“There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.”
God’s word is the final authority for what is right, not what I think, what I feel, what seems good or pleasing. If what I think, what I feel, what seems good or pleasing is in violation of God’s word, it is not right. We do not worship at the altar of our feelings, but we worship in spirit and in truth. God’s word is truth. Therefore, I must spend time in His word and in prayer, asking Him to grant me the wisdom to understand His word and rightly apply it. And also therefore, I must judge everything anyone attributes to God by what His word says. Personally, I'm glad I don't have to trust my feelings. I'd be in big trouble if that was my guide.
I have avoided mentioning this for a long time, but I just have to mention this in context with the chapter in Proverbs I read yesterday because it keeps on coming up in my circle of friends and acquaintances, so I know it must be coming up in a lot of groups, and I just need to get it out of my system and then I’ll move on. There is a book going around Christian circles that a lot of people are saying I just have to read and that it will give me such a better understanding of God and grace. That book is called The Shack. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard it mentioned favorably and quoted from and etc. I cannot tell you how many people, surprising people, have told me I just have to read this book.
Friends, be wary. I don’t care how much ‘good’ stuff might be in that book, there is also a lot that some very biblically wise men and women are saying is not biblical and is actually heretical. If what is being presented fictionally as something God would say doesn’t line up with what He has actually said in His word, run away. Personally, I’ve decided not to waste my time reading it. I’ve heard enough about it from sources I trust that I just don’t want to fill my mind with something I have to wade through to find some snippet among many other thoughts that aren’t right. Here are a couple of reviews I read or listened to that are worth pondering if you have read or are being encouraged to read that book: From Al Mohler and from Tim Challies.
Something I am becoming increasingly aware of in my journey through life is that just because something is in the Christian bookstore or has a Christian label or is on Christian TV or is presented as being Christian, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily theologically sound. Be careful, is all I’m saying.
And one more little pet peeve I just have to get off my chest. I am getting so tired of people saying I need to read a fiction book to gain a better understanding of who God is. Is what He has said in His word and shown us in Christ not enough? Rather I fill my mind with His word than someone’s speculations.
Because there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. How I feel about something cannot and must not be the ground of my determining its soundness. God’s word must be the final authority.