There are dozens of topics in Christian belief and practise that arouse our curiosity beyond the limits of revelation. Angels and demons, Melchizidek, dreams and visions, other writings by Bible writers that are not in the Bible, the exact spiritual events taking place at death and the moments after, and the like are all questions that the Bible offers some information on, but not enough to satisfy our curiosity.
This is where a little saying coined during theological training is immensely helpful. Do God’s business, God’s way, with God’s emphasis. The third part of that saying is relevenat when you want more than the Bible says. Form your convictions with the same clarity, or lack thereof, according to Bible revelation. Study Scripture diligently lest you be too ignorant of God’s answers to all matters, but do not claim more than Scripture actually teaches.
Take for example the topic of angels and demons. We cannot ignore their existance and involvement in human life, for Scripture teaches clearly that they exist and are active in earthly events. However, at the same time, Scripture does not teach how to know how they are invovled in current events. Certain deductions can be made that fits the Biblical information; other deductions contain too large a jump in exegetical information and should be rejected as knowable truth.
In all matters like these, here are two principles that both encourage knowing what is knowable, and avoiding what is conjecture.
- Value Truth more than sensationalism (Col 2:18-19). Just because something would be wonderful and has the appearance of Biblical truth, doesn’t mean it is true. At the same time, Truth has been revealed, so pay close attention to the wonderful, even sensational, teachings that are indeed Truth.
- Give everything the emphasis that the Scriptures give it (Col 2:16-17). The Bible is emphatically clear on how people are saved; believe and promote that with emphatic clarity. The Bible is not clear on how “your guardian angel” operates; be careful not to base your assurance of God’s love on such teachings.