Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Be The Berean!

A few years ago when my bride and I were church shopping we stopped into the Mountain View Church of the Holy Migraine, there they played "music" at such levels that my ears, deadened by years of working on heavy bomber aircraft, began to ache. After the aural and spiritual assault was over the preacher took the stage and began to speak.

And what a speech it was! Filled with unending bible verses delivered at a rate of fire that would make any heavy infantry company proud. Luckily I had my cell phone loaded with the YouVersion bible app and I punched in the book, chapter, and verse as fast as he could spit them out and found very quickly that he wasn't preaching the word of God, he was speaking a God flavored, feel good, self improvement seminar. Not one verse was actually used in context, and not a single verse was used in its entirety, and most verses used in their entirety and in context had little to nothing to do with what he was speaking about.

If I had looked I'm pretty sure I would have found that I was almost alone in researching the verses this speaker was referring to. There were no bibles available in the church and I don't remember seeing anyone carrying a bible. What I do remember is vowing never to return, and I haven't. We found a home in a small church, filled with mostly older people, lead by a Godly man who is occasionally drown out by the sound of turning bible pages. Could there ever be a sweeter sound?

A lot of my fellow Bereans at our church home came from churches where the Bible is supposedly taught, but it's not used. We are now delighting in a church that encourages Bible study and exploration, our pastor delights in our raising questions, it shows him that we're into God's word.

In several churches I've visited the sheep sit passively absorbing what ever the pastor says, apparently not caring that he may not be giving them the correct Gospel. This is something we're not allowed to do, John told us that we need to double check everything 
Beloved, 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. (1 John 4:1)
How many false teachers would be relegated to towel drying cars at the local car wash if Christians were taught from the beginning to study God's word and test what they hear? Would people like Steven Furtick have his own cult? Would Mars Hill Church still exist?  Would the tens of thousands led astray by Beth Moore no longer be in danger of damnation? What about David Jeremiah? Would the Mormon church be just an embarrassing footnote in history?

Brothers and sisters, embrace your inner Berean, follow your pastors verses and references, use a quality translation, one that you can read comfortably. Highlight, underline, sidenote, pray for clarification, and talk to your pastor. If you can't approach your pastor with a question on his teaching, why are you in that church? Then encourage your fellows to do the same. It's the right thing to do.
10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men. (Acts 17:10-12)

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