This is an awesome quote!
“If you ever have someone argue ‘Christianity is a white man’s religion.’ Bring them to Acts 8. God called Phillip from a place of fruitful ministry to a desert road to share with a man from Ethiopia. History will show that while Europeans were still worshiping Thor and Oden, the Christian church was well established in Africa. Early in church history God chose to plant His church in Africa.” ~Tony Hageman
Spending time in God’s Word, especially the New Testament, teaches us the history of the church, which can be quite different than what we’ve been ‘told.’
We live in a headline world, which skews our understanding of what is real and what is not. Often, editors and media corporations use headlines to sway public opinion to their viewpoint. If you read articles past the headline, and do further research from other sources, you can unearth the bias. You also might be able to discern the truth (which is hard, because it usually goes against what ‘everyone else’ thinks because they only read headlines).
The same goes with the Bible. I’m on day 324 of reading through the Bible in a year. I’m finding out all sorts of truths that I either: 1. didn’t know; 2. had twisted the meaning in my head; 3. someone taught me incorrectly; or, 4. since the Bible is a ‘living Bible’ God is pointing out something new to me based on where I am now on my journey.
With news, politics and other social issues, don’t rely on the headlines, get the full context and research other sources. The same is true with God. Don’t rely on people, or preachers, a sermon, a verse standing alone, or a cursory understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Read the full context of a verse. Go to various sources and see different interpretations. Read the Bible. Ask God to speak to you, and make His Word known to you. When there is disagreement, ask God to clarify what He wants YOU to understand.
Priscilla Shirer made a great point in her study book “Discerning the Voice of God.” She says that sometimes God wants different types of obedience from different people.
For instance, God has told her quite firmly that drinking alcohol is not for her. It’s not something she’s supposed to do. She says that just because God doesn’t want her to drink alcohol, doesn’t mean it can’t be okay for someone else. God can give us individualized and personalized direction that we must follow, and we shouldn’t take what God has told us not to do and apply it to someone else.
I think that’s great advice. We must seek God’s will FOR US. Not for our neighbor. Not for our church. Not for a celebrity or political figure, but for US as people individually. Because He might just have a different idea for you than for me!
Go to the Word. Get on the knee. Ask God what He wants of you personally.