Today is four years since we started our assembly. About seven years ago I looked for a church in my area that rightly divided the scriptures. There was none. I was surprised at the time that there were no churches that believed their Bible literally that way I had been learning to. Now four years after starting our church I am no longer surprised. It seams to me that most Christians today will fight for their beliefs but have no idea if they are fighting for the truth. Why? Christians today won’t listen to anything outside of what they currently believe to be true. This is akin to telling the Holy Spirit “I know it all, let me just coast through the rest of my life sitting in this pew and being content.” I know this to be true because in the last four years on numerous occasions I have tried to share the mystery of Christ with Christians and the pride of denomination, education, and experience shows up immediately. There is a reason Paul told Timothy to not let anyone despise his youth. Once Christians get older, they become so set in their ways they won’t listen to any criticism of their beliefs. When you become hardened to a challenge to your beliefs you have become cold to the Holy Spirits teaching in the worst possible way. You have decided you have nothing else to learn and you sit proud of all the years you have under your belt. There are people sitting in our church every week that have studied their Bibles for decades and sat under preachers with higher education that have learned something different. We have learned that sitting in church week after week for 40 or 50 years MEANS NOTHING if you were being taught the Bible so as to defend denomination and agenda instead of learning the Bible itself. Your experience as a Christian does not prove nor guarantee you know your Bible as written. The people in our church have learned to be open to God’s word and to let it have free course because we have seen the doctrines that we were taught fall apart when compared to the Bible believed literally. We have at the same time seen doctrines become so easily understood when you remove man’s ideas and agendas. Salvation is clear and easy to understand once man’s agendas are removed and God’s word is rightly divided. We are open to criticism because CRITICISM makes us prove whether we are standing in the TRUTH. I do not hide from criticism. In the last 4 years I have seen how easily people become offended when you challenge their beliefs over and over. I read the criticism others write about the literal interpretation of scripture. The problem is Christians will not listen to my critique of their trust in pastors that get paid to defend their denomination. Paul tells us “knowledge puffeth up.” We know the verse, so then why can’t we see our own pride as we so easily dismiss the critique of others. I understand we are conditioned to be prideful every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. I understand when you sit in a building multiple times a week where everyone believes they are right it becomes almost impossible to listen to a challenge of your beliefs. All I can tell you is once you learn to rightly divide your Bible, you will never be the same. Only then will you come to realize how your pride has hindered your growth. Growth does not come by experience alone when is comes to scripture. Growth comes by understanding the scripture as God intended. Trust me, there is a big difference. Give yourself the freedom to be wrong, it might just change your life.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul