Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
A Latent Stumbling Block– Part VI
Too often secular leaders used different groups of the Reformers as instruments to be free from Roman Catholic domination. They used Augustine's replacement theology as found in one of his books, The City of Our God, by copying Israel's theocratic government for Christianity to establish state Churches. State churches became their own little gods, i.e., dictating that the people of that political entity must believe and do their will. Henry VIII started the Church of England to get the divorces he wanted. Secular princes embraced some of the Reformer's systematic theologies and would make them the orthodoxy of their states. This was a general origin of many modern-day denominations. Often Scripture is simply used to justify and sanctify traditional Church doctrine. This is simply a form of Satan's suggestion to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In this way, the theologian asserts himself as a little god. To avoid this, there is no substitute to “thus says the Scripture.”
Even professed Fundamentalists, have fallen from Sola Scriptura. This is done through idealism to ease the rigors of diligent Bible research, application, and full circle discipleship. The cry of many evangelicals against “Easy believeism” has been loud, yet too often practiced. Philosophical idealism has too often overshadowed thorough and full application of the demands of Scripture, especially from the original texts. With the availability of scholarly helps, the lack of knowledge is no excuse. In seeking to discern God’s truth, the Apostle’s admonition should be heard: “…speaking the truth in love, may grow up . . . Till we all come in the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” (Eph. 4:15, 13).
The Apostle Paul summarizes the attitude of Scripture, when he wrote: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thess. 5:21). He also points out the means of spiritual victory: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:4, 5). Paul was not being idealistic by exhorting Timothy to gain God’s approval when he wrote: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, NASU).
Related reading: A Latent Stumbling Block (Part 1); A Latent Stumbling Block- Contending for the Faith; A Latent Stumbling Block - A Historic Battle