JUST THE WAY IT
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
—1 Corinthians 1:10
Consider the teachings we hold fast to, that which is found in the word of God. What does the text teach? Not that we simply believe, but we understand the truth the Scriptures teach. Truths like fellowship must first be vertical (between man and God) before it can be horizontal (between one Christian and another). As a result of such truth, not all who believe Jesus to be the Son of God are right with God or have fellowship w/ Him. We too have fellowship with those who are true Christians, those who came to Christ as the Scriptures teach, and are living obedient to the Gospel. The Scriptures are infallible, uncorrupted, and perfect just the way they are as they came from the perfect mind of God. What the Bible has to say about fellowship, scriptural baptism, proper weekly observance of the Lord’s supper, entrance into the kingdom of God, the qualification for elders and deacons, and other Scriptural facts are not subject to debate, and should not be accepted or denied based on personal beliefs, feelings, or the opinions of men. 1 Corinthians 14:33 records that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. So, for us to have different opinions on the Scriptures, or for us to come to different conclusions regarding this verse or that verse cannot and should not be something we chalk up to our different interpretations of the Scriptures. Either I’m right and you’re wrong, either you’re right and I’m wrong, or we are both wrong because we both cannot be right. Should I look at the mural painted behind the pulpit and say of the blue water in that painting, “The water in this painting is black” and you say “No, the water is blue” how can we both be right? Either it’s blue, or it’s black, but it’s not both. We understand that it is an objective fact not a subjective opinion that the water is blue, and therefore is not a matter of opinion but a statement of truth.
But some have claimed and criticized Christians for being too narrow in our thinking. Arguing that we cannot look at the word of God in such a way to say that one person is right, and another person is wrong for having different opinions or coming to different conclusions. And why not? Why are these arguments that all can be correct not only presented, but also accepted when it comes to the Bible but almost nowhere else? When I participated in a spelling bee as a child (either first or second grade) I was asked to spell the word “GOES.” My friend who was before me was asked to spell the same word, and his answer was “G-O-S-E.” In my mind I thought “Nailed it, good job Chris!” So, when I heard he was wrong I panicked because that was how I believed it was spelled and I was going to be asked to spell it next. Having never spelled that word before, I repeated the previous spelling, “G-O-S-E” and walked off. Could I have argued “Well that’s the way I spell the word, and we can both spell the word differently and still be right.”? While that would have been an expected response from a 7 year old, it would not have been accepted. Yet the religious world accepts such ridiculous responses when it comes to differences regarding the holy text, “You have your opinion/interpretation/beliefs and I have mine” is often what is uttered and what is considered an acceptable answer to Scriptural differences. But is this acceptable to God? The Bible is not confusing, it is not something that is impossible to understand, nor it is a “choose your own ending” type of book in which we pick and choose the outcome we wish to see. We cannot disagree with the truth of the Scriptures and think God will accept our understanding. There is a proper way to interpret and understand the Scriptures. God did not leave us His word and leave it up to us how we respond to it. Though we have free will, such free will does not include the liberty to misinterpret and misunderstand truth and still be doing well…and that’s just the way it GOES, not the way it GOSE.