2004-06-28 - Aynthingarians
2 Timothy 1:13, "Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."
There are people who will believe anything and therefore believe nothing. They live by the motto that whatever is new, whatever advances my cause, whatever is expedient, whatever works, whatever we set our affections on, whatever makes people like us, if there is anything that works to our advantage and causes people to speak well of us, then we should key in on these things. Scripture has a somewhat different take. Scripture says, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things," Philippians 4:8. The focus in Scripture is upon those things that God says are right and true, not upon whatever works for us at this or that time.
An anythingarian lacks conviction. If an anythingarian is in a conversation with an Arminian (Those who say that Christ died for everyone, yet His salvation does not save everyone), he can be an Arminian. If an anythingarian is visiting with a Pelagian (Those who say that man must make the first steps toward his salvation by his own efforts, and who deny original sin), he can be a Pelagian. With a Calvinist (God sovereignly saves those for whom Christ died), he is a Calvinist. With a Socinian (Deny the Trinity), he is a Socinian. With an Arian (Deny Christ was God), he is an Arian. On it goes, because an anythingarian has no convictions. Today's truth is good for today, but maybe next week, an anythingarian will believe something antithetical.
It is very true that if you plant a tree somewhere around your house and move it next week, then again next week, and continue doing it for six months, then by six months time, the tree is sure to be dead. It is the same with our faith and understanding of God's truth. If we allow ourselves to be blown about by every new wind of doctrine, we will end up believing anything, or in truth, nothing. Our spiritual life will be dead, because there will be no foundation. An anythingarian is also a nothingarian. An anythingarian can't "retain the standard of sound words," because there is no standard for him. It is easy to be an anythingarian. But in spite of how an anythingarian would like things to be, it is true that two views that contradict each other can't both be true. This is why it is so important for us to study God's Word and discover what it teaches. We can't believe whatever we would like; we must believe what is true. It is not a great leap from believing wrongly to acting wrongly.
We are not to be like the man who, when he was asked what he believed, replied, "I believe what the church believes." Then when asked what the church believes, he said, "The church believes what I believe." And so with the useless circular reasoning. The church and the doctrines of the church can be very useful to aid us in our understanding, but churches have erred. Church councils can go far in defining and explaining what the Bible teaches, but church councils have erred. We will not enter heaven, realize where our views have been wrong and say, "Yes, I guess it was wrong to believe that, but so and so taught that." It doesn't matter what so and so believes, when we stand before the throne of God. It matters what we have believed. Our primary source of information about God, and what He would have us believe, is revealed to us in Scripture. It is to our eternal advantage to put aside our tendencies toward anythingarianism, and establish ourselves as students of The Book.
Soli Deo Gloria,