Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Is God concerned about the details?

Meditation for the week of July 26, 2009

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Recently I heard a preacher say that knowing Christ and the way of salvation is important but the rest is just details.  The implication was that the details were not important.  Other churches tell me that they preach the basics but they don’t bother with doctrine because that is divisive.  Others tell me that we should not major on the minors when it comes to our relationship with one another in the church.  I understand that we all need to grow in our faith and in our relationship with God.  At any point in time we may not understand some of the details and some of the doctrines that many consider to be the minors.  However,  if I understand Paul right, He is saying that  if something is important to the Lord, it is important to him.  He declared the whole counsel of God when he preached.

Today most of us believe that we ought to be obedient to God.  However, how can we be obedient if we don’t know all the counsel of God?  Many preachers and churches have relegated many of the doctrines of the church to the minors.  Today churches are organizations and not organisms.  Separation from unbelievers when we worship is taught in the Scriptures but is not practiced in the church.  Keeping the Gospel free is not practiced.  We charge for many of the events where we preach the Gospel.  The church tells individuals and  couples to live within their means and then the church borrows money.  Often people are not baptized and yet they participate in church functions as though they had taken a public stand for the Lord in baptism.   Many churches do not consider the Scriptural mode of baptism to be important.  I could go on and on.  But of course most of these things have to do with the way we worship, not with moral issues in our personal life.  However, even with the moral issues, we tend to pick and choose which doctrines are important.  The whole counsel of God requires a public promise and commitment to each other on the part of couples that are living together for them to not be committing immorality.  Many of our churches are accepting couples that are living together as long as they are faithful to each other within that commitment even though they have never been married either legally or scripturally.  These same churches would not accept practicing homosexuals. Yet both groups are committing immorality as far as God is concerned.

Preaching the whole counsel of God is difficult.  When I go to certain congregations, in order to be invited back so that I can preach God’s way of salvation and so that I can help those who are young in Christ, I know better than to teach certain issues.  If asked about them privately, I will explain what I believe the Scripture says.   But while the Ephesians apparently were open to whole counsel of God, many of our churches today are not.  I have asked the Lord how to handle this because I want to be faithful to Him and useful to my fellow Christians, but I don’t want to be an autocratic dogmatic teacher.  But when I see people less and less interested in the whole counsel of God, I have to wonder what is wrong.  Perhaps the whole counsel of God needs to start with how to be saved.  Maybe regeneration is the problem.  Since God does not think like we think, the unsaved would surely not find “every word” of God to be bread from heaven (Matthew 4:4).  But to the saved, we should find “every word” and every doctrine of Scripture to be important.  We may disagree on the interpretation and the application of some passages of Scripture but we should never disagree on the fact that if it is in the Bible, it is important to God.  Therefore, it should be important to us.

Bruce Collins

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