Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Can you imagine a world in which graduates of, let's say MIT, were expected to use only what they were taught in school -- no use of imagination, no research, no trial and error of new ideas. What if what is taught in medical school today was all we would ever know about medicine? It's a ludicrous thought, that education and the body of knowledge is a finite thing, right? Take the closing of the US Patent Office in 1830; the assumption was that everything that could be invented, had been. If we had continued to operated under that assumption, there would be no heart bypass surgery, no PC's, no Harley-Davidsons, no airbags, no central heat and air, no As-Seen-on-TV products, no minivans, no Nobel prizes. In fact, if we had always thought this way, we'd still be dragging our fresh-killed deer home, eating it sitting around fires, instead of throwing it into the back of a pick-up and cooking it in a dutch oven at 350F. There is no area of knowledge where it is assumed that everything we should know has already been learned.
Except perhaps when it comes to the knowledge of God. Seminaries, Bible colleges and denominations in general all have a tendency to insist that what they teach you is all you're supposed to believe and all you're supposed to walk in. God, the only infinity that exists, is the one thing we're not supposed to really pursue knowledge of outside the boundaries of the church we got saved in or the school we went to.
Where would we be today if Martin Luther had never studied the Bible on his own and challenged the church of the day, bringing about the Protestant Reformation? God was not a new thing to be discovered in Luther's day -- He was already the Ancient of Days, He had already sent Jesus, millions had already known Him and scholars had already studied Him. Yet it is only because one brave soul said, "Wait a minute...I think we may be missing something here," that we have the degree of freedom in Christ we do have today.
Do you think there's no more revelation to be revealed? No more truth to be unearthed? Not by a long shot, because God is all and knows all, He created all, is all wisdom and all knowledge, and you can never learn everything there is to know about an infinite being. While there is nothing new under the sun, there is always more to be found in our infinite God -- more love, more blessings, more revelation, more provision, more knowledge, more wisdom, more, more, more!
Man's understanding leads only to destruction. There are some things we do not rightly comprehend and must allow God to correct, because it comes from man's "wisdom" not God's. The more we learn about God, and the more of Him we come to abide in, the more we can see the error of our current understanding of him. In other words, we must renew our minds -- it is a lifelong pursuit assigned to every Christian, according to scripture. It is lifelong because God is infinite and because the Word of God is living and powerful. That's how you can read a scripture a thousand times and then see something in it you never saw before, and feel that revelation leap into your soul and change you.
The Bible tells us that we make God's Word of no effect because of our human traditions... our present beliefs can stop God's Word from working on our behalf and from changing us from the inside out. Jesus was constantly calling out the Pharisees and Sadducees for just that. So individuals within the body of Christ, including church leaders, who think that what they learned in seminary and from the stated doctrines and teachings of their denominations has to be accurate simply because it's always been taught -- well, they're fooling themselves. This is why it's so important to be careful what we listen to, no matter who we are, even if you're a church leader. Search out the scriptures IN CONTEXT to prove or disprove what you hear from the television, the pulpit, Christian radio, etc..., even if it's a person you trust doing the teaching. We MUST listen to God -- you CAN hear His voice -- He says so! So listen to Him, and read His Word. God's Word is God's Will. No matter who you are, your job is to renew your mind through the scriptures, not man, to believe what God believes, what He says -- then do it.
NOVEMBER 2020 POLL:
What does it mean to take the Lord's Name in vain?
Send your answer to email@example.com or in comments below (assuming the comment function is operating properly - have had some trouble with it).