I recently came across a rather interesting anonymous quote,
"Assume nothing, question everything, open your eyes...", and it got me thinking about a similar statement in the Bible.
1 John 4:1 says,
"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."
In a previous post I gave a couple of instances of worrisome happenings in the Christian community and I how it seems that people forget to use their brains when circumstances call for it.
On second thoughts I realized that those examples are obvious ones which should arouse suspicion straight away in even the youngest Christian.
There are, however, some teachings that are so subtle in their inherent deceitfulness that it takes the spirit of discernment to detect. It has nothing to do with intellect, theology or human wisdom, but everything to do with the Spirit of God who indwells every true child of His.
The problem is that many believers do not take the time to study the Word for themselves. They lap up every teaching that proceeds out of the mouth of their prefered 'man of God', and do not bother to find out if the quoted Scriptures have been taken in or out of context.
Someone once quipped that you could justify just about anything by quoting a passage of Scripture out of context! The only way around this is to take the time to study not just the relevant verse that suits our purpose, but the entire chapter and even neighbouring chapters if need be, to get the full picture.
Be like the Bereans who, "were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts 17:11)
That was written about the great Apostle! They weren't blinded by the fact that it was Paul speaking, they still went ahead and confirmed everything he said. This should be the norm with us Christians, no matter who the great 'man of God' is. Human beings are simply that, human! As long as we remain in this physical body, we're all prone to mistakes, pastors, teachers and prophets inclusive.
The only way to avoid dangerous pitfalls is by studying "to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
So the next time something doesn't sit right with your spirit, don't brush it aside. Question, question, question!!!