Jesus said a house divided cannot stand, and the enemy of our souls has launched some fantastically successful schemes to divide and bring down the "House of God."
He will not succeed in the bringing down part of course, but popular doctrines have become so divisive, and the thought police have become so fearsome, that it has become just about impossible for Christians to talk about anything with other professing Christians without adding numerous qualifying statements, so others will not tune us out and end the conversation before anything of significance is really said.
I used the term, "professing" Christians, because some may only be that. That is a personal matter with each individual, but salvation is always worth making sure of, and especially so if antagonism towards Bible Study is present.
Below are a few topics that Christians are sharply divided on
- Salvation? Are you Reformed Calvinist or something else?
- Creation? Are you old earth or young earth?
- Marriage and Culture? Are you complementarian or egalitarian (feminist!)
These are hot topics. And I mean HOT.
Many Christians cannot discuss these topics (and many others) with those who do not see eye to eye with them, without resorting to name calling, libeling and labeling, and outright demeaning and condemning the other side to hell.
This is not right. Truth has nothing to fear from study or discussion.
To prevent productive conversations from taking place, leaders have become expert at programming trusting sheep to chant mantras and slogans that suspend critical thought and signal the end of any productive conversation. Disagreement and unity are compatible, except when mantras and slogans relay the message of, "Our minds are made up. If you disagree with me, you are unworthy of my attention or respect. Speak to the hand."
Ask yourself the questions, "Does my side demonize all who take a different position? Is my position defended with thought suspending mantras and slogans, terms that cannot be found in scripture, or fear that I may not be saved if I do not completely embrace a certain doctrine? If the answer is "Yes" to any of these questions, what would be the harm in taking Bible in hand, and at least exploring other theological positions.
Professing Christians, trusting sheep, are following Pied Piper shepherds en mass, and to an alarming degree, have become automatons, with little to no ability [or desire] to "search the scriptures and see if these things are so."
Christians never learned such mindlessness and herd mentality from God or the Bible. The Word of God instructs us to study to show ourselves approved, and to test all things. Even God himself, challenged his people to test him. That's in Malachi. If the majority of Christians were doing that, the Christian community, as a whole, would look and behave very differently than it does at present.This is not a gentle admonition, I know. My heart is vexed and grieved with what I see going on within the professing Body of Christ. it is time to open our Bibles daily and gain a working knowledge of the Bible for ourselves--rather than parroting what we hear our pastors say.
It is time to fall to our knees and repent from exalting favorite teachers and pet doctrines above the Word of God and above the Spirit of God.
God's House will not fall, but if we do not prayerfully seek the Lord and receive a love of the truth, our house might.