1Cr 14:7-9 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?For if the trumpet g ive an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
Now,I will start right off at the beginning by saying that I am taking these verses out of context - which is something you should never do when interpreting the bible - even calling this little blog an application of the scripture would be a big stretch - I guess what I am doing is borrowing a biblical illustration to illustrate something I have observed within moden Christendom.
In its proper context it is talking about speaking in unknown tongues and it gives the illustrations of music and the battle trumpet as illustrations that is important to be understood if we are saying something - its a bad musician who plays a piece that no one even can recognize - or even tell it is music for that matter - it is ancompetent bugler who blows his trumpet or bugle in such a way that no one can tell whether he is blowing an advance or a retreat - a victory - a rollcall. The soldiers end up confused not knowing what to do -some running this way - some that - others running in circles dancing a jig.
So what is my point? I read a book recently - and I enjoyed it for the most part - itwas a Christian author who presented a philosophy I guess you could say - and the theme and philosophy of the book were thought-provoking. The illustrations and style of writing were both effective and enjoyable. The problem with the book came whenever he approached anything that was biblical doctrine. At that point it became confusing, vague, and fuzzy. If one didn't know beforehand what the bible thought they would leave the book knowing less if possible, Part of the cause of the problem was that he was trying to avoid slaning towards any denominational or sectarian position. He was trying to present a basic idea without getting into debates about this or that. The problem was that he ended up presenting a fuzzy gospel and fuzzy doctrune.
I am not saying this to attack the guy - I enjoyed the book and agreed with the central theme. I mention it because it is yet another example of the trumpet giving an uncertain sound and the soldiers are not preparing them for battle. I think it is great that today we have a freedomin a lot of our groups to ask questions and explore the truth - there have been times and there are still Christian groups where there is an unwritten rule not to question anything. The problem is that the pendulum has swung way too far the other way and very few are standingup and saying "Thus saith the Lord". Not only are we not clear on what the bible clearly teaches but there is often a subtle insinuation that it doesn't really matter what the truth of biblical doctrine is - or - no one can really know what the right position is for this or that. To use a greek word, '"HOGWASH". We are living in a day when doctrine and truth aren't big thingson the priority list of the church. Of course the important things are being "nice" and seeking peace and demonstrating the spirit and feeling all warm and fuzzy.
If we were to declare that some uncomfortable things are true - that would be saying that others who don't hold that view are wrong and that just ain't nice. A point commonly made today is that salvation isn't just a get out of hell free ticket - there is more to the gospel than that - and I agree - BUT it is that And more. The gospel in the bible is both inclusive and exclusive - it tells us that whosoever will trust Christ will be saved -and whosoever won't is damned to hell already because they have not believedon the name of the only begotten Son. The good news of the gospel is contingent on understanding the bad news - we are all sinners under God's judgement and wrath until we accept Christ's payment - our salvation is totally of grace and nothing we can do can save ourselves - these aren't nice popular things but they are the truth of the gospel - these are just some examplesof areas we need to be clear - and there needs to be clarity with all our doctrine - sure there are some things that maybe we are not sure of - and maybe some that we disagree on - but there is much that we can be sure of and we need to be - we can speak with autihority - the authority of truth.There is a big difference between asking questions to grow in our knwoledge of the truth and speaking things that minister questions - that put question marks of doubt in our hearers minds _ our goals should be to help others grow in their faith in God and his word -and also to be loyal to God and his word - to be faithful to his message_ How doea your trumpet sound?
Isa 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.