Shows Main 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.
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.
Guard Against False Continuums
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.
Being Sympathetic – Being Precise
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?”
Discern the Group and the Practice
There are several ways you can discern if a person or group is being theological precise in their sanctification practices:
- Does the Bible teach or imply the ideas you are learning?
- Do these teachers have a high view of Scripture? How do you know?
- Are these soul care providers willing to lower their view of God’s Word because they are helping people?
- Do soul care providers have a high view of the family and the local church? Are they helping the church while directing folks to the church for long-term soul care?
- Have you fallen for pragmatism: This book, person, or group helped me see something that I did not see previously, so I’m going to follow and promote them even though they do compromise Bible sufficiency, specifically in sanctification practices.
- Are you sentimentally attached to this book, person, or group because of the help that you received from them? This “emotional connection” does not have to be a bad thing, if the person or group you’re following are practicing theological precision in their sanctification practices.
- Do you know how to discern if a book, person, or group is a solid adherent to a sufficiency of Scripture view of sanctification?
- Are you able to speak to the person or group to help them change?
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.