A wise pastor I know made a profound statement that has stuck with me through the years: Heresy is truth out of balance.
I read my Bible. I have been in church for most of my life. I’ve heard sermons, participated in Sunday School lessons and listened to teaching on tapes and the radio from sound expositors of the Word. So it is unlikely that I would fall headlong into chasing after a wildly twisted theology that bore little resemblance to biblical truth.
But, I can be seduced into taking tiny baby steps away from the straight line of doctrine and look up one day only to realize that I am miles from where I thought I was headed.
The Pharisees clung tenaciously to the Law until they excluded grace.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he addressed the opposite extreme, answering the argument that if grace was so abundant, then perhaps one should sin more so that grace could be made more evident:
Now what is our response to be? Shall we sin to our heart’s content and see how far we can exploit the grace of God? What a ghastly thought! ~Romans 6:1, 2a Phillips
Grieving the loss of a child, I am forced to face and balance questions that I thought I had once settled firmly in my mind:
- Is God good?
- Is God in control?
- Is there a heaven?
- Is the blood of Christ sufficient to cover all sin?
- Why does God save (physically) some people and not others?
- Why do bad things happen to “good” people?
- What, exactly, does God want from me?
- Does God love me?
And if all I do is roll them around in my mind, depending on my own reasoning , I am at risk of answering my queries in a way that may seem right but which might actually be far from the truth.
There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, But its end is the way of death. ~Proverbs 14:12 AMP
Or if I look to other people and their lives, I am limited by what I see–which is never the whole picture.
So I must meditate on the Word and balance my interpretation in light of the whole counsel of Scripture as well as being honest about my own feelings and experience. I must ask God through His Spirit to “lead me into all truth”.
And when I find it, I must cling to it with all my might and refused to be uprooted by the winds of sorrow and pain.
“Make them ready for your service [Sanctify them; Consecrate them; setting them apart for service] through your truth; your ·teaching [word] is truth.”
~John 17:17 EXB