Being Right is Not the Most Important Thing
As I was growing up, it always seemed to me that being right was the most important thing. That having the correct set of beliefs and doctrine were what mattered the most to God.
However, in the last 10 years or so I have come to a different conclusion. God is not impressed with our knowledge and rightness of doctrine. He does not applaud our understanding of church practice and end-times truth.
The need for truth
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that God does not want us to study the scriptures. I’m not suggesting that He does not care about our search for truth. These are absolutely vital to our growth as followers of Jesus.
What I am saying is that this line of thinking – that He mostly cares about what we know – is what has led so many churches to split and has caused much damage. A simple look back at the history of the brethren movement will suffice to show this truth in obvious detail.
Back to where we started
I absolutely love the foundation of the brethren movement, but sadly we have moved far away from it.
Anthony Norris Groves once said, “… we are evidently called to know nothing among our fellow Christians but this one fact, do they belong to Christ? Has Christ received them? Then may we receive them, to the glory of God.”
Sadly, somewhere along the way, the understanding of Truth became more important than the spiritual condition of a believer. So much so, that unless a person agreed with the exact parameters of a brethren assembly they were not welcome. Even more appalling is that they were looked down upon.
Separation became king
Separation became the main goal instead of loving Unity. Quoting Groves again, “I would infinitely rather bear with all their evil,” he said of some people with whom he seriously disagreed, “than separate from their good. “
We have unfortunately lost much joy, fellowship, and unity with brothers and sisters who do not think exactly as we do. Even more unfortunate is that we have lost the opportunity to reach the world around us by joining forces in the gospel.
Pride has held us back
I truly believe that our pride, thinking that we are right and others are wrong, has kept us from a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. God cares much more about our relationship with Him, our attitude towards others, and our zeal for the lost than He does about how much we know. 1 Samuel 15:22; 16:7; Luke 18:10-14 are just a few examples of this principle.
A wonderful change is happening
I’m encouraged that many Brethren assemblies are rising above this pride and are doing great things as we approach the Lord’s return. This means shaking off the chains that have held us down and freeing ourselves to serve the Lord in more powerful ways.
Many assemblies are reviving (and growing) due to their return to a simple relationship with Christ, very much like the early brethren when they left their denominational structures to follow the Lord.
Following God, not men
This is not easy of course. In the face of traditional opposition, we are commanded to follow God, not men.
Again, I am not referring to specific traditions, although shedding some of them is a part of this revival. I am referring to the attitude and the misguided belief that being right is more important than anything else.
God is big. So big that He is beyond anything we can imagine or understand. But as equally astounding as His wisdom and knowledge is His love.
Where do we go from here?
Well, that is an article for another day. 🙂 One thing is for sure, we start a return to Christ by repenting. Each individual and each local church will need to determine the exact specifics about their repentance (Rev. 2&3).
It requires an acknowledgment that we have strayed from the Word of God and have lost the deep desire to do what it says.