I recently saw a post on Facebook the other day that alluded to the fact that sometimes in Christianity we can take someones word for it. We often hear something from the pulpit or from a "pastor" or "preacher" and we assume they know more than we do so obviously we should trust them. This way of thinking is traversing a slippery slope and eventually will lead us in the wrong direction. Men that teach and preach make mistakes and can you lead one astray without necessarily intentionally doing so. We need to be careful about who and what we accept as absolute truth. When it comes to weeding through what is said the Bible has a lot to offer. At the end of the day the Bible is what we can trust to be our guide and a lamp to our feet. We are to hold everyone else's words up to the Bible to see if it holds fast.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 gives us a starting point. It says "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Scripture is what is inspired. Man today is not inspired however they can read what the inspired word says. But they can also mislead you. Scripture is our guide not man.
2 Timothy 2:15 also points to the need to study or be on the lookout to present yourself approved. This does not come without some effort. It says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The Bereans in Acts 17:11 are a good example on how we should approach this topic. The text says "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." This is how we should approach this topic. We should search the scripture to see if these things are so. Not just take someones word for it.
Why is it tempting to take someones word for it?
It requires less effort on our part.
They are well versed shouldn't we just trust them?
We get so attached to a person we forget about the doctrine.
We expect someone who knows the Bible to always be right.
We forget that just because the Bible is inspired does not mean what man says about the Bible is inspired as well.
Let us learn to be students of God's word and not students of preachers. We need to use God's word as our guide and not assume that someone else just because they went to School or received training, is always correct. Men make mistakes whether intentional or not, but with God's word as our guide we can pick through and find the truth. Hopefully we can all be like the Berean's and search the scripture daily.