Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Infallibility in The Bible, But Not in Your Pastor


Quoting JC Ryle . . .

"I do not doubt that the one volume known as The Pilgrim's Progress, written by a man who knew hardly any book but his Bible, and was ignorant of Greek and Latin, will prove in the last day to have done more for the benefit of the world, than all the works of the schoolmen put together. Learning is a gift that ought not to be despised. It is an evil day when books are not valued by the Church. But it is amazing to observe how vast a man's intellectual attainments may be, and yet how little he may know of the grace of God. I have no doubt the Authorities of Oxford in the [18th] century, knew more of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, than Wesley or Whitefield. But they knew little of the Gospel of Christ. Infallibility is not to be found among learned men, but in the Bible. For another thing, let us take care that we do not place implicit confidence on our own minister's opinion, however godly he may be.

Peter was a man of mighty grace, and yet he could err. Your minister may be a man of God indeed, and worthy of all honor for his preaching and example; but do not make a pope of him. Do not place his word side-by-side with the Word of God. Do not spoil him by flattery. Do not let him suppose he can make no mistakes. Do not lean your whole weight on his opinion, or you may find to your cost that he can err.

It is written of Joash, King of Judah, that he "did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest" (2 Chronicles 24:2). Jehoiada died, and then died the religion of Joash. Just so your minister may die, and then your religion may die too. He may change, and your religion may change. He may go away, and your religion may go.

Oh, do not be satisfied with a religion built on man! Do not be content with saying, "I have hope, because my own minister has told me such and such things." Seek to be able to say, "I have hope, because I find it thus and thus written in the Word of God." If your peace is to be solid, you must go yourself to the fountain of all truth. If your comforts are to be lasting, you must visit the well of life yourself, and draw fresh water for your own soul. Ministers may depart from the faith. The visible Church may be broken up. But he who has the Word of God written in his heart, has a foundation beneath his feet which will never fail him. Honor your minister as a faithful ambassador of Christ. Esteem him very highly in love for his work's sake. But never forget that infallibility is not to be found in godly ministers, but in the Bible.

--J.C Ryle, The Fallibility of Ministers


Blogger Hank said...

Very good post.

11:09 PM  

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