Sometimes I wonder if twenty years from now I’m going to look back and cringe at some of the things I said, believed, and insisted were biblical. I’m not talking about core, clearly biblical doctrines such as justification by faith and the deity of Christ. I’m talking about particular practices.
Reading the book The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in America is what got me thinking about this. In the book Andrew Himes makes the following interesting comment:
When Presbyterians moved to the Missouri River Valley with its wide hemp plantations dependent on slave labor, they discovered that their Presbyterianism could justify slavery. But when they moved to another part of the state, away from the rich black bottomlands of the slave economy, they found that their Presbyterianism was opposed to slavery.
I know that I have blind spots. I have no doubt that there are areas where my Christianity is shaped more by the surrounding culture then by the Bible. Because of that, I want to always be straining my faith through the filter of God’s word. I want to always be asking of every practice, “Is this Biblical?”
When it comes to dating, diet, television watching, homeschooling, public schooling, rock music, and a thousand other practices, I need to remember that I am constantly being influenced by those around me. I’m being influenced by my friends. I’m being influenced by the books I’m reading. I’m being influenced by what I’m being taught from the pulpit and the television.
I don’t want to look back in twenty years and regret saying that certain things were Biblical if they weren’t. I want to build my faith and my practices solely on the word of God. Otherwise they might be talking about me in a book.
What about you? Are there certain areas where you may be tempted to insist that something is biblical when it might not be?