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Monday, February 28, 2011


It is passionate and, in his own words, full of zeal.  It is convicted.  It is, we have no reason to deny, sincere.  It is bold and very plain. 

There are a great many today who are averse to negatively judging the religion of others, especially if they are passionate, sincere, and convicted.  "They have their own truth" or "they have their own interpretation," we are told.  Such statements are too often uncritically received and accepted.  Using such "reasoning," we are told that an individual religious group may teach any number of things about worship, salvation, church organization, eternal destiny, marriage and morality, and the like.

Some might go so far as to say that Charlie Sheen is "going off the rails on a crazy train."  In interviews, he is rambling and what he says is enigmatic.  Morally, his lifestyle is diametrically opposed to scripture.  The sitcom of which he is the star routinely glorifies fornication.  So, are we at fault to judge the content of his life, his speech, and his beliefs as being contrary to the doctrine of Christ?

Certainly, a Hollywood actor is an extreme example but what better way to test our hermeneutic, our approach to scripture.  If we would judge that Mr. Sheen's recent activities with a pornography star or his assault of his wife "wrong," on what basis do we conclude such?  To what standard would we hold him or anyone else?  If the standard is scripture, which it should be, is not the best approach to scripture to "handle aright" (2 Tim. 2:15) the Bible and view it as the authoritative standard for every moral, ethical, and doctrinal question in life?  Too often, we pour the Bible into the mould of our desires, preferences, and opinions when exactly the opposite process is what must occur for us to properly reverence the Word of God (cf. Ps. 119:161; our hearts should, like David's, stand in awe of God's words).  May we take to heart the counsel of the apostle John: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 Jn. 4:1). 

--Neal Pollard  

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