Friday, September 10, 2010

Test the Spirits

Something woefully lacking in the church today is the ability (and dare I say willingness) of the average Christian to test what they are being taught.  It's all part and parcel of the old "itching ears" that I've written about before (1 Tim 4:3-4).  The reasons for it are too numerous to mention, but the fact is it exists and it needs to stop if the church is to be used of God the way He wants to and the way we all want Him to.

In 1 Th 5:21 we are told, "Test everything. Hold on to the good." Then, in 1 Jn 4:1 we hear, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Preachers and teachers today have done an excellent job of persuading the church to keep their mouths shut and to just accept what they hear.  Oftentimes people who question their pastors/leaders are labeled as rebellious, and they often take it as a personal attack.  However, that is not what we see in the scriptures.  In Acts 17:11 we see that testing teaching is actually a noble undertaking: "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." And this was no ordinary preacher they were testing - it was none other than the Apostle Paul!  If Paul was to be tested, then why should any preacher or teacher today feel slighted when their audiences do the same?

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