Our Ultimate Authority

Posted On February 22, 2013

When someone does not consider the Bible to be the word of God, we can certainly expect that they will look elsewhere for an ultimate authority. But there is something else that I find to be just as troubling as those who frankly admit that they do not consider the Bible to be inspired by God. What I find to be just as troubling is that some who consider themselves to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:10-11 are more diligent to defend their favorite teachers than the Bible itself. This does not leave a good witness!

I could give many examples of what I am talking about, but here is just one example: I have come across some self proclaimed Bereans who are so diligent to defend the teachings of the early "church fathers" that one might think they read an erroneous translation of Acts 17:11 that says the Bereans "searched the writings of the church fathers daily to find out whether these things where so" (I have also come across a Catholic who has used the teachings of the "church fathers" to try to prove that the Catholic church is the one true church. So apparently, there are both Catholics and professing Bereans who adhere to these teachings). I do not intend to offend anyone by writing that. However, if anyone is angered by those words, then perhaps they need to sincerely examine whether spiritual pride is their motivation. Are you proud to be adhering to the teachings of certain individuals? Or is your motivation compassion for lost souls? Please think seriously about that. You can not have it both ways since "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

If God's word is our ultimate authority, then we should be more concerned about how His word is represented than the teachings of any man or women, and that is the main reason that I am writing this. When atheists see self proclaimed Bible believers who are more diligent to defend their favorite teachers than the Bible itself, this just makes them feel like they have a valid excuse to live like their is no God. When they see this, there should be no wonder why they see no ultimate authority in that case (i.e., God Himself!), but just Christians debating over which teachers have the best opinions. That is the kind of thing that has lead some people to conclude that there is no absolute truth. However, if God's word is our ultimate authority (as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 indicates that it is), then this can only mean that truth comes from Him rather than ANY human, including myself. And we come to know the truth simply by abiding in His word (See John 8:31-32).

So, if someone has become more diligent to defend their favorite teachers than the Bible itself, this could be because they have developed more of a fondness for their favorite teachers than an intimacy with God Himself, and that is my main concern here. I can share with people what I have learned from God's word, and other people can share insights from God's word with me that I have not considered yet. But we need to remember that His word is our ultimate authority, and remembering that should keep us from becoming overly defensive of any human teachers, because it will mean that our focus is more on defending God's word rather than individuals. There is nothing wrong with contending for the faith (See Jude 1:3), but it is not truly "the faith" that we are contending for if our focus is mostly on contending for our favorite teachers. In that case, we may only be contending for the pride that we have in adhering to the teachings of certain individuals. For your sake and the sake of others, please be sure that is not the case. James 4:14 says, "For what is life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away". And I want people to understand that there are far more important things to be defending than our pride (which is vanity) during the little time that we have on this earth.



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INTIMACY WITH GOD'S WORD

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THE DEMISE BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT

THE CRITICAL VALUE OF THE BIBLE - PART ONE

THE CRITICAL VALUE OF THE BIBLE - PART TWO

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THE BEREAN CALL'S RESOURCES ON BIBLICAL INFAILIBILITY

THE BEREAN CALL'S RESOURCES ON BIBLICAL SUFFICIENCY

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