Stabilizing Your Beliefs

By Dr. Ken Matto

I have met many Christians in my days as a believer but within the last few years, I have noticed a grave condition among many of them, and that is, that there is much lack of stability in their belief system. I am not speaking about salvation here, but I am speaking of the teachings and theological persuasions that many Christians have adopted. Without reservation, I can honestly say that we are in “The Age of Confusion.” There are Christians that I have personally met who claim that a person can get out of Hell, that Satan does not exist, the church age is over, Grace was not active in the Old Testament, that some people were not given a fair chance in life, divorce is okay as long as it is for fornication, etc.

One hundred years ago, these things were not even issues in the church. There were pockets of heretics but the clergy was strong enough to identify these false teachings and warn their people about them. Today, many of these issues are accepted by the leadership in the great majority of churches. When the leaders begin to inculcate false beliefs in their thinking, they will pass them on to the sheep in the pews and normally embellished with theological and biblical terms to get acceptance. Maturity in the Christian faith is no longer only associated with the length a person is saved but how well they fasten themselves to the true teachings of Scripture. People can be saved for fifty years and still not know where the book of Habakkuk is.

Instability comes from Immaturity
(Eph 4:14 KJV) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The word “cunning” in this verse comes from the word “kubeia” in the Greek from which we derive the word “cube,” which referred to dice throwing. Now in this instance, there is an interesting little story associated with it. In ancient times, there were people who would gamble using dice but these cheaters were so clever, they were able to hold two sets of dice in their hands and were able to throw whichever pair they wanted, which would help them win. The parallel here is that false teachers would be able to throw crafty methods and appeals in front of immature Christians to trap them. Immature Christians are those who do not grow spiritually and I will get into that later as the subject of this treatise. Immature Christians are always looking for something much more exciting than the last thing that fascinated them. The religious hucksters in ancient days as well as today count heavily on Christians remaining ignorant and immature which help build the personal kingdoms of the religious con artists instead of building the Kingdom of God. Immaturity breeds the ability to pursue false doctrine and teachings without uneasiness.

(1 Cor 13:11 KJV) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Christians need to mature or else they will remain spiritual children all their years and will be of little value to the Kingdom of God. Paul is telling us here that there must come a time in a person’s life that they must transition from childhood to manhood or womanhood. Now in human terms, a human body will grow and mature without anyone helping it along because this is how God designed the body. We hit puberty in our early teens and the body then matures until it is fully developed into a man or woman. Paul is using this analogy to illustrate to us Christians that there must be a spiritual maturity in our own Christian walk. He uses three human faculties as illustrations:

Spake as a Child - When we first become Christians, we definitely will not understand all the words and teachings in the Bible. The most we may know is maybe the book of John, the Lord’s Prayer, and the stories we learned in children’s Sunday School such as Jonah and Moses.

Understand as a Child - A new Christian’s understanding is absolutely limited and is at a very novice level in the Scriptures. They will not understand the doctrines of Grace, Propitiation, Hypostatic Union, Election, Predestination, Spiritual Israel, and other great teachings of Scripture. When you were a child, you probably read books like, “The Cat in the Hat.” When I was a child I enjoyed “Dick, Jane, and Sally.” If I continued to read books on the level of the two I mentioned, then my understanding would remain as a child’s rather than a representation of my physical age. A child cannot understand mature things nor should they be expected to.

Thought as a Child - When we were young children, what were some of the things that were heavy on our mind? Going outside and playing, toys, sleigh riding, bicycles, baseball cards, going to the amusement park, etc. We were not concerned about paying the bills, going to school, sickness, economic conditions, war, peace, stock market, etc. As a child our thoughts were very simple and concerns were very innocuous.

Paul then goes on to say that all these things are acceptable for children, but when he became a man, he “put away” these childish things. The word “put away” means literally “destroyed or abolished.” Paul is saying that there is a time in the believer’s life when they must begin to abolish child-like speech, thought, and understanding, and begin the process of spiritual growth. Paul is not speaking of destroying the basic tenets of the faith that a new believer learns, but he is admonishing the new believer to build upon them into a mature faith. Paul is also admonishing that we grow in the faith and put away all childish or immature thinking patterns that we may have brought over from the old life which could affect the new believer. It is maturity in the faith that prevents us from being taken in by false teachers and false doctrine.

(Heb 5:12-14 KJV) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14} But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The writer to the Hebrews was experiencing the same situation the Corinthian and Ephesian Christians were, immaturity. It is a situation that seems to pervade much of Christianity. It was a problem in the early church and it is a serious problem in the church today. The writer is telling these Christians that by this time, they should be teaching the Gospel to others but instead they were so immature, that they needed to relearn the basics of the Faith. If a person is saved for five years and there is no spiritual growth, then something is seriously wrong. 

