Far too often in today’s religious world we find those who try to intimidate others into following what they teach. It may be because of the title they wear, the position they hold, the degrees they have attained or some other thing that is supposed to set them above all others in regard to authority in teaching. They may even step to the position when questioned about their teaching by saying something such as, “Do you know who I am?”. And even if that is left unsaid, their title or position is often intended to persuade others of their preeminence in such matters. Jesus addressed such attitudes in the scribes and Pharisees in a scathing rebuke in Matthew 23. But sadly there are those today determined to keep such foolishness alive.
In the book of Acts we find an excellent answer which all honest Bible students can give to those who seek to set themselves up as teachers who are above having their teachings questioned. Paul and Silas had entered the synagogue and Berea (17:10) and when those present heard their teachings we are told “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (11). It seems that God desires us to know that even the great apostle Paul was not above being “checked up on”! So the next time someone presumes to have you accept their teachings because of “who they are”, feel free to tell them who you are – a “noble” individual who will not hesitate to “search the scriptures” whether their teachings are so! As Jesus said, each of us has the ability to study and know the truth (John 8:32).
Jack H. Williams