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An Open Letter of Concern

This letter has been written to discuss some concerns in the grace movement. While it should not considered to be an insult to anyone, the intent of this letter was to challenge believers.

Dear Reader:

I am writing this letter due to some concerns that I have related to the grace movement (a term that I am going to use to describe all of those that are saved by 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and follow the principle of Bible study that is laid out in 2 Timothy 2:15). Over the last few years, I have seen many people act in ways that the members of various denominations are often accused of acting. This is a major concern for those that study the Bible.

We often pride ourselves as being Bereans. In fact, the pride goes so far that there are many ministries that have this name in theirs because of this thought. If we truly are, it may behoove us to look at this verse again to see what it said of them:

Acts 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There are two things that are said of them. They are said to have received the word with all readiness of mind and that they searched the scriptures daily. The second one of these things is probably still true. Most people who rightly divide the Word do study on a regular basis. It is important to note that they studied the Word. They did not study all types of books related to Scripture, but they actually used the Scripture to study and to evaluate what was being said.

The first thing, receiving the word with all readiness of mind, is more of a concern. There does not often appear to be a readiness of mind to receive things that have been taught. When a believer is presented with something new, they do not always want to hear what has been said and reject the new thought without even taking a look at what the Scripture says. This is something that I have witnessed several times when talking with different brethren on topics, even when things are being presented just to see if a different point of view even has a case according to the Scriptures..

I am sure there are some people right now who are reading this and are saying that this does not describe them at all. I am going to do a test right now to see how accurate this is. If someone said that they could prove the rapture will not happen before the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel, but at some point after, would you listen? Even if they said they had verses that would prove their point. How about if someone said they could use Paul�s epistles to demonstrate that women could have a role in the ministry of the church, including having the positions of Pastor or Deacon in a local assembly. How about if someone said they could prove the universal reconciliation of all people in the age of grace by using the Scripture, would you listen?

Unfortunately, people say that they would listen to what has been said on any of these topics, but they do not really have the readiness of mind to receive what has been said. A person who sits there listening to what is being said with the intent on just destroying what is being said is not actually following what was said of the church at Berea. The people that are described in Acts 17:11 actually listened to what was being said. They wanted to learn what it was that God�s Word was saying to them. It was at that point that they would then look at what the Scripture says. This is what was most important to them.

The result of this is when these topics are being discussed, the person who has not looked at what the passages say starts to sound irrational. They have started to make assumptions on certain passages and cannot defend even their own view. This is truly sad, because it shows that a person is going away from what God intended with looking at His Word.

There is another failing that seems to be becoming more prevalent among members of the Body of Christ. It is the placing of what men say above what the Bible says. I often hear arguments used that a certain person is saying this is what a passage means and the person is taken as the authority. It seems this is being used as the end of discussion on what the Bible means. How said this is, when you can consider what Paul says of the people in Thessalonica:

1 Thessalonians 2:13

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

We are to receive the Word of God as the Word of God. It does not matter what a person says, no matter how many years a person has studied the Scripture or how big their ministry is. It is not the wisdom of men that is important, but the wisdom a person gains from the Word. Everyone can be wrong with how they interpret a passage. It is important for everyone to realize this and to have the intent on looking at what the Word says and not the opinion of someone else.

There are many passages that are contained in the Bible that discuss the fact that God is not a respecter of persons. It is only true what the Bible says. Let us look at one of the things that Paul prays for related to the fellow members of the Body of Christ:

Colossians 1:9-10

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; [10] That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Paul prays for a person to increase in knowledge and be filled with the will of God. The question becomes where can a person obtain this information that Paul is praying for. This can only come from the Bible and cannot come from the words of men. Paul uses several examples of people being turned away from what God has attended. He talks about the subtilty that can come from someone coming in and preaching some other information (2 Corinthians 11:3-5). Paul talks about another man coming in and preaching another gospel to them (Galatians 1:6-9). Paul also talks about how the wisdom of man can prevent someone from being able to have knowledge of God (1 Corinthians 1:17-23).

I hope that people can read this letter in the intent that is was written. I hold all members of the Body of Christ in high regard and do not want to offend them in any way. However, I pray that people can start to have the readiness of mind that is intended.

Standing in the Faith,

 

A Concerned Member of the Body of Christ



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