Over the last 20-plus years as a believer in Christ, I have “followed” many big name Christians and their theology. I can remember listening to Charles Stanley and Chuck Swindoll, early on. I remember James Dobson was a favorite. As time went on, after personal investigation, without any outside influence, I began expanding my reading through questions I had with biblical text. My movement found me looking into biblical counseling and toward reformed theology, a.k.a. the doctrines of grace. This put me onto such famous leaders as John MacArthur, Al Mohler, and others that they conference with regularly. I acquired and read many books on reformed theology and eventually to pursing and achieving my MDiv (Master of Divinity) from the SBTS (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).
What is my point to all of this? If I was around in Jesus’ day, I would most likely have been hanging around or following after the likes of the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees. If a little after Jesus’ day, the likes of Saul (who became converted and had a name change to Paul) and his followers. I would have hung on most words they spoke and been vulnerable to their doctrinal beliefs, even at times, without researching for myself. These were the same leaders who stood in front of Jesus and told Him and His disciples that Jesus did miracles by the power of Satan. These are the same ones who railed against Him for feeding hungry people on the Sabbath by telling them to grab grain from the field and eat. These were the same ones who eventually took hold of Jesus and had Him flogged and crucified.
Again, what is the point? The point is, without seeking God’s truth and following it wherever it leads, I would have been stuck with pedigrees of “great” theologians (like the leaders of Jesus’ days and the leaders of the modern church today). I would have stood in the greatest of company, just like Saul (Paul) and sung the party tune. However, would I have been truly following God and seeking His face or would I have been seeking other glory for myself?
My food for thought is this: Was I (or am I still), are you, walking as blindly as the leaders of the Temple/synagogue of Jesus’ day? Was I (or am I still), are you, blinded by modern day preachers and theologians view of scripture, just as the followers of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day? Do I/you need to step back and look afresh at scripture without rose-colored glasses on (through denominational traditions and teachings)? Will I/you commit to re-reading the Word of God, the Bible, with as few presuppositions and outside influence as possible and follow God’s truth wherever it leads? My commitment from day one as a new believer in January 1992 was to follow God’s truth wherever it would lead me and to submit to it as best I knew how. I have faltered in many ways in that endeavor, but my hearts’ motivation is still that: to seek God where He may be found and serve Him and His truth as best I can, even if it meant to lose my family, my possessions, my standing/job, and my life.
I encourage you to join that journey and truly investigate Jesus through His teachings. After all, He is the Word of God made flesh. I believe that the truth of God and His plan for us is wrapped up into the same the belief the ealry Christians held, that of universal salvation for all mankind. No one will escape God’s judgment, but better still, no one will escape His love either! Chew on this food for awhile and if I can point you to His truth, I would be honored and privileged to do so.
May you truly seek His love and truth and may you be won over this day by God’s unending love for you! Repent and believe today that it may go well for you during this life and spare you some harsher judgment in the life to come. Blessings to you!