Many teachings and practices in contemporary evangelical culture trouble me so deeply that I feel compelled to comment on them. Each time we attempt to blend Scripture and worldly wisdom, we erode God’s Word just a little bit more. We institute the same errors (repackaged so that we don’t recognize them) that the writers of the New Testament epistles sought to correct. While I grieve that 21st Century evangelicals have repeated the mistakes of the 1st Century, I welcome the opportunity to stand for Biblical Christianity.
Having said the above, I see a danger in focusing so tightly on the problems within evangelical circles that we lose sight of Christ Himself. I advocate for sound doctrine, yes. Absolutely! But I don’t regard sound doctrine as an end in itself. Rather, I cherish it as the means the Holy Spirit has provided to reveal Christ to us.
As Biblical doctrine reveals both Christ’s nature and His perspective on a variety of matters, I gain intimate knowledge of Him. I know how He views various issues because Scripture addresses those issues. Therefore, I read the Bible out of my desire to know Him and adjust my life in accordance with His values. I study His Word as abundantly more than an intellectual exercise (although I definitely engage my mind), but also as impetus to worship Him.
Let me show you one of my very favorite passages of Scripture:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~~Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)
I love this passage because it teaches Christ’s deity, His majesty and His humility in dying for us. I can’t read it without being drawn to worship Him as my Creator and my Redeemer, as well as the centerpoint of His creation! These rich words remind me that everything revolves around Him to bring Him the honor and glory that He alone deserves!
Understanding doctrine and proper application of Biblical principles can’t serve merely to stimulate our intellect. As 1 Corinthians 8:1 says, knowledge for its own sake does little more than inflate the ego. I will examine false teachings and disturbing trends within evangelical circles, measuring them against the Word of God, but not for the purpose of impressing people with any theological skill I might have. Instead, I desire to draw you back to the Bible’s purity, which in turn will turn your attention to the Lord Jesus Christ.