There are a lot of “helpful organizations” in our world today, advocating many good causes. I would not want to disparage any of them for the good they are doing. Where we (and other organizations like ours) are different is when it comes to the integrity of gospel, specifically in the area of sanctification. Without being unkind because of the good they are doing, I want to be discerning and clear about their lack of biblical sufficiency in the sphere of sanctification.
There can be a false continuum between a good-hearted cause and their theological precision. These organizations want to help–a good thing, but they use secular or integrated means to accomplish their goals. Where this practice can trip-up Christians is when they have this “ah-ha” moment by perusing their material.
I read their stuff, and the light came on; it changed my life.
From that point, they become a “follower” or advocate of the organization or individual. Their reaction to being helped is pragmatism: it’s all in the results.
Of course, when people like me come along and speak against it, the “helped person” is sentimentally and emotionally attached to the book, person, or program, and they lash out for speaking against something that was so beneficial to them.
While I don’t condone harshness in these matters, I do believe it is critical that our precision in sanctification practices be as tight as our theological precision.
I would not want you to hear a lack of sympathy for any “means” that God may use to help anyone, but I do want to be compassionately critical about the dangers of “following” individuals, organizations, and practices that compromise theological sanctification.
Christians are much quicker to speak out against a lack of theological precision but can be oblivious to a lack of “sufficiency of Scripture” in their sanctification practices. The biggest problem is pragmatism: “They helped me, and that is all that matters.”
You see this kind of pragmatism all the time in our Christian medicated culture. “My son was helped when he took this drug. Why do you have an issue with meds as a solution?”
There are several ways you can discern if a person or group is being theological precise in their sanctification practices:
Fundamental Idea: God can use nearly any means to help someone, but that does not mean you should hook your wagon to those who helped you, especially if they are compromising the Bible.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).