People only see in the Bible what they want to see. People are massively adept at ignoring Scripture.
People will gravitate to those passages that make them feel how they desire to feel about their sin. Some want all grace and love and happy. Some want all judgment, holiness, and heavy dread. Some just want everything on an even keel and will ignore the “extreme” passages.
The Bible speaks of believers being “enlightened.” Having our eyes opened. Not being blind. There’s a reason God uses this imagery concerning us. It’s because we aren’t naturally seeing things for what they are. We aren’t seeing the verses right in front of our faces.
Christians gravitate toward the denominations or churches that are blind in the right spots. Therefore, blind Christians desire blind pastors. Or, as Paul says, people desire teachers who will scratch their ears and tell them what they already agree with.
Just as it was in the days of Jesus Christ dealing with the scribes and Pharisees, the blind lead the blind.
All the while the blind think they are seeing perfectly.
Blindness sounds like this:
“I only believe what the Bible says.”
“I believe what Jesus believed.”
“My supernatural experience proves I believe right doctrine.”
“Anyone who disagrees with me is a heretic.”
“If you don’t go to our church/adhere to our doctrine, you are going to hell.”
I hear such statements, to varying degrees of bluntness, frequently by Christians. It’s scary. If you honestly think you believe exactly what the Bible says, you aren’t believing what the Bible says! If you think you believe absolutely everything Jesus taught, then you didn’t hear His warnings about people who thought they believed everything God said. “We have one father and that is God.” “Your father is the devil.”
Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.
There’s a reason the Bible tells us to ask for wisdom: it’s because you don’t have it all yet. If you think you do, welcome to the Job’s Friends’ Club.
The Bible tells us to ask that our eyes might see and our ears might hear. As soon as you think you’ve arrived and see everything; you begin the long, slow decent into massive error.
Doctrinal cliques have a feeling of security and rightness. They also go a long way in making people twice the children of hell.
Make sure the church under your care is not getting uppity about “having right doctrine.” Watch out for the party spirit that assumes we are the people and wisdom will die with us.
Humility is what faith looks like. Knowledge puffs up, even right knowledge. It’s what knowledge does. Keep the humility to continue to know how much you don’t know and keep asking in dependence for more wisdom. He gives to those who ask. If you’ve stopped asking for wisdom because you feel you’re already wise, beware!