I can hardly describe the number of times someone of authority in the church say’s something like we read our Bible too much, or we need heart knowledge not head knowledge. Now I agree that there is a ring of truth in needing heart knowledge and action in that direction in the church.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
But the context they speak in often spins that applying biblical truth or focusing on doctrine is negative behavior. Frankly in my observation I have yet to meet someone walled up and reading their Bible too much. Perhaps people are reading too many popular author’s or the popular mega-pastor’s but I can’t recall anyone sinning by reading the Bible too much. One might call this a straw man argument.
In any event I love the way Mike Ratliff speaks about truth and doctrine in this article. He says:
“God is allowing this, but that does not mean that we give in to it. We must cling to the truth and never allow the Gospel to become corrupted nor heresy to preached from our pulpits or false doctrines to be part of our doctrines. We may suffer for doing that, but we can do it by God’s grace.”
“Those who deny that we need doctrine and creeds and such are those who are enslaved to the flesh and do not want to hear the condemnation against their sinful lifestyles coming from those doctrines and creeds. What they are overlooking though is that those doctrines and creeds are totally biblical. They are based entirely within the Bible and in no way take away from it or add to it.“
This is one reason I still teach the Westminster Confession Study Class at our church and we still read the Catechism, and say the Apostles Creed. But the primary focus in the class is to search the scriptures to confirm that what is being taugh is actually in the Bible…..not neglecting any part.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Perhaps the next time I hear someone complain about head knowledge of the Bible I will be bold enough to challenge their statement!
by Mike Ratliff
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and…
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