The greatest challenge facing the Church today are those who promote truth out of balance:

  • Those who think the Person of Christ can be fractured from His concurrent propositional truths, moral precepts and commands;
  • Those who want the vibrancy of the internal Living Word, without submitting all things to the authority and discipline of His written external Word;
  • Those who embrace Grace while minimizing the consequences of sin, the need for repentance and the process of sanctification;
  • Those who tout Organic church as a form of fellowship, but not the functional reality of a multifaceted, multi-gifted, motivationally-diverse Body of Christ that engages and transforms the world around them; and
  • Those who have a concept of Love which excludes sound doctrine, fruit inspection and accountability.

These are the voices among us who refuse to let their sensibilities shatter on the rock of God’s Word.

Often, they reject balance due to hurt, spiritual immaturity, a sense of victimhood or in reaction to some other truth out of balance in the opposite direction – and cry personal offense, persecution, legalism or disunity when dared questioned.

I understand that in our lives, pendulums often swing before coming into balance.

But the fact remains: A single valid truth persistently promoted to the exclusion of other truths often becomes the greatest error of all…

It robs believers and fellowships of health, maturity and vitality, because it keeps us from the fulness of Christ and all that He has for us.

~ Jim


16 responses

  1. In the light of recent political debates, I find these truths to be self evident. It’s shoddy intellectualism at best and sinful deflection at worst. Pointing out error in other’s doctrine or propositions and referencing them to an authority higher than ours or theirs is considered offensive, arrogant, punitive, or just not very nice. Problem is, I rarely see where the sin is pointed out. It’s almost like attacking a runner for running faster and winning a race.

    I need good arguments. I need to be convinced when my perspective is skewed. I need those necessary factions “in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” 1 Corinthians 11:19 I don’t need others to be nice to me when I’m wrong and teaching those wrong things to others. I just might be causing a little one to stumble and in danger of some wearing millstone jewelry. Which of those among us would kindly and softly speak out when our child is reaching towards the scolding barbecue? No, it would be unkind and unloving not to scream “don’t touch that!” Even worse if our children were encouraging others to do the same.

    I don’t need subjective criticism coming from those who live in subjectivism. I don’t need non-objective, non-propositional, non-connected truths. I don’t need baseless, whimsical, and non-authorative exclamations.

    If I offend or am offended, I need to know where my sin is. All of my brothers and sisters in Christ owe me that. Christ overturned the tables of the money changers in love, for love, and with love. I wonder how many of us witnessing that event would have claimed that he was arrogant, prideful, and not acting very Christlike.

    I need a whole Jesus. I need to abide in Him and His words. I need the the foot of the body to give me a swift kick in the A** if I’m fracturing Jesus into smaller, more palatable, bite size existential nuggets of pink slime.

    Don’t be nice to me when I’m reaching toward the fire.


  2. I’m not very engaged by the election – I’m British and live in England πŸ™‚

    However, I am engaged by your article, Jim, and with the first reply. Why does the writer think I should scream at my child? Would it not be more effective to teach my child ahead of time that the barbie is hot and dangerous? This may not seem like a serious point but it is.

    In our relationships in the body it is always best to detect error early and nip it in the bud before harm is done, and teach one another to recognise it early and avoid it. In a sense that’s exactly what this post is all about. If we get to the shouting stage we’ve already left it far too late. Shouting is better than letting a child burn – of course it is! But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a lesser form of failure.

    Jesus spoke far more about the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control) than he did about anger and throwing over tables.

    I don’t advocate avoiding strong words and actions when they’re necessary, but they can (and should) be minimised by early intervention and by sound teaching and guidance. That’s where one anothering comes in. We are all responsible for one another.


    • Chris,

      I was exaggerating a bit… πŸ™‚ But, having reared three children, I know that regardless of how well they’re taught beforehand, they still have a propensity to rebellion.

