- Climb out on the proverbial limb.
- Take hold of a proverbial saw.
- Begin hacking.
I speak of courage to believe alone regardless of others' stances and positions. In the church I find the tendency to believe as a herd to be most prevalent....and quite weakening. Run into friends at games or coffee shops and note the laughter of mutual fellowship with simultaneous oblivion to fundamental--and self-studied, self-concluded--Truth. We tend to believe what the others believe; even if no one knows what that is or how we got there.
In 1974 I began to preach for a church of eight people in Kahoka, MO. I carried my Bible to the pulpit each Sunday; but not before I searched the writings of men like J.W. McGarvey and R.L. Whiteside to find out what I and those in front of me believed. (And have you ever noted the J.W., R.L., Foy E. and C.R. trend among us?)
Honorable was my goal. I wanted to preach the Word. II Timothy 4:2 was appropriately our Preaching School motto. J.W. and R.L. had a bead on Truth so I coasted with them. While these and others are surely worthy of being read, the danger is one would conclude a J.W. and R.L. faith....which might just be lacking if Truth were really known.
I was co-dependent upon writers for I was also scared of my own conclusions. Double the trouble because I didn't trust God with His if they didn't match J.W. and R.L. This had to stop.
Somehow, somewhere, sometime I began to explore the Bible on my own without a cord tied to Church Fathers and Brothers. I began to wonder about the Word itself. The subject of the Holy Spirit quickly arose. No one around me believed He worked. I don't mean no one believed Him; but rather no one in my circle of preacher support, etc. had such a view. Basically, we believed what the loudest herd believed; the Holy Spirit subsided with the miracles. Done. Over. Nada.
I don't know how others found that the Holy Spirit works directly in our lives but no person or writing shared such with me. Yet, the Word said so and would not quit saying so. I debated for awhile with the Word and it won out.
I say pay attention to all who advise. Sort the wheat from the chaff. But do not underestimate the power and delight of God in you to reveal things no one has yet to discover. Treasures---undiscovered treasures---are yet to be uncovered in the Word just as there are plentiful new discoveries coming from culture itself.
The Word of God has been revealed; but it's revelation has not begun to be excavated. Dig in, dig up, and dig out the most profound Truth. J.W. and R.L. and even T.R. haven't uncovered all there is to be known from the one heavenly volume.