Thinking. Balance. It is so difficult sometimes to maintain. Jesus tells us that His Spirit would lead us in all truth. And I believe it. I believe, that I do not have to fear false doctrine creeping in and messing me up if I just use God-given, Scriptural discernment.
I was listening to some good sermons today that were by a guy who is not of the same "Stripe" that I am. But it was thought-provoking and even convicting. Some people would just not be able to even listen to the man because they'd be so caught up in how he was dressed, or in his style, yada yada. I have my style, and my standards, and I'm comfortable with them, that's why they're mine. But I don't understand it when people obsess over it and when they seem to think that anyone who isn't a clone of them is a threat or a heretic. Could it be insecurity? Just a thought. But anyways.
The point is, there is so much to LEARN, from so many sources. The compass, the test that tests every source-is the word of God, anything contradicting that Word is balogna! But if it is from as source you aren't used to, don't automatically ASSUME you can't learn anything except from people that satisfy all of your standards and sensitivities. There is a saying "Learn from everyone, follow no one."" Now I know some pseudo-pious fellow will say, 'um, follow Christ, dude!' Yes, of course, follow Christ! But this saying is talkin about other people, imperfect, flawed, misguided people. And there is something to learn here. Learn! Learn what is worth learning. I have learned some good earthly truths from some wicked morons,you can still learn something. And you can listen to someone who has studied a subject or knows something you don't, even if they arent as smart and wonderful as you are in some other area....
I know what I am and I know where I stand. But I am also secure enough in that, that I have no problems looking at and considering unlikely sources. Why should I be placed in a tight little box of borders and categories and arbitrary boundaries? I am all for boundaries, appropriate boundaries, but not for bars and fences that are there for no good reason and aren't helpful. I am not afraid to READ any book, listen to any person, and if it is trash, then I can find out why it is trash! But if you sit back all self-satisfied and only listen to people of your exact stripe, you're liable to get stagnant, arrogant, and ignorant.
I'm not saying to be a sponge, quite the contrary. Swim against the current, Be brave enough to follow God and His Word. And yeah, err on the side of safety if you are unsure of something. But don't be willfully ignorant. Don't be afraid to learn, read, and listen. Don't be insecure. And understand that God's infinite wisdom and influence is PERFECTLY CAPABLE of operating outside of the confines of your group, or camp or label. I think it is rather funny that some people think God checks the name on the sign of the Church to decide if He is going to send the Holy Spirit or not! haha God honors His Word, not names, lip-service, or labels. Don't misunderstand me. I stand where I stand for a good reason. I go to Church where I go to Church because that is my conviction and belief. But I am not going to try the futile activity of telling God what He is going to do or where and how He is allowed to work and speak. And God is the Creator of the mind, of the earth, of the universe, of atoms, of galaxies, of history, of emotions, of every aspect of life. We try to categorize what we see as "Spiritual" but God, is involved, 'spiritually' in every aspect of your existence. You can't go anywhere where He is Not.
God was God before Southern Gospel music, and before suit and ties. lol No doubt, God has quite the influence on southerners singing Gospel tunes and preachers in suites and ties! And that is awesome! And I LOVE it! but He is also at work among tribes in Africa, and He revealed Himself to a Shepherd in the middleast who was wearing sandals and a robe. There is so much to God. be still and listen for His voice, And respect NOTHING more than you respect His perfect Word, His complete Revelation, the Holy Bible.