How to Become a Christian: Chapter 4 - How the church got into its current condition

The need to check everything for yourself in the Bible

I urge you to read what I say with caution. Do not just casually assume that what I say, or what anybody else says, must be true because it’s in a book. Check it carefully for yourself in the Bible. Be like the people of Berea that we referred to earlier. Take the responsibility upon yourself to find out from the Bible whether what I say, or what anybody else says, is true or not.

I have come across many people over the years who are highly suspicious of any idea or book which comes from someone outside of their own denomination or church tradition. They imagine they will be safe provided they only listen to people of their “own kind”. However, you are just as likely, if not more likely, to be misinformed and led astray by a teacher from within your own denomination as you are from one outside it.

Safety and truth are not to be found simply by staying true to your denomination, but by staying true to the Bible. The people you know are just as likely to get things wrong and have gaps in their knowledge as the people you don't know.

In fact, there is danger in only ever listening to or reading the teaching of people you are used to. It will tend to accentuate and entrench any error that you and your teachers already have. That is why there is value in looking at a wide selection of good and genuine teachers from other backgrounds. See our section called Approved Ministries for more information on this, and listen to the teachers listed there. They are all of the highest quality.

That said, even though genuine Bible teachers are very important, the real key is to study the whole Bible for yourself. Weigh up everything and everybody by what the Bible says, not the other way around. Don't weigh up the Bible according to what men say. Resolve now that you will approach the Bible correctly from now on and that you will abandon any belief or practice which is shown to contradict the Bible.