What is maturity in the faith? First and foremost, let me tell you what it is not. We tend to equate maturity in Christianity with education and how much we know and this is absolutely false. Para-biblical education is not a sign of maturity but it may be a sign of drifting. If you look at any basic seminary course list, you will see man-made sciences at the front. You will see studies like urban studies, sociology, psychology, and other types of studies which are not based on Scripture but based on man’s teachings. Persons with Ph.D’s, M.Div’s, D. Min’s, Th.D., and other degrees does not mean they are mature in the Christian faith. In fact, I have said this before and I will say it again, the most mature and wise Christians I have ever known, never entered a school of religion. All Bible Colleges and Seminaries turn Christianity into a religion. If they didn’t, they couldn’t exist.

Here is the essence of the destabilization of the Christian’s belief system. When we first become Christians, we are introduced, or should be, to the basic doctrines of the faith such as doctrine of Christ, God, Angels, Sin, Hell, etc. Then as soon as we begin to start learning of these doctrines, the next thing that the new Christian is pointed to are the theologians and their books. So now, even before the new Christian reads through the book of John, they are now introduced to para-biblical thought and their mind is now an admixture of Bible and theology. Then as the new Christian begins to widen their education on Christianity, they go farther from the core truths of Scripture.

Christianity is not a religion like Catholicism, Islam, or Judaism, which is built upon by education and massive commentary. These religions keep getting multiplied by education. Christianity is God’s salvation plan and that is all it is. It is His salvation plan between Him and His Elect. It is not a religion that needs to be educational in nature. That is where we get into trouble. We try to make more out of Christianity than it is. We try to turn it into a philosophy, a major religion, something that appeals to people, a food program, a social services organization, etc. This is not what Christianity is all about. It is about Christ dying for the Elect of God. True Christianity has brought blessing to countries that have embraced it and not persecuted it, but that was for the sake of the Elect, not because of a “religion.” As soon as Christianity was turned into a “major religion” by theologians, the destabilization of the believer had begun.

The essence of the destabilization of the Christian’s belief is constituted by the slow drifting from the Bible to the works of man. Instead of reading the Bible and absorbing the mind of God, the Christian buys books written by man, and continues to absorb the thoughts of man and that is why they cannot think on a spiritual level, which continues to stifle their growth in the truth. Man’s teachings are now used to confirm the teachings of Scripture, instead of the Bible being used to confirm the teachings of man.

This is a very grave situation because man’s works are now placed above the authority level of the Bible. Well, you tell that to any Christian and they will rebuke you. Then ask them this question. How many hours do you spend reading the works of man in contrast to reading the Bible? I can almost guarantee that for every hour we read the Bible, we read 50 hours of man’s works and then we wonder why we fail in our Christian walk.

Have you ever heard of an Islamic Rock Band that sings songs of Islam like the so-called Christian rock bands who sound like Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Christians are the only ones who slander their faith with rank worldliness. See if Orthodox Jewish Men and Islamic men wear earrings. See if the Mosques and Synagogues sound like a soccer game and rock concert when they are in session. The Christian faith has been so invaded and pervaded by the worldliness and sin of unsaved man, that the truth of Scripture is no longer taught in these churches because there is no room for it anymore. It is an interesting parallel that when Jesus was born there was no room for Him in the Inn. Today, there is no room for His teachings in the church. Woe unto those church leaders that have turned their churches into a night club. 

How then do we stabilize our Christian beliefs?
There is only one way to stabilize the beliefs of the true Christian and that is to return to Sola Scriptura as the only foundation of our beliefs. There is a verse in Romans which needs to be the foundational verse for all Christians.

(Rom 4:3 KJV) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Did you see the first part of that verse? It didn’t say, “for what saith the commentaries, or the Pastor, or the theologian, or the prophecy book, or the theology book. It said, “for what saith the Scripture.” I remember when I was a new Christian, one of the first things I did was to run to the Christian? Book

store and purchase a commentary on Ephesians by H.C.G. Moule. I did this because no one had informed me that according to 1 John 2:27, the Holy Spirit would guide me in my learning of the Scriptures.

(1 John 2:27 KJV) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

This does not mean that we do not need teachers because the Bible tells us that the gift of teaching is a bona fide gift of the Holy Spirit. However, that gift is only being used properly when a teacher is teaching from the Scriptures. When you hear someone incessantly quoting from commentaries or their professors then the gift of teaching is being bastardized by the individual. Spiritual gifts were given in the body of Christ for the purpose of teaching the Scriptures and expanding the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not being edified or expanded when man’s teachings supplant the teachings of Scripture.

What I am saying is that Christians live a dangerous spiritual life when they use the concurrent method of learning the Scriptures. What I mean by that is picture two lines going vertically. On one line is the pure teachings of Scripture and on the other line is the teachings of man. While both lines will never meet, both teachings are enmeshed with each other and instead of strengthening man’s teachings, man’s teachings weaken the teachings of Scripture. Did you understand what I am saying? Man’s teachings neutralize the power of Scripture, although the power of the Scriptures themselves never loses its might.

