Summary: If we were listening to the Spirit there would be more unity.
Polarized or Compromised
April 6th, 1975 was the day I was saved by the mercy and grace of God when I only went to church to get a lad off my back. I thought I knew how much I needed that grace and mercy, but now thirty plus years later I learn nearly every day how much more I need it. I know that when I bow before Him in tears I will come to a full realization of how much I need it when the fullness of His holiness and righteousness is revealed and the fullness of my sinfulness is manifested before the Godhead and all the saints, sinners and seraphims.
As with all new born Christians, I had a lot to learn and I was more than eager. I was fortunate to have a job where if they would have given me my week’s work on Monday at 0730 I could have been done by Noon Tuesday. I was able to read my NT through at least four times a week. Did I say, fortunate? More like God ordained for my education is the correct statement.
In the process of learning, you have to choose mentors or else like the Ethiopian eunuch you have to say how can I know or learn except some man teach me. Of course, the pastor who lead me to the Lord was who listened to the most. I studied my Bible and read various books I could get my hands on and listened to TV and radio lads. The latter I do very little of anymore since there aren’t very many good ones like back in the late 70’s.
As I grew and studied I found that it was very hard at first to know who was preaching truth and who was doing something else. I could hear a lad on one channel boldly and bombastically declare that artichokes were of the devil and against the clear teaching of Hezekiah 3:16. I could turn the channel and hear another lad proclaim that artichokes were to be received with thanksgiving as a blessing of God in accordance with Hezekiah 3:16. Another channel and I’d get the lad who said Hezekiah 3:16 was a difficult passage and we would have to consider artichokes as one of those gray areas and if you eat you are OK and if you don’t that is fine as well since we are under grace and that is all that matters.
To say that this caused me great consternation is an understatement. I am thankful to God that I was not confused to the point of despair and washed my hands of the whole thing and leaving church. Instead, by His grace, it drove me to the Book! I don’t know if I had even read about the Bereans yet but I became one.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV
When I came across this passage I knew there was big trouble in Christianity because a whole lot of folks were either not seeking the truth or were definitely not listening to the Spirit of truth. If they were we would not have all the various groups. We all be speaking the same thing as there is only one truth though that truth or principle might be applied to many issues of life. This division and multiple interpretations are not of God for it is confusion and God is not the author of confusion.
I knew that God was a God of balance so to find His truth I would have to seek balance. That was going to be difficult in such an unbalanced world. In the realm of all who name the name of Christ it would be even harder though the Word says it is not impossible. The Word says that the Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth so I knew that there was nothing that would be gray to Him or not able to be discerned. Thus if I really wanted to know the truth I could find it. And since God called us to unity, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” I knew that “in essentials unity, in nonessentials charity” was not His doctrine but man’s. There is right and there is wrong. There is truth and there is untruth. No area is gray to the God who is light and in Him there is no shadow or darkness.