Is New Always Better?
by Dr. Ken Matto
(Acts 17:21 KJV) (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent
their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
Is new always better? A few days ago I had purchased a new version of Quickverse. It was Quickverse 7. I had previously used version 4 which was a simple version and much quicker to access the needed verses. In version 7, you have to go through so many steps and then insert a CD into the drive and then search it for the information you want. It was very tedious and confusing. When I had changed computers I lost my version 4 and replaced it with version 7. Needless to say I was quite disappointed with it. So I put out a plea for help to find a version 4 somewhere in the vast land of cyberspace. A sister found one as a free download and I immediately went to that site and downloaded it and burned it on to a CD. In this case new was not better because normally when something is supposedly improved, it becomes more complex. Improvement should make it easier to utilize instead of harder.
In these final days, in the realm of Christianity, we are always coming across something which seems new. One such teaching is “New Covenant Theology” which basically postulates that grace did not exist simultaneously with the law in the Old Testament. This is absolutely ridiculous because anyone who has ever become saved, was saved through the grace of God and not through the law. Another wacky end time heresy is Harold Camping’s end of the church age teaching. He claims that for 2,000 years, no one understood John 21, until he came out with his teaching, and now John 21 has a meaning. It is quite arrogant to believe that you are the only in 2,000 years that understands the Bible. Yet, there are people who follow these self-proclaimed prophets of biblical knowledge. A person said on PalTalk the other day that if you do not hear the Gospel, you are not accountable. The Bible says that every human being in the world is accountable to God for their sins. If there is a village somewhere that does not hear the Gospel, it means there is no Elect in that village. Yet, I can guarantee that there would be some type of false religion pervading that village or group. Another person on PalTalk claims that the written Bible is not the word of God nor will it ever be. He says only Jesus is the Word of God. Yet, this person too has a big following because his room is always full.
In our text we read that the Athenians and visitors to Athens had spent time on Mars Hill just listening to new theories and teachings. In 2,000 years, have we graduated from that practice? The answer is no and the sorry thing is that many Christians have adopted the Mars Hill mistake and that is listening and accepting the new teachings which they hear. It is a good thing that this practice has only been recent. Can you imagine if Christians down through the ages had begun to listen to the heresies and then accepted them because they were new. If you look back in Church History, you will see that the Christians of by-gone days had enough guts to pronounce the false teachings along with the teachers of them as heretics. Today the church does not do that nor do the majority of Christians rebuke the heresies they hear. Instead, they would rather accept false teachings and teachers under the guise of some politically correct phony love.
Today with the addition of many new modes of communications, especially the Internet, it seems Christians have become less and less discerning and feel it is some badge of honor to be in on the ground floor of some “new” teaching. This is why Christianity and the churches are in such horrendous condition. God gave us the Bible, not only for personal enrichment in our Christian lives but He also gave it to us because it is what we are to preach. There are no new theologies out there which can explain the Bible better than it has been explained in the last 2,000 years. We would call it the old fashioned Gospel because it comes without gospel additives such as tongues, personal theories, over-justification of verses or teachings, etc.
Every subsequent generation has preached the Gospel to the next generation because that is how God planned to bring all the Elect in. God cannot and will not bless the “hermeneutical perversions” of people who use the Bible as proof texts for their systems. The Bible is to be taught in the manner God has prescribed it. We are to teach it and its simple truths and God will apply salvation to His Elect as the true word, without additives, is proclaimed. We live in such an age of pride that everyone feels they have to be something more than the other person. The only time we are to bring something new to people, is a new truth to the person hearing it. If a person who is in the faith for 20 or 30 years brings a Bible teaching, then out of those years of study, something new will be taught to those who have less time in the faith. Then they will learn true Bible teachings.
Christians who are intent on always wanting to learn something new are susceptible to the false teachers. When we continue to study the Bible and ingest the old truths and maxims in Scripture, then we will have a much more powerful Christian walk and testimony, and we will have built a large hedge against falling for false teachings. When people are looking for something new, Satan will be right there to help them along. I have mentioned only four perversions which are being taught to Christians. Instead of these teachers being rebuked and exposed, they are supported by Christians who have chosen to relegate their Christianity to heretics. If we would stop getting our theology from the Mars Hill crowd, then we will see a re-stabilizing of Christianity and maybe once again it would become a force as strong as it was after the Reformation when it almost drove the Roman Catholic Institution into the ground. Instead the Mars Hill Crowd is running Christians into the ground and they just can’t see it. How have the mighty fallen! (4/30/04)