“Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21
“I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolater in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? … To do the will of God___that is worship. And what is the will of God?___to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me. … Consequently … I must turn idolater.” –Ishmael, in Moby Dick
Have you ever been amazed to behold a Christian talk himself out of a solid and long-held conviction? __some man or woman with an established walk within the context of a faithful local church? When questioned they offer their reasoning for making what you perceive to be a dangerous departure from sound belief and practice. But their thinking is as confused as that of Ishmael, the leading character in the classic novel Moby Dick, who talked himself into worshipping an idol ostensibly to obey the Lord!
If we follow Ishmael’s line of reasoning whereby he concludes that he must worship the idol, we find that his first step was his undoing. “But what is worship?…to do the will of God … is worship.” It seemed both plausible and pious, and was no doubt sincere, but his sincerity notwithstanding he was most seriously wrong.
To do the will of God encompasses everything a man does; yet not everything a man does is worship. Let us have the humility to realize that whenever we find that we are rationalizing ourselves away from orthodox and established doctrine and practice it is then that we need to confer with our elders and other mature brethren in the faith.
“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.” 1Timothy 6:20-21
Pastor Bob Brown