Thursday, August 22, 2013

Consistency Is Important

Consistency . . . . . theological . . . intellectual . . . spiritual. . . .

I believe it is important because it has to do with truth and truth is the all in all.  God IS the truth, so the closer we get to Him the more we ought be knowing and experiencing and expressing the truth.  Lies are abhorrent to the Truth and it is the "father of lies" who would (if he could) wreck God's intentions for creation.

I find that having a consistent, ordered "worldview" and thus, consistent theological understanding of our situation here . . . is like the tumblers in a lock.  Having the right "combination" . . . opens the locked mechanism.  Whereas, if you are just guessing, trying this and that, and maybe you have one number right but not the others . . . the lock remains closed, fast.

In a similar way, I find that if I have the right doctrines in mind-the ones that correspond and are consistent with the way things actually are . . . it opens up channels, so to speak, in my mind, heart, soul . . . that make it easier, quicker, stronger . . . for the Holy Spirit to do His sanctifying work of regeneration in me. 

Inconsistencies or wrong understandings, however, are like those still locked tumblers that stand in the way of a fuller, richer experience, comprehension of His reality and purposes.

Wrong ideas believed to be true and acted upon also tend to attract other wrong ideas--they stack upon each other, trying to support the initial fallacious notion . . . and before long you are lost in the woods, off the track altogether . . . or stuck in some swampy ditch going in circles.  Here is where heresy sprouts, cults begin, and the doctrines of devils becomes the guide.

"Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons."  --1 Tim. 4:1

Let me give an example of an inconsistency that occurred to me this morning which led to this topic.

It is commonly understood, and you will hear many a preacher say it, that:  " . . no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit."  --1 Cor. 12:3

Preachers and teachers of the Word will often reiterate how they are only able to "sow the seed", "preach the Gospel" . . . but that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict, convert a person who is "dead in their sins."  They will assert that it is not they (the preacher) who do the converting, but God who changes a person's heart so that the person is able to receive the truth of the Gospel.  The preacher is called to announce, exhort, proclaim etc., but the preacher will nearly always admit that it must be God who does convicting.  Right?  Haven't you heard this many, many times?

But a large portion of these same preachers . . . will also say . . . that it is up to the man--up to the person being exhorted--whether the man chooses God or not . . . through free will . . . if he will accept the Gospel or not.

So which is it?

Here we have an inconsistency.

And this is where many go mushy, not being consistent.

Is it that the Holy Spirit, GOD does the convicting, the converting?  Because that is what the preacher will say:  "I only sow the seed . . . I can only present the Gospel . . . I can't convince you . . . the Holy Spirit must convince you."

At the same, the preacher will say:  " YOU must decide . . . it is up to YOU . . . whether you accept the truth or not."

Inconsistent, I dare say, this. . . .

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