That people are divided in their religious convictions is an undeniable fact. A question that most people shy away from is ‘why is this so’? I submit that it not only needs to be addressed, but it needs to be corrected! Religious division among God’s people has never been spoken of favorably in the bible. God’s people are to be united in the fight against sin. In the bible, when this was not the case, it was because God’s will was abandoned, either thru lack of faith, or because of a desire to please man rather than God. Read John 17:20-21 and consider the plea of Jesus in this prayer. In spite of this plea of Jesus, few believe that religious unity is possible. To the contrary, we not only believe that it is possible, we believe that it MUST BE! Religious division is not of God, it is of Satan. Any division over what the bible teaches on matters of faith needs to be settled. We need to believe in the possibility of being united and actively pursuing unity. This will require each to examine his/her personal convictions and go to the Bible to ‘prove’ them.”
Truth is from God, and only God’s word is truth. It can withstand any attack from Satan, whether it be a charge of inconsistency or of contradiction. Truth is consistent. If I base my convictions on ‘faith’, then I ought to be able to go to the bible to prove them.
Much of the division that exists is not about what is in the Bible, but over what is not in the Bible. For example, when questioned about a practice or belie, the answer is often, “the Bible doesn’t say not to”. Herein is the problem. People need to recognize the significance of this statement. If I’m doing something or believing something because the bible DOESN’T SAY… then whatever it is that I believe or practice cannot be BY FAITH! Faith ONLY comes from hearing God speak (Romans 10:17). What god has said about it will be -found SOMEWHERE in the bible. If I therefore cannot find it in the Bible, then it cannot be ‘by faith’. We are to “walk by faith” (2 Cor. 5:7). How can we justify our convictions before God and not be able to go to God’s word to find it?
Whoever can go to a bible passage or text for his/her beliefs is not afraid to discuss their beliefs openly. They are not ashamed of what they believe. They are not ‘ashamed’ when asked about their convictions for their convictions are based upon a ‘rightly dividing’ of the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15). What about you?