      I can remember the story of one of my college professors. One day he got a brand new circular fireplace delivered to his home. The kind that sits in the middle of a room. While is was being unpacked and installed, he took his three small children aside and explained to them in a very caring and fatherly way that they should never touch the metal shroud that sat above the fireplace and led to the roof. It was an attractive addition to the home. It was red, shiny, warm, and inviting.

      The next day, my professor and his family decided to make a fire for the first time. After a while, they got it going and everyone was sitting around it and enjoying the crackle. My professor got up and went into another room to grade some papers and watched as the children got closer to the fireplace. They danced and sang, they looked at each other with mischievous smiles and almost egged each other on to touch it. A few minutes later, until the watchful eye of Dad, the middle child work up enough courage, rebellion, or stupidity, to reach out an touch the shroud. As his hand reached, the father screamed “NO!”

      The child pulled back his hand from what surely would have been a serious burn.

      I’m sure all parents have experienced similarly.


  3. I know there is a middle ground because I see it every time I swing past it.

    Going to the extreme is man’s way of seeking balance. We always react & go too far.
    Spiritual children can’t grow into their salvation without the milk of the word (1Pt 2:2). As children they react from one extreme to the other, tossed to/fro by the wind (Eph4:14). Often only the pain that results from bad choices can reveal that we have gone too far.. Hopefully your confrontational approach will serve to challenge the status quo.


  4. “But the fact remains: A single valid truth persistently promoted to the exclusion of other truths often becomes the greatest error of all…”
    so true indeed. problem is its hard to sell books, gain a blog following or attract financial support and followers without doing just that. That was a criticism but in many ways we are constantly individually and collectively over correcting. Ironically while promoting balance is noble and necessary… it suffers exactly the same risk. Because balance is next to impossible to fully describe and evaluate… only god is totally balanced so to speak, hence even the scriptures weren’t exhaustive enough… we needed christ both historically and internally. I say that because most every christian ive met will agree we need balance yet every christian ive met including myself is clearly focused on certain things to the exclusion of others.
    Sometimes that person or group we think have gone off the deep end have helped lay a foundation for us to find balance in an area… those over the top pentacostals and charismatics have helped bring something back to the body that was missing even though the glory cloud has mostly moved on so to speak.


    • I agree that sometimes God uses a person or group to swing the pendulum to emphasize a particular truth in order to bring things back in balance. The problem is when that person or group – through blogs, books, derisive name calling or claiming to be “Beyond” the rest of the Body of Christ – then starts publicly trying to make their own partial understanding of Christ normative for all.

      That’s what needs to stop.


      • yes i agree. unfortunately all too often those promoting themselves as teaching the full counsel of god’s word/scripture or christ as all… have blinders on to the things theyre missing and the things they are over emphasizing in the negative sense. Its pretty clear and frustrating to those outside the camp not drinking the koolaid.


  5. Jim, this is one of those “How can anyone disagree with this?” blog posts. Without question, humbly and vigorously seeking truth together is easier said than done, but it must be done for us to grow up healthy in Christ.


  6. Pingback: Sound Doctrine « Crossroad Junction

  7. When a truth is being preached without the accompanying shining of the Light, it becomes a doctrine. When truth is preached, and God’s light is upon it, the truth becomes revelation. To receive a revelation is to receive the truth. Those who receive a doctrine are merely filled with ideas in their mind. Only those who have received a revelation receive reality and life.

    My reply to this statement was, “So in a sense, doctrines are unlocked revelations being stored in a man’s mind awaiting the light of God. When God’s light shines upon them, they get transferred from the mind of man to the heart where Christ-like transformations begin. Until then, it is folly to “obey” a doctrine. All your sweat and strength trying to conform to doctrines are done by the flesh and those works will burn at the alter. When the light of God finally shines upon an “unlocked” doctrine within, the truths contained in those Biblical doctrines flow out of the Christian spiritually and naturally without any effort of the flesh because it is now the power of the Holy Spirit molding the Christian by those truths. I can accept this quote.


  8. When we repent, believe and follow Jesus (which is the same core message seen over and over in scripture), we do NOT just love Jesus, we pledge allegiance to his teaching.

    Romans 6.17-18
    But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.


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