Whenever a Christian decides to over-educate themselves with man’s teachings, they are, in essence, beginning the downward spiral of destabilization. The Scriptures alone are the rule and guide for the Christian and not man’s teachings. Man’s teachings ministers to the flesh that the Spirit is wrapped in and that is why the flesh and palatable teachings seem to win out over the strong spiritual teachings which minister to the regenerated Spirit within the believer. Basically, we see man’s vain attempt to invade God’s world with their own opinions which satisfy the flesh.

Many times we hear churches crying for revival but they do not know how to go about it. If true revival is going to happen, the very first event must be a return to the Word of God. The second event must be an abiding in the word of God which means a refutation of the words of man. Real revivals are not a bunch of people running down to the front and crying because of their sin or a bunch of demon-possessed people chanting something in tongues. Real revival is the concerted effort of a Christian to live and remain in the teachings of Scripture without the admixture of man’s teachings. When a Christian lives according to the Scriptures they will begin to see the futility of man’s teachings and they will realize they have been sold a bill of goods by their leaders and the book writers. When people take part in a true revival, but then later on begin to walk away from Scripture and then replace it with man’s teachings, they will go right back to where they were. This was the problem encountered by Israel in the book of Judges. They repented for a while and then they became apathetic which lead to following false teachings and they found themselves in trouble again. The Christian will suffer the same circular path in their Christian walk.

A great event happened which gives credence to what I am writing about. It was during the Renaissance Period which I believe officially ended in 1531, there was a great cry in the seminaries in Europe for a return to the original languages. This meant that the students were yearning for the truth of Scripture and not the mysticism and superstitions which were being taught as truth. That yearning for Scripture led to the Reformation which changed the world forever. Unless we see a return to the Scriptures, then we are going to go the same way with the superstitions and erroneous beliefs which are already pervading Christianity.

How many people read Christian novels, or read Prophecy books like "Left Behind,“ which talks about what is going to happen after the rapture and satiate themselves with this trivial nonsense and then go on to proclaim it as biblical truth? That is done every day and in every church simply because the Christian can no longer discern the difference between the truths of Scripture and man’s religious fantasy world.

The only way we are going to experience a second reformation in the church and in the personal lives of believers is a return to Scripture alone as the guide for a Christian’s life. When I say a return to Scripture, I am not speaking of the new versions of Scripture which have been heavily responsible for destabilizing the Christian since every new version is different. You cannot build stability on constant change. I have three King James Bibles in my possession. One is the reprint of the 1611, another one I have from 1855, and the one I use from 2005. They all say the same thing, except in the 1611 the words are written differently but nothing changed. Stability requires constancy and there is constancy in the King James Bible which was the last translation of the Holy Scriptures guided by God. All the modern versions are translated from changed and doctored manuscripts. The King James Bible is not a version but THE Word of God which has stood the test of constancy and the constant attacks by Satan’s theologians and clergy, both saved and unsaved. Those people who are involved with higher criticism and those who defend the modern versions are part of the problem of destabilizing the Christian. God wrote only one set of manuscripts and did not write 300 versions. God is the author of stability and not confusion, plus He cannot and will not bless sin!

So if a Christian desires to truly stabilize their Christian beliefs and life, they must toss out all those new versions, refuse man’s works as a replacement for God’s Word, and they must judge man’s works and words according to the Scriptures, which must be the foundation. There is no other way and let no one mislead you. You either come back to the Scriptures alone or you will remain in the quagmire of confusion. You will be less popular but you are called to be faithful and not popular. I was once called a “holy roller” by a false minister who watched the Playboy Channel. I took that as a compliment.

(1 Chr 16:29-30 KJV) Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. {30} Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

Let me make a suggestion how you can begin your journey back to stability. Take a King James Bible and do a verse by verse study in Psalm 119. Oh, stop complaining, so it is a long Psalm. It is all about the Word of God and how it affects and changes our life. If you do a good study on that Psalm, and don’t only do it by yourself but why not do it in your Bible study at church or home groups. Put away the Beth Moore studies, turn off the Christian drama, and get back to the real study of the Word, where the Holy Spirit teaches and not some mollifying person who publishes religious tommyrot and calls it Bible study.

You have a decision to make. Will you return to the Scriptures to stabilize your beliefs, so you are not tossed around by every wind of doctrine? Man’s word constantly changes from book to book, from theology to theology, from sea to shining sea. The only guarantee of stability we have in this world is the Word of God because it was written by a God who changes not, and that is our goal.

(Mal 3:6 KJV) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

(Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

(Isa 33:5-6 KJV) The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. {6} And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.