Trust but verify
This phrase became popular by President Ronald Regan. It was a good policy when dealing with Russia, and it is a good policy when dealing with Bible teaching and preaching. We all want to believe everything we hear on the radio, on TV, or from a pulpit is correct, but the Bible instructs us to follow a policy similar to trust but verify. That policy paraphrased is “listen but check for yourself.” You have no scriptural reason whatsoever to follow an allegorical interpretation of scripture unless the Bible itself is clear that the speaker is using an allegory. In John chapter 6, Jesus uses an obvious allegory when speaking of eating his flesh and blood. We know this is an obvious allegory because in verse 63 Jesus goes on to say: John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
Jesus makes it clear what he said earlier should be taken as an allegory. Unfortunately, many people are taught otherwise. Churches today are full of well-intended people allegorizing much of the Bible. Obviously when major portions of scripture are given a “spiritual” meaning only confusion can result. The lost world looks within the church and sees this confusion. I had a conversation recently with a girl who made the point that Christians use scripture against each other. This is a direct result of allegorizing the Bible. Each teacher picks the slant they want to put on scripture based on their agenda. I would challenge you to follow the policy we started with “trust but verify.” Christians follow the trust part and ignore the verify part. Have you ever taken the time to read the theological positions of other denominations, and the verses they use to prove their position? Here is the result if you have the honesty and enough desire for the truth to do it. You will see that the people your denomination says are wrong also use the Bible to prove their position and also have verses to support their position. When you do this enough, you can very well come to a point where you just give up and only follow the “trust” part. You feel like you can’t understand the Bible, and you never verify anything you just follow. We are NOT meant to just blindly follow. Romans 14:12 tells us we will give account of ourselves to God. Chances are you attend a church that has allegorized the entire earthly kingdom program God promised to Israel. This is the basis of ALL the confusion in Christianity today. If you read the literal meaning of a verse and it seems different than the meaning you are being taught, it is your imperative to verify. You verify by reading the verse just as it stands and see if the literal meaning can make sense within scripture if the verse makes sense then never spiritualize it! If the verse is speaking to Israel then don’t change it or put yourself into the context. If Jesus is speaking, the context is always his ministry to Israel because his ministry was only to Israel. Jesus sent Paul to you. Doctrine for the body of Christ is found in Paul’s epistles. Be a Berean and trust but verify.
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 the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul