How do we know?

Writing a blog makes me something of a public figure.  Everyday, somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 different people set their eyes upon my work.  That may not seem like a lot, but it is enough to (most of the time) keep me focused, reading the Scriptures and trying to listen for what God is saying through them.  Most of the feedback I get is positive.  There is the occasional thoughtful critique, and, as with everywhere else on the internet, trolls find their way here as well.2015-09-02 12.38.17 (2)

Since @LuvtheTriuneGod deleted this tweet before the day was out, I’ve decided not to share his name publicly, but he raises a good question.  How do we know whether someone is teaching us sound doctrine or trying to lead us off the path of righteousness?  In Sunday’s Gospel lesson, Jesus warns his disciples that many will try to lead his followers astray; some will even claim to be Jesus returning.  How can we test who is trying to lead us down the path of life and who is full of “eisegesis that causes the church to bleed members”?

I think TKT is going to preach on just this subject on Sunday, so I don’t want to steal his thunder, but I think the answer lies in the lesson from the Letter to the Hebrews: “Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.”  I think the test of true faith is to simply ask, “Does it compel me to love God?  Am I provoked to love my neighbor?”  If the answer is no, then it is not true teaching.  As our new Presiding Bishop said in his first sermon as PB, “if it isn’t about love, it isn’t about God.”  It seem to me that it really is that simple.

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