Humility Is Not About Accepting Every View

Humility Is Not About Accepting Every View

Pastor Vincent - 18 September 2021

Weekend Devotion: Humility Is Not About Accepting Every View

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Usually, when a person makes a strong point about a case, it is most often met with antipathy. Because it is counter-cultural to the sense we have about “humility” these days. In our culture today especially people dislike strong and definite statements. The liberal culture of the present times like to see every point being given attention, and every view being accepted. For instance, if we are doing the ministry of God, we like to believe that God calls everyone to do different thing, and every ministry is equal in value. And if we are preachers of the word, we like to think that as long as anyone who draws from the bible to preach are delivering the word of God, and every sermon is to be accepted with humility. I mean people who advocates such philosophy will not want to say that this is liberalism, instead people call this humility. So it seems to be widely accepted that humility is about being inclusive and accepting of all views, and this is getting into the head of everyone, even Christians. And by the sheer fact that we don’t know everything, we tend to think that being humble is to be opened and acceptive to every view.

But is that really so?

It seems so, if we do not give it a more critical analysis.  

Now, I understand that in almost every culture, humility is a prize value. And we are commanded by the Lord to be humble, BUT the Lord did not tell us to accept every view, every opinion or every school of thought. In fact, we are commanded by the Lord to always be ready to make a defense for our faith, and to expose every wrong teachings and practices.

 

So should we accept every view freely and readily? My straight answer is NO!

Because by doing that, it is not only “not humble”, it is in fact far from the spirit of humility that God has given us.

Now listen carefully here. In all honesty, we must humbly admit that we don’t know everything. So as Christians, we are open to listen. We are opened to listen to different religious views, societal views, political views, or even in the church arena, listen to different views with regard to how the Bible is explained, how ministries can be done, so on and so forth. Indeed, not listening, and not listening hard enough shows our non-humility. But having listen enough, we have to make a critique to what we’ve heard. We’ve to weigh and consider all views and make good discernment. And after that, we’ve to bring to conclusion about what is right, what is biblical, or at least what is appropriate and let the Spirit of truth deliver His verdict. When we say: “God leads everyone in different ways”, we cannot assume that all ways are right ways. If not, that is like giving ourselves a blank cheque to do whatever we like. So be careful of those assumptions.   

 

And sometimes, when people hear me say these things. They get very agitated. They say: “Why must you be so controversial, pastor?” Why can’t you be amicable? Why can’t you be embracing?” That’s because I worship a God who is not only loving and accepting, but HE is also a just God. And when justice is involved, wisdom and discernment cannot be dispensed with. When Paul wrote to the Philippi believers, this is what he said: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” Php 1:9-10. By that, we know God demands every bible believing Christians to love, yet to “love with knowledge”. And loving with knowledge involves being able to “discern what is best” (Or some translation says “what is excellent”)

 

Now, ask ourselves, if humility is about accepting every view and every way, why did the Lord give us the bible? Why did the Lord show us how the gospel is to be preached, and how ministry is to be done? Being led by the spirit is not just giving yourselves a blank cheque to accept whatever teaching that sounds right to you, or to do whatever that seems right to you. You have to be led by the spirit through meditating on the Word of God thoroughly. You have to seek direction through the word, coupled with the circumstances that God is leading you, not just being opened to experiences and what’s doable.

 

And another reason why I have to be very deliberate about scrutinizing what is right and wrong is because the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. It’s dangerous, not because of terrorist, not because of pandemic, but because we have explicitly entered into another kind of war in this Era, i.e. the war of the mind, where ideological and cultural wars are fought at many fronts. Never before have ideological and cultural wars have been fought to this extend.

Now, to quote what Samuel Huntington said in “The Clash of Civilizations”, where he proposed the idea that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. He argued that future wars would be fought not between countries, but between cultures and beliefs – i.e. the cultures and beliefs of the East and the West, the capitalist and the socialist, the democracy and communist.

 

For me, a bible believer, I believe every war in this world is fought on the premise of a theistic and atheistic worldview. A godly and godless culture. And in the church, a God-centric and human-centric way of Christianity. We are at war my brethren. If you think that humility is about freely accepting every view without scrutinizing every doctrine, every new teaching, every way of practicing Christianity, every way of growing the church, you have nicely fallen into the trap of the enemy.

 

Now, I’ve often heard young and naive believers misquoting scriptures in the name of humility. It is especially prevalent to hear preachers and believers who advocate hyper-grace and easy believism quote verses like: “Judge not, lest ye’ll be judged”.  Now to me, that is often the most misquoted verse. When Jesus warned the pharisees not to judge the outward appearance of men, HE is not giving everyone a blank cheque to speak untruths into people’s hearts. He is not telling the church to switch off her discerning mind.

 

So coming back, in all humility, let us learn to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. And to do so, you need to be first, sound in biblical truths. Do not just run after charismatic preachers, or eye-opening experiences. Do not keep learning methods to grow your ministry. Rather, learn Christ. Learn His heart. Learn His mercy. Learn His holy anger. Learn His sacrificial love for the Church. And learn His jealousy in preserving the purity of the church.

 

And if you have learned Christ, you will know what is true humility. You would have cultivated a mind to be with and to serve His Church. You will yield everything you are doing, be it your disposition, your individual lives, your family, your future to the benefit of God’s church. You will not seek to do your own ministry, but you will build all your ministries centering upon God’s church, benefitting the people within. Why? Because Christ came for His Church.  

 

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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