The commonest threat toward sin plaguing believers everywhere, and throughout history, is the human-created God. The rank importance of aligning our lives to the radical but truth-filled biblical plumbline is set forth:
“We must avoid the danger of corrupting our knowledge of God by substituting a human caricature of what God should be like for the revelation he has given in Scripture of what he really is.”
~John L. Mackay
This is a sobering reality in line with the first Mosaic commandment of God: “you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
Our eyes need to be continually opened to the travesty of drawing a God out of the Bible that hardly resembles the Lord; that believes in either an inadequate or an inauthentic version of God with which to inform and indwell our faith.
Why would we choose a powerless lie when we can have the powerful truth? But such a truth bears to us a cost; often, discomfort and pain in the midst of such power.
Analysing “Orthodoxy” And “Heresy”
These terms, throughout the history of our faith, have often been twisted around, upon and over one another. For instance, the dogma of coercive authority (orthodoxy) has often later been found heretical, and some so-called heresies (e.g. many theologies of the Reformation period) have actually been found orthodox to widespread biblical and scholarly understanding.
So, what was proclaimed, originally, as orthodox and heretical wasn’t necessarily so.
The importance of these concepts is rooted, always, in the fullest possible understanding of the complete biblical text—no one passage, book, genre, or Testament raised higher of significance than the unified whole. The whole Bible is what we believe, without picking verses out to suit our situations, biases, or arguments.
It is a key to God-abiding belief that we surrender our preferences and be informed in obedience through established, balanced and complete biblical orthodoxy. Just as important, we must hold to a view of Spiritual interrogation that allows the Holy Spirit’s discovery of heretical thinking; the substitution of God for a human caricature of what we, personally, think God should be like.
We need to be patently aware of our flesh-bound propensity to create a God—not of the Bible—that suits our own personal, carnal ends.
Aiming For A God-Approved (Adequate And Authentic) Faith
Merely the fact that we might commit to the above goal—to the establishment of a God-approved faith, based on a balanced and complete understanding and application of Bible truth—means we will never stop our search; the very fact of our faith requires the search to be never-ending, insatiable, and ever-purposeful.
This is the healthiest spiritual outcome of all, guaranteeing that humility is the ardent driving force behind our edification and practical application of faith.
Obeying God is about abiding to the Word and Spirit of the Lord. We must continue to come back, again and again, to what the Bible actually says; resisting the temptation to self-select verses and understanding for our ends, or make it say what it doesn’t.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.