Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
~ Mt 15:14
I realize that even within the Church of God, people are likely to disagree with one another on some points. It may be speculation, or it may even be points of doctrine. With all of the various offshoots, it certainly shows that not all agree on a variety of topics. This has a lot to do with why I started this blog: To honestly discuss what was the teaching when we were united, what are the differences between the major groups now and how do the doctrines compare to the Bible?
So, where do I go to find out what people teach? Well, there is their own literature, there are web sites, there are other blogs, etc. In some cases, there are even news reports (which are usually incorrect, but they are a source of information nonetheless). Sometimes, there is an entry in the Journal. However, the more official the source, the better in most cases of doctrine.
It just goes to show that people can have different interpretations of the Bible, and they can even have honest discussions about those differences. I think it is fair to submit that we will all be surprised when Christ returns at which areas we ourselves are blind. We see are looking through a dirty distorted glass (1Co 13:12), after all. It’s not much different than one of those fair mirrors where you look fatter, slimmer, taller or shorter. The distortions, naturally, are are own prejudices, biases and even sins.
I have had online discussions with atheists, Protestants and Catholics. It can be interesting all the different viewpoints.
However, I had a Catholic friend at one place I worked, who just didn’t seem to be interested in the truth. I don’t mean The Truth, but rather what was factual. He even read a booklet about our church organization, but he still didn’t get it. “Your church is the same as the Church of Christ,” he said. I thought my jaw would break from hitting the floor. “But,” I finally got out, “they worship on Sunday.” To which he replied, “Yeah, but other than that, you’re exactly the same.”
To be quite frank, I had never believed up to that point that he was so closed minded. I had previously known that he could be obstinate, but that does not necessarily make one closed minded. He was presented with a booklet explaining our beliefs, but he still lumped us in as “Protestant”. Our relationship was a bit strained after that, because I could never be sure whether he was really listening, even if it was a work-related item (esp. as the first time he had shown himself obstinate was a work-related item).
You know, it just amazes me when someone tells you what you or your church believes with absolutely no basis in fact. They accuse you of being something so radically different than you are. I have come to the conclusion that they aren’t interested in your point of view at all and certainly aren’t interested in rational honest discussion. Intentionally misstating someone’s viewpoint is not honest. Being intentionally ignorant of someone’s viewpoint in a debate isn’t either.
It reminds me of the history of the true Church how they were often accused of being baby killers, rebellious against the government and other trumped up charges. They were often called “Judaizers” because true Christianity started out as a sect of the Jews. They were often derisively called “Nazarenes”. They kept the 7th day Sabbath and the Holy Days, abstained from pork, did not keep pagan holidays like Saturnalia (Christmas) or Ishtar (Easter) and followed God’s word rather than that of deceived religious leaders. They were outcasts, even amongst the Jews. Yet, instead of distancing themselves, the true Church embraced their Jewish roots.
Some would paint Paul an antinomian (anti-Law). People most often point to his writings to declare the Law was done away. Yet, Paul certainly didn’t see it that way, even after his arrest.
I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
~ Ac 22:3
And when [Paul] was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
~ Ac 25:7-8
Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Did Paul consider himself a Pharisee even after his conversion?
But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am [present tense] a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
~ Ac 23:6
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
~ Php 3:4-6
Rather than being ashamed of being a Pharisee, Paul pointed to it as his credentials. Yet, even that high and lofty title of “Pharisee” was nothing compared to Christ (v 7). Therefore, if they were impressed with the title “Pharisee”, they should be even more enamored with Christ.
Yet, Paul was accused of teaching against the Law (Ac 21:28), and it seems there are those who would accuse him of it to this day.
So, I suppose if people will intentionally twist what Paul taught, why should they listen to facts about what the Church of God teaches? If they would persecute the Church down through the ages on trumped up charges, why would they read literature or read a blog to see what it really teaches?
When Jesus said they are the blind leading the blind, He was not just referring to their doctrines. When Jesus said the multitudes were blind and deaf, it meant they could not reason from Scripture because even the facts themselves were misrepresented in their minds and hearts. The Church wasn’t always persecuted down through the ages because of what it taught, but more often for what others said it taught.
And, those of us who have had our minds open know that this persecution will occur again, and it may well be soon by the looks of things. It will come from people who believe in a false Christianity, and people who are willing to believe and teach lies about the Bible and about others. It will come from people who are honestly not interested in facts.