Christians claim to be submissive to the Word of God. They acknowledge that they are not ‘the finished article’.
The development of their Christian character is effected by the Holy Spirit applying the Word of God to their thinking, speech and behaviour. It is called sanctification – ‘Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth’, prayed Jesus for His disciples in John 17:17.
Christians desire to be ‘fit for the Master’s use’ 2Timothy 2:21. Does the Lord use you? Are you open to His guidance? Does the Bible change you? Or are you beyond change? Some people’s views never change, which suggests that they don’t submit their thoughts to Scripture – ‘bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ’ 2Cor 10:5. When did the Bible last change your thinking?
Why don’t people change?
1. because they do not study their Bibles for themselves. Once a godly person sees the teaching of Scripture, his conscience is bound to it; but if a person rarely studies Scripture, it is unlikely to change him.
2. there is another reason. The fear of change and being thought unorthodox.
Many Christians are familiar with the concept of ministers and elders looking over their shoulder and not acting freely according to their own understanding and conscience because of what others might think. They are afraid of seeming to be unorthodox.
This is a recipé for disaster, curtailing one’s readiness to respond to the leading of Scripture.
So why does it happen? Usually because there is one person who pulls up others for what he perceives to be unorthodox. This person is rarely challenged in his thinking and may have ties to influential people, so that he has influence out of all proportion to his understanding. But he is orthodox! and this is all that matters. Rather, he is orthodox in the area he knows about, but he fails to see what others see and would like to act upon.
This ‘one man ruins all’ attitude is very common and very influential in the Christian church. ‘A little folly’ can ruin a reputation Ecc 10:1, but it can ruin a congregation and many other things.
It is time for individual Christians to remember and reclaim the liberty with which Christ has made them free. ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage’ Gal 5:1.