Why do some believers exalt man’s teachings above scripture?
Many believers assume that whatever a world famous teacher says must be correct without carefully examining what he teaches—and the spirit behind his teaching. Many tend to say, “Whatever proceeds from this illustrious teacher must be correct, considering his far-reaching influence and the bountiful fruits of his ministry.”
However, we are taught to test all things and hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Like the Bereans, we need to be diligent in scrutinising any teaching against the Word. A spirit of independent inquiry a la the Bereans keeps us from being deceived by false teaching.
"And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth" (Acts 17:11).
Being open-minded means having a non-judgmental attitude as we process the teaching material—being willing to listen or study the facts of the matter without any pre-conceived ideas or prejudices.
It means we are not easily intimidated by any teacher, no matter how well-known, illustrious or respectable he or she may be. We cannot say to ourselves or others, “Coming from this great man of God, it must be right.” That is highly dangerous. That is not being open-minded. That is tantamount to prematurely forming our opinion before we have examined the validity of the message. No one is free from error, no matter how great he or she is.
One of the hallmarks of a disciple is diligence in studying God’s word so that we are approved by Him—not put to shame on account of lack of in-depth knowledge of scriptures.
“Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
When we are ill-equipped with knowledge of the Word, we might fall prey to deception and be swept by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). If we are well-prepared, however, we will be able to judge and discern what has been taught against scripture (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
While believers study the Word, the Holy Spirit grants spiritual discernment:
- Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
- These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
- But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
- For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:12, 13, 15, 16)
To conclude, what is the answer to the above question, “Why do some believers exalt man’s teachings above scripture?”
Lack of knowledge and discernment may cause some believers to honour man’s teachings above scriptures.
Here are two examples of teachings from prominent leaders that clearly do not align with the Bible:
The teacher’s claim: “The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit never convicts you of your sins. He never comes to point out your faults. I challenge you to find a scripture in the Bible that tells you that the Holy Spirit has come to convict you of your sins. You won’t find any.”
The teacher’s claim: Jesus set aside His divinity and operated only as a man during His earthly ministry.
If you care to do a search in this blog, https://bit.ly/2TdWQK0 you will find many similar teachings that demonstrate the extent to which believers are willing to honour man’s teachings rather than the immutable and inerrant Word of God.
Being on the side of the majority does not necessarily mean we are on the side of truth. http://bit.ly/19tAJX7
SEVEN REASONS WHY FALSE TEACHING THRIVES
Why it’s easy to be fooled without realising you’ve been had
EIGHT WAYS TO FIGHT FALSE TEACHING
How to develop discernment and escape the clutches of destructive heresieshttp://bit.ly/1g2CpED