As we mature in our relationship with God…
As we receive fresh revelation…
As we supplement our bible study with word study, hermeneutics (interpretation), culture, history, and anthropology…
We will be confronted with information that will challenge our personal/preferred theology, traditions and things we always accepted as true.
If we aren’t careful, we can allow fiction into our faith. We can find ourselves sincerely believing things that aren’t true. Unfortunately, Christianity is fragmented into numerous denominations and groups…and none of US have everything 100% true. That’s we must always be students of the word and have open hearts and minds to growth.
Accepting something false as true is a problem for all Christians, but this can present a challenge to sincere Christians, but especially to Pastors, Ministers, Teachers or Evangelists who must sometimes admit to themselves that even though they are God-called, sincere, saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit…they’ve been believing, teaching and preaching something WRONG.
For example, during Christmas time most Christians include the traditional nativity scene as a part of their decorations and celebrations. They show the Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and the wise men or magi…
However, with a little study combined with common sense, we realize that the wise men or magi were not there during that night when Jesus was in the manger. Look more closely at Matthew 2…
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”[a]
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
- According to verses 9-10, when they came to where the star stood over where the YOUNG CHILD was (not baby), they came into THE HOUSE (not stable) and found Jesus with His mother (Joseph wasn’t present at the time).
According to verse 12, after being warned in a dream, they departed into their own country…you can’t do all of that in one night’s time.
In verses 16 Herod ordered that all male children age 2 and under be killed…because that’s when the star first appeared.
After the wise men leave, that’s when Joseph’s name reappears as he takes his family into Egypt.
The problem is, that many are so accustomed to believing the wise men were there in the stable, that rather than accept that may not be true and they came later, we start trying to find a way to prove what wish to believe is true…rather than seek the real truth.
If we’re not careful, this is the approach we can take to all scripture when our theology is challenged.
God just wants us to worship Him, but wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth…
John 4:24 (NKJV)
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God doesn’t just want us to be passionate and zealous for Him, but that our passion is according to knowledge…
Romans 10:1-3 (NKJV)
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel[a] is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
We owe it to God to seek His truth and not just defend our traditions or what we want to believe. God left His perfect word with perfect man, which means we have all received some erroneous teaching and information…sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional.
Take your study beyond the bible to other resources to further establish you in your faith in God.
Challenging your personal theology isn’t necessarily challenging your faith. Faith is like a marriage. Sometimes love isn’t proven unless it’s undergone a real challenge…
Challenging your theology isn’t necessarily challenging your faith.