Basic Training – Being Berean: 8 Steps for Comparing Teaching to Scripture by Michelle Lesley

In the past here at Talk Wisdom, I have often mentioned the need for Christians to be “Berean” in their beliefs regarding discernment while examining the Scriptures and also when sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  My previous posts are listed at this link.

Today, I found a great blog written by a Christian woman named Michelle Lesley.  Her recent post entitled Basic Training Being Berean: 8 Steps for Comparing Teaching to Scripture is one of the best I have ever found on this topic!

The post is excellent and very thorough in describing exactly why we, as Christians, need to follow the “Berean Way.” It is also a guideline on discernment when evaluating churches, the pastors that lead them, the teachings that are given at churches as well as the various teachings one may find through all of social media online.  The importance of utilizing  discernment and the “plumb line of Scripture” is that which establishes what we are to deem as truth vs. error by those who claim to be Christians.

Excerpt:

How do you know if what your pastor, you Sunday School teacher, your favorite podcast preacher, or your favorite Christian author is teaching you matches up with what the Bible actually says?

Did you know that you’re supposed to examine what you hear and read by the measuring stick of Scripture and reject anything that conflicts with it? Or do you just take for granted that if someone is a pastor, teacher, or Christian celebrity, he must know what he’s talking about, and what you’re hearing or reading must be biblical Christianity?

If you didn’t know you need to examine what you’re being taught, or you’ve always just assumed that if someone calls herself a Christian teacher what she’s saying must be biblical, sadly, you are not alone. In fact, you are in the overwhelming majority of the visible church. I’ve been a faithful church member all my life and, to this day, in the churches I’ve attended, I’ve never heard a pastor or teacher proactively preach or teach this biblical concept. I was nearly forty when I “stumbled across” the concept of being a good Berean – through a para-church ministry.

What does it mean to be a Berean, or discerning, or to “test the spirits”?

The term “Berean” comes from a little story in Acts:

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
Acts 17:10-12

“Testing the spirits” comes from 1 John 4:1:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Some Christians have an extra measure of discernment – “distinguishing between spirits” – as a spiritual gift:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;…to another [is given] the ability to distinguish between spirits,
1 Corinthians 12:4,10b

But all of these passages have the same foundational concept. All Christians are to believe what rightly handled, in context Scripture teaches, and reject whatever contradicts it. Although it is the responsibility of our pastors and church leaders to teach and lead us to distinguish between true and false doctrine, we are not to depend solely on others to “do discernment” for us. We need to learn how to be good Bereans ourselves.

How do we go about that?

 

Read the rest HERE.

 

Hat tips to all links and graphic sites.

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