I was reading an article from a man who called himself pastor of the Sovereign Grace Church. I was surprised that I agreed with most of his article, so I went to the website of this Sovereign Grace Church to consider further where he was coming from. I quickly noticed some unusual things that were exactly opposite of what he was teaching in his article; he simply was not practicing what he preached.
The article was about the details within God’s word for the work and worship of the church. He began by refuting the idea that the Bible does not give specific instructions as to what the church should look like. He said the idea “bothered” him and that it was “blatantly false.” For the rest of the article, he made a list of six (6) “specifics” that the bible gives us about the work and worship of the church. Again, I was surprised that the majority of these things that he listed were scriptural, such as: taking the Lord’s supper together regularly, being led by qualified elders, worshipping in song together, and maintaining holiness through church discipline. All of those points are founded in scripture and I readily agree with them. However, in an article that refutes the idea that the bible does not give specifics for what the church should look like, the author was quite vague on the details. A further investigation on the author through the internet gave me the answer as to why he was so vague. For example, while he pointed out that the church worships in song together, he was suspiciously unclear as to whether every member was to be singing, or if instruments of music could be involved or not. While his main point was accurate, he does not practice his cry to consider the specifics; being a musical band leader himself in the worship service.
Other things in the article struck me as suspicious as well, like saying that the Lord’s supper should be taken regularly. This is vague and open to interpretation. It is not necessary to word a commandment in this way, and not when the bible is much more specific than “regularly;” providing us with the exact day (Sunday) and frequency (every Sunday) that the church is to enter the communion together (Acts 20:7).
I point these things out to demonstrate that there are plenty of religious people who believe that they are following the details of God’s word, but are not paying attention to all the details. Everything that God has revealed in His will matters. We cannot go in the direction of His will only part of the time and be comfortable saying that we obey the will of God. An example I like to use goes like this: after driving home for a while, you become suspicious that the car behind you might be following you. Thus far, they have taken every turn that you have. The closer you get to your house, the more you glance into your rearview mirror, paying close attention to this person who is supposedly tailing you. But then you see them turn into another neighborhood, you’re relieved and you laugh within yourself at how ridiculous you have been acting. Here’s the point, when it comes to God’s will, there are many who might be following the same direction of the will of God, only to exit to another path. Did such people ever intend to do all the will of God? Probably not any more than the person driving behind you for a while intended to reach the same destination as you. Those who pay attention to every direction in God’s will are going to reach the planned destination of God. But at any point, if they veer off onto another path, they will not reach the same destination. This is why we must be cautious and vigilant to do all that God has said; to pay attention to the details, for they are there for a reason. They are there to show you the exact pathway that leads to heaven.
Most religious people today find vagueness to be a great ally. It is vagueness in scriptural details that helps them feel comfortable doing things only partly God’s way. It is the use of vagueness that helps them escape the lion’s den of various persecutions. But God taught us long ago through Daniel that it is not indistinctness that helps us escape the lion’s den, but God alone. Let not the proclamation of the details of God’s word be hazy! Be direct, be precise, be consistent.
Article by Tanner Campbell.