Biblical Eyesight Emerging Forefront
I am always amazed at how scared some believers are of church history. This fear comes about because some are scared we will start to follow the old ways and not be current. Others are fearful because the evil traditions will return to plague us with there empty meaning and lack of value. I on the other hand love history. It is a valuable tool. It teaches us, it guides us, it reminds us, and it shows us where others have been before us.
History helps us with two things. The first is dealing with heresy. It always seems like every time you cut the television on, read the news, or check out the New York Times best seller list, a new heresy has popped up for the church to deal with. From open theism, health and wealth gospel, and the Jesus Seminar, there is always something for the church to deal with. Any good student of church history sees these things and is reminded of past issues the church has had to deal, and at times can see how similar they are. Solomon wrote:
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT
Most of the stuff the church deals with today, we have already dealt with. Dr. Carl Trueman writes:
In light of this, we need to be good historians in order to spot the bogus and fallacious when we see it.
He recommends that we study history in order to be ready for anything new that might come up. The biggest issue he sees right now is how false history is beginning to be considered true. From movies like the Di Vinci Code to misimperating parts of historical events, the church needs to have a clear understanding of history to stop counter these threats.
Another reason we need to know history is so we may appreciate the past. For example, think about the Bible. If you take a few moments and reflect on how many men died just so anyone could have access to God’s Word you would be amazed. Men were burned alive, beheaded, and beaten to death in order for us to be able to have access to God’s Word in our language. Also, we learn about the great men and women who have gone before us who have lived the faith, and been living examples of God’s faithfulnes and what it means to be a true follow of Christ.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB
Remembering and learning about those who have come before us helps endure. We see the example of how they endured for the faith, and we see how we can endure as well.
Overall we need to have a clear understanding of history in order to be ready for attacks the church will face. History reminds where we have been, and it will help show us where we are going. History and tradition are to be a guide, and not a replacement for Scripture. Knowing history will help us discern the truth from the lies. It also helps us build our faith. Dr. Trueman concluded his article with this:
Christianity needs Christians who know good history. Good history helps to build our confidence in our historical religion and to offer an answer to the bad historians — and there are many of them.
Please take the time to read Dr. Trueman’s article here. It’s worth it!! http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/fallacious-history/