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Are we misled? How do we know what to trust?

December 27, 2009

I have been thinking a lot lately about the mixed up and marginal theology we can be presented with through church, books, TV, radio, web sites, blogs, etc. I believe that most people have hearts that do not intend to share incorrect information or insights however we can only present what we really believe and live out. Over the last seven months I have been attending a church that is truly Gospel centered. I never knew what I was missing by not having this teaching and truth in my life, and now that I have had it I could not go back to a church that is not centered on teaching and living out the Gospel in this way. Good teaching and real truth is so important for our spiritual life. Without we can get off track so easily.

Recently I was reading a post on People of a Second Chance website, a new ministry about radical grace in life and leadership. It is founded by two Christian leaders, but a reader brought up the point that their informational video didn’t express anything about God. Was it an oversight? I think so, or at least a marketing issue of trying not to turn people away if they speak about their faith in God too loudly. Still it can be troubling to realize that leaders we respect or follow are not leading us as well as they could, or maybe they are even misleading us.

One of the top evangelical leaders in America is Rob Bell. He is controversial in certain ways, but many people follow his leadership and listen to his teaching. I too have listened to his teaching for the last several years, and have learned a great deal from him. Recently I came across this video that raises the question, “Can we trust Rob Bells teaching on the bible? This analysis of his video Dust has catalyzed a lot of discussion.” Who are we to believe? Is Rob Bell misleading us? Is the pastor in the video working with an agenda to harm Rob Bell? Maybe the pastor does have an agenda, and I am not sure what to think about Rob Bell because I won’t base my beliefs on a decision made by only reading one person’s analysis, but at the very end of the video the pastor brings up a very important point. We need to be like the Bereans and biblically test what we are hearing. We need to be very careful about not just listening to leaders but testing what they say, testing it against scripture. We need to discern carefully everything that is taught and shared with us. When we know the real thing, the real truth of Christ, we can spot a fake a long way off.

Are we being misled? It is very likely you are being exposed to incorrect or partial truths, but you do have a way to combat that. Open the Word of God and study it yourself. Test what you are hearing! If you are following a leader or belief system without studying and learning on your own you are being a dumb sheep and you might be misled and hurt. Take the time and effort to learn the real truth, God’s truth.

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