I do not recognize myself at times. The journey has been really interesting and wonderful. It has been a whole lot easier than before. I’m so grateful. The issue for me has not be just what I believed but more the change in relationship with the Lord. This site has had a big part in the process of change.

Comments are closed.