A couple of months ago I was asked to review a book on a particular approach to theology and I must say my skepticism was evident from beginning to end. It just seemed to me to be an effort to take Scripture and fit it into a preconceived mold to “prove” a point. Beware of “proof texts” that support a doctrine that doesn’t line up with the big picture when reading the Bible. When I have to connect the dots so intricately to understand someone’s thinking, it seems to be just a bit too much.
We don’t need so much of a new teaching as we need a simple straightforward understanding of the text.
In Thessalonica, there were those who claimed to speak by the “spirit of the Lord” while others made a “rational case” with a spoken word twisting the truth Paul had spoken just slightly, and others who may have produced a document they claimed to be an authentic letter from one of the apostles.
Are things really that different today? Many people feel they need to make a final word or a new word to add to what has already been written? What makes us susceptible to such a message?
For many of us, our lack of knowledge and understanding is self-imposed. Let’s consider some of Paul’s final warnings in his first letter of Thessalonians
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.2 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Don’t dismiss the spiritual, but test everything and only hold on to what is proved to be good according to Scripture. When we have questions, let’s go to the source and reject any “truth” that fails to pass the test.