Tag Archives: Discernment

How Much Wrong Teaching is Too Much?

An interesting discussion about Christian-classified books or movies, fiction and nonfiction, and should they support biblical theology. Reblogged for your consideration.

WordServe Water Cooler

There is an ongoing debate in Christian circles about whether non-fiction or fiction books are best. Proponents of each, particularly those firmly planted in their perspective camp, tend to be slightly (sometimes more than slightly) disdainful of the other. I have always maintained, however, that this is not an either/or proposition. As every good preacher (including Jesus) will tell you, it’s vitally important to spend time expounding on the Word, but when you launch into a story to illustrate that Word, that’s when everyone suddenly straightens in their seats and becomes even more engaged. Both are needed. The same is true with fiction. In my opinion, if classified as Christian, a story must be firmly rooted in good theology if it is going to have a powerful, lasting impact on the reader.

But is my opinion the right one? If not, it wouldn’t be the first time. And lately I have had…

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Don’t Act That Way

You DecideDon’t Act That Way

Read Matthew 23:1–22

In biblical times, the Pharisees were devoted extremists who believed in a strict and limited interpretation of Scripture, especially when it came to the Law of Moses.

The scribes, also known as lawyers, defended the Scriptures. They taught from the Law, helped with religious duties, and served as judges in the Sanhedrin. Many of the scribes were also Pharisees. Jesus often referred to both groups as hypocrites because of their one-sided beliefs and actions.

“So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (Matthew 23:3).

Most societies have laws and leaders who enforce them. Their authority is necessary, their rules needful. However, certain officials, supervisors at work, even some religious leaders can become legalistic, their judgments unfair. Jesus still has the same advice: We should respect all positions of authority, even corrupt ones. Respect their positions, but do not act like them.  

Prayer Suggestion: When you encounter hypocrisy, don’t duplicate it, pray for wisdom.

Quicklook: Matthew 23:1–4

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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Depend on Christ

philosophy-1Depend on Christ

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8).

Scripture: Colossians 2:1–10
Song: “Do Not Worry”

Philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means the “love of wisdom.” Therefore, philosophers were those who studied and debated the finer aspects of wisdom as they searched for the meaning of life. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul noted that the Jews sought after signs while Greeks looked for wisdom. No wonder Greece gave birth to three of the greatest philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

There’s nothing wrong with searching for wisdom; even the Bible tells us to ask for it when we lack understanding. But philosophy based on purely human ideals, apart from divine revelation, can lead us astray. Such philosophy can leave us empty and hollow, like a hole dug for no purpose.

So let us pursue Christ today—His wisdom, His righteousness, and the theology of the cross that the apostle Paul so masterfully proclaimed. This school of thought always leads to eternal life.

Father, You gave me the greatest textbook in the world. My Bible has everything I need: wisdom, hope, and the words of truth. By reading it daily, I feel prepared for every situation. Thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Depend on Christ” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2010 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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