Tag Archives: theology

Holding On To Dross (Jeremiah 4-6)

Dross: foreign matter, dregs, or mineral waste, in particular scum formed on the surface of molten metal. Also used in regard to something worthless; rubbish, i.e: “there are bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross.”

My concern for the Church in America grows every day. Jeremiah, while talking about the Jews of his day, said that God was pruning them to get rid of sin, performing surgery to cut out sin, and putting them in the refiners fire in order for them to eliminate sin and become pure, all with the intention of making it possible for the Jews to return to God.

Jeremiah says to God: You struck them but they felt no pain; you crushed them but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. (5:3)

The prophet found that to be true not only in lay people, in the regular folk who might not have had the opportunity for higher education concerning God’s Law, but he found the same to be true in church leaders. They all knew better, but they chose to ignore God’s correction and His plea for their return.

Jeremiah used the example of refining fire burning away dross from metal to purify the metal, leaving something precious and valuable. Jeremiah said if the people are the ore, they are clinging to the dross while rejecting the silver. They are holding on to the worthless and ignoring the prize.

Are we Christians doing the same thing here in 2020? Are we rejecting the precious and valuable Gospel for a worthless theology so compromised it has no value? Have we clung to tolerance, and acceptance, and eliminated anything that could offend, instead of holding to the Truth of God?

It happened in Jeremiah’s day. What makes us think it can’t happen here and now? If we think we are immune, I’m afraid we’ve already grabbed hold of the dross.

Judges 17-18; What You Believe

What do you believe about God? On what or whom do you base your theology? Is it church doctrine? Are your beliefs based on the writings of a Bible scholar you like? A dynamic speaker, or your own pastor? Is what you believe about God based on your own thoughts and desires?

We read about Micah, his mom, and some Danite thugs, and they all seem to call on the God of their Fathers. But their religion cannot be described as one based on the Word of God.

The key to this account is the fact there was no king in Israel at the time. Everyone did as they felt was best for themselves. (18:1) So it was not unheard of that someone like Micah might fashion a religion to his own liking, one that appears to acknowledge God, yet in reality denies Him.

I am burdened for those here in 2017 who have fallen for the same deception as Micah did; religions that acknowledge God, or a higher power, or a supreme being, yet place idols around their homes and in their hearts. I am burdened for people who use God’s Holy Word as a suggestion rather than the complete and utter Truth.

Dear one, I would encourage us to put away the commentaries, the self-help books, the opinions of men and women for a while. Turn off the TV and radio, quit reading blogs, (including mine) and open up the Bible. Read it. Pray about it. Meditate on it. Open your heart and mind to the Holy Spirit. Let God speak to us through His Word, as He longs to do.

I’m not saying we should never read study guides and enrich our beliefs with the opinions of others. I hope you’ll come back to reading my blog after you’ve spent time in the Word.

But I am convinced we shouldn’t be reading those things until we are first and foremost firmly grounded in the Bible. If our theology isn’t based on the Truth of Scripture, with no add-ons or take-aways, then we have acted as though there is no King, and have fashioned a religion to our liking.

And that, my friend, is not a religion, or a belief system God will honor.

 

June 11

I Kings 12:1-13:34; 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, 11:1-4, 13-17

God had told the man of God exactly what to do. Go to Bethel and tell Jeroboam that God punishes disobedience, then get out. Don’t eat or drink anything. Don’t even go back the way you came. Just walk away and keep walking. The man of God didn’t have to guess at any of the details because God had spelled it all out for him.

But when someone who claimed to have received a special message from God that contradicted what the man of God knew to be true, the man of God changed his course. After all, didn’t the old prophet say he had received the message straight from God? So it must be true, right?

Wrong.

Dear one, it’s important for you to know what it is that God has spelled out in his Word. The Bible and ONLY the Bible is God’s instruction manual. It’s ok to read blogs (I’m glad you read mine) or commentaries or books about God. It’s good to listen to preaching and teaching. But you must always measure what you hear with what you read in the Bible. Always.

God will not ever, ever give a word to anyone that contradicts what he has already said in his Word. The Bible is God’s truth. Not the Bible plus anything.

And beware of those who would take a verse and use it to justify their own agenda if that verse, taken out of context, doesn’t agree with the rest of the Bible and who God is as revealed in the entire book.

The man of God died for his disobedience, even if the old prophet sounded like he had a revelation from God. The warning here for us is that if we accept a religion or a theology that contradicts what God said in his Word, we too will die for our disobedience. 

So I hope you continue to read my blog. But don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible for yourself. I hope you go to church and soak up the message from your pastor. But read the text for yourself and the chapters before and after the text. Is what you read or hear consistent with the entire Word of God?

The Bible is God’s instruction manual. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Hold it close. Study it. Live it. Know it so that you can discern when something you hear isn’t consistent with God’s truths written there. We have such a treasure in these pages. Don’t miss out on the blessings of reading God’s message for yourself. Let him speak to you through his Word today.

Dear God, thank you for the written Word, your message to your people in 2013. Help us to read it, love it, use it every day. Help us to know what you have said in it’s pages so that we recognize when someone’s message isn’t consistent with Scripture. Give discernment to your people as we study those precious books we call the Bible.