Source: Sherman Publications

Spiritual Matters
Bible truth not up to opinion

May 15, 2013

Recently, I was reading the newspaper and came across an article discussing a statement made by a religious leader from the Catholic Church. The article was filled with comments from people who appeared to be upset that this person had made the statement.

I find it perplexing that people would think religious leaders should not express opinions about moral issues. Journalists will often write an article about an event from a supposedly unbiased and objective point of view, but will use people’s comments in order to make the article an editorial view.

As a religious leader, I have a responsibility to make a public stand on moral issues.

The stand I make is not supposed to be my own, but should be based on a higher source.

Religious leaders should be called upon to provide God’s truth on a subject. This opinion should not be subjective, but objective (based on the source of truth followed).

As the Pastor of an evangelical or Bible-believing church, I must find my source of truth in the scripture—keeping in mind that the general point of view is gleaned from church history.

The Bible says that God has placed leaders in the church as a source of training and equipping for the church. This is necessary because not all people have the time, or the calling, to be fully informed and prepared to interpret church doctrine on every issue.

We are living in a time where opinionated news is common, and allowing people to express their opinion has become the standard format. Everyone is encouraged to believe how important their opinion is. In a democracy, an informed and opinioned person is good. However, when it comes to our religious beliefs, we must be very careful. The scripture says to be cautious if you want to be a teacher, as you will fall under a more severe judgment.

Why? A teacher is responsible for the souls of the people and must give an account before God on the Day of Judgment. It is a very grave responsibility to hold someone’s life in your hands and it should not be taken lightly.

When we get into the realm of God, we must be very careful that we are not just expressing opinions because it can be an issue of life and death. The scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Jesus came to give us life because on our own, the way of death often seems right.

When Jesus came to the earth for His mission, He did not claim to be right. His claim was that He was the truth incarnate and the words that He spoke were truth. He did not come as a different type of teacher, He came as God: to show us the way.

His statement to His followers was, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Getting back to the article I read, the response of many people interviewed was, “He doesn’t share the view of Jesus Christ.” The opinions they declared to be a reflection of Christ were not truths given from the Bible, only opinions on what they thought Jesus would think. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like people to say I’ve said something that I did not say.

Likewise, I do not want them to express what they feel is my opinion, when it is not my opinion at all. I am sure that Jesus also strongly shares this viewpoint. I can tell you one thing for sure—Jesus wants the world to know who He really is, not what modern society has made Him to be!

The Rev. Loren Covarrubias is pastor of Mt. Zion Church