Friday, September 11, 2009

Intro: HOLY UNBELIEF (part 1 of 6-- Insights from 1 John 4:1-6)

1 John 4:1-6 (NIV)
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

*** *** ***

If you have watched debates, you may have noticed that a debate starts with a proposition. One will be on the affirmative side; another on the negative side. A college debate may have this proposition: “Charter change will be beneficial to our nation”. One will agree with the proposition, one side will disagree. Then the debate happens.

When the Word of God expressed in propositions is preached, we must accept it as it is. We have no right to reject it. We don’t even have the right to propose amendments to the word of God. The word of God is perfect, so to modify it or revise it is indeed to destroy it. Spiritual people are believers. They say “AMEN” to biblical propositions.

But there is also a sense where spiritual men must not believe. The Macarthur Study Bible describes it as “healthy skepticism”—“doubting the validity of what is being said". Aside from John Macarthur, I will quote other respected bible teachers who espouse the same thing:

S. Lewis Johnson: "just as belief is an aspect of spiritual maturity so is unbelief a mark of spiritual maturity. In other words, to believe not certain things is just as significant as to believe other things" (a sermon titled "Test the Spirits")

Ray Stedman "To be a Christian you must be a believer, but it is equally true that every Christian is also called to be an unbeliever. There is a time when unbelief is the only right thing. The very same Scriptures which encourage us to believe likewise urge us not to believe. In fact they not only urge us, they command us not to believe. This is no contradiction, any more than to say that in order to live it is necessary both to inhale and to exhale. These are contradictory things: you cannot inhale and exhale at the same time, but both are absolutely necessary to maintain life." (Life in the Son, Expository Studies in 1 John)

You see, not all propositions are true.
Some are lies such as:

“Ang uling ay kulay puti”

“Ang yelo ay mainit”

“Si Bro. Manny ay guwapo” (I hope my mother will take the affirmative side; How about modifying the proposition by adding the word “medyo”… hahaha)

Not all propositions stated by a teacher/preacher are biblical. There are times when what is being taught has no scriptural basis. Even worse, there are times when a doctrine being stated directly opposes what the bible teaches. There are times when the holy man must withhold his “Amen”, even when everybody are shouting “Amen”. In some circumstances, to believe is evil and to doubt or disbelieve is holy.


No comments:

Post a Comment