We have need to be on our watch against the powerful influence of spiritual mentors, lest, fascinated by the fame of some popular leader, we become the willing dupes of a childish superstition, or the blind followers of a fatal error.
Do not take your views of Divine truth from man; draw them primarily from God’s Word. Do not study the Bible through your theological system, but let your system be taken from, and faithfully weighed with, the Bible. Our theological system must not be allowed to give its complexion to, or to be the interpreter of, revealed truth. But, on the contrary, God’s Word is to suggest and mold and tint all our thoughts and opinions and systems. We must not set the sun by our watch; but our watch by the sun. In other words, we must not attempt to make God’s Word dovetail with our creed, but must test every doctrine we hold, every opinion we receive, every principle we maintain, the hope we cherish, by the unerring standard of revealed truth. This will give a Divine and proper complexion to our views. If we receive the light of the sun through a tinted lens, the light will necessarily reflect the hue of the medium through which it passes. So, if we receive the light of God’s Word through any theological system whatever, it will necessarily reflect the error and imperfection, if such there be, of that system. And thus we shall fail to receive the teaching of God as it flows pure and simple from His Word, as light flows from the sun, and as streams from the fountain.
The Bible is our rule of faith and our only and ultimate appeal. By the law and the testimony let every doctrine, and system, and hope for eternity be tried. Do not be, then, carried away by the learning, the influence, or even the piety attaching to a popular name. Allow no human leader the mastery of your mind and conscience.
Yield yourself meekly and obediently to the authority and teaching of Christ, accepting human guidance only so far as it comes with a “thus says the Lord” as its divine endorsement. Our only safeguard in a matter of such infinite moment as our future well being, is God’s pure Word; our only secure place, the feet of the Savior. Sitting there as His lowly disciple, the Holy Spirit will lead our minds into the truth, even “the truth as it is in Jesus,” as it emanates from Jesus, as it speaks of Jesus, as it strengthens our faith in, and inspires our love to, Jesus, and as it prepares us to go and be with Jesus forever.