Elisha: The Elevation of Preconceived Doctrine

I?m skipping ahead a bit, but I felt that this bit of
history pressing heavily on my mind. Elisha has just witnessed some of the most life-transforming events of
his life, and now sat having a discussion based on preconceptions and majority
rule. It wasn?t a web-forum.

The last the sons of the prophets saw Elijah and Elisha,
they had been crossing the parted Jordan going East. They knew that Elijah was
going to be taken away and proudly said as much to Elisha. They even knew the
very day that Elijah would be taken and strutted before Elisha in Jericho,
flashing their immense knowledge. Elisha knew this already and put a stop to
it?he would be parting company with his teacher and friend?why were they
pricking his heart with their heady knowledge? (2 Ki 2:5)

As it is, he still shouted in awe when the chariot and
horses of fire came down and the whirlwind lifted up Elijah into Heaven. As he
shouted and looked heavenward, he tore his clothing and approached the mantle
of Elijah which had fallen down. He claimed it but when he got to the rocky
shore he stood there looking at the Jordan River. (2 Ki

Striking the water and asking God to show Himself, the river
parted this way and that and he was able to cross over land, back to Jericho
to the school of theologians. There they were developing their theories but
seeing evidence of what God has performed. They acknowledge Elisha and the
power given by God but once they got that out of the way, they proceeded with
their preconceived notions. (2 Ki 2:15)

They were the sons of prophets and they had been taught by
the best. Reared in the traditions of those great theologians who were their
forebears, they currently sat under the tutelage of such masters as Elijah and
Elisha. Perhaps they had even had guest speakers like Micaiah (1 Ki 22) or that
other Man of God (1 Ki 20) who had been around.

They knew their history and how Moses was buried by God and
no one knew where (though perhaps they had some ideas). So, it was with a
studied stance that they were able to say that Elijah?s body was cast onto some
mountain or into some valley. They would look for him.

Elisha had to tell them not to bother, but they insisted
until he was ashamed. These theologians were rejecting his words even though
God had miraculously authenticated his ministry before their eyes. (2 Ki

So he let them go look while crisis loomed in the near
future. He let them go running about, here and there, wasting precious time and
upon their return he points out their error and receives the news that the
city?s water has gone bad and produced no fruit. The water was dead (2 Ki 2:19).

Theological discussions (not debates) are great. Just going
through the Word and discussing the wonders of God. Nothing stupid like in the
middle ages where people would argue about how many angels could fit on the
head of a pin but open forums where Christian views are expressed and

How sad is it then when theologians take their
preconceptions and elevate it to the point that even the Word of God becomes
mere background to their position. Theologians ticking off big names of other
theologians while the Word of God winds up being used as just another proof.
?Barth says [X], Hodge agrees with [X] but denies [Y] and there is some
evidence in [Bible Passage] that Paul believes the same.?

I?ve seen some downright horrid examples of this online. In
some places I?ve seen doctrine being made part of a second election?a knowledge
given only to some. In other places I?ve seen doctrines purported to be
Biblical while denying swashes of the Scriptures. In other places I?ve seen
people copy / paste a string of verses that seem to support their case right
until you read the next verse. Theologians running around in circles looking
for further proof of their ideas while ignoring the Word of God and the fact
that the water all around has gone bad.

The Lord promised His Spirit (John 14 -16) and the Spirit
was given (Acts 2). The Lord?s public ministry ended at the cross?but the
Church?s public ministry began at the Lord?s command. Each of us as believer
now walks with the mantle of Christ within us?His Spirit?sent to help us and
teach us and intercede for us. Let?s not bank on our preconceptions or
presuppositions but listen to the Word of God and realize that those things
which are not seen will be fully known. Now, focus on the Words of Christ, look
to the Author and Finisher of our faith, address the problem that is evident
around us?that people need Living Water?and fulfills the task that was given to
us to complete.

Firstly, Doug has an excellent post with a lot of common sense and grace although he links to a post I find disagreements with. Mind you, I’m neither Calvinist nor Arminian and I see Brother Tim as a dear fellow believer, so please don’t start a flame war against me or our Brothers. Secondly, please don’t presume that I’m talking about being at peace with doctrinal error. Doctrinal error is to be dealt with before it breeds more error: but if the two bits of error have been around for several hundred years and they still haven’t weeded themselves out of the system and God has decided to bless the work at the hands from both camps, I’m not going to try to resolve it. Lastly, all doctrinal error doesn’t have to be hunted down and stamped under foot. Sometimes, by doing that you can shatter a young believer’s conviction (not young in age, but spiritual maturity). You may personally want to go around and rip out pages from the old hymnbooks and calling fire down on people who slip while praying and confuse the trinity, but I just won’t go there.

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply