One of my new favorite shows on TV is called Hollywood Treasure. It’s about a company that buys, sells and auctions movie memorabilia. I’ve seen everything on there from movie props and costumes to behind the scenes equipment. People pay big bucks too. I saw a Yoda puppet go for more money than I may ever have in my life! Occasionally on the show an individual will bring something in but won’t have any sort of documentation to prove that it’s authentic (like the Yoda puppet). In times like these, they call in the experts. Usually a person who specializes in that area will come in and take a look at the item to see whether it’s the real deal. The company buying the item can’t simply take the seller’s word for it. That would be way too risky.
There was a time in history in which individuals weren’t really allowed to read the Bible for themselves (most people at that time lacked the ability to read in the first place). Instead, they would simply have to listen to the priest/preacher who was teaching and take their word for it. In some cases, the Bibles were literally chained to the pulpit to keep the common man from reading it on his own.
Today, there are few “churches” that would try to persuade people not to read their Bible on their own (though I’m sure there may be some religious groups that do). However, we still have a large problem with individuals who simply take the word of another when it comes to reading and understanding God’s word. When faced with difficult questions about the Bible, far too many simply reply, “Let me ask my preacher,” or “let me check so-and-so’s commentary.” While there is nothing wrong with seeking the wisdom of another when it comes to the scriptures, there is a problem when we automatically take that person’s word for it instead of looking into God’s word on our own.
In Galatians 1, Paul warned the Galatians not to listen to those who were teaching things different than what they had originally been taught. The only way they would know how to do this is if they knew what they had been taught originally. The same warning goes for us. When we hear others talking about spiritual matters, we need to call in the expert. God is the only one that can determine whether something is truth or not. By looking at His word, we can know whether an individual is sharing the real deal or a fake.
On Hollywood Treasure, when the company is wrong about an item it can put them in a tough spot. If they put something into auction that turns out not to be authentic, they can have all sorts of problems on their hands. The dangers for us are even greater. We can’t afford to believe something is authentic truth if it’s not. Our consequences will not be monetary but eternal. Don’t take the risk. Call in the expert!