We’ve all seen it. We’ve all been in “that” church service. You know, the one where the preacher is beating you over the head with something that you’ve never ACTUALLY read in Scripture. In some ways we could honestly say that’s how ALL of the denominations of the world were formed. Someone whose personal preference became doctrine.
If you pay attention long enough you’ll find someone who says something that ISN’T scriptural AT ALL but they live it hook, line and sinker. One of my favorite preference doctrines concerns the King James Version.
It’s AMAZING how many people buy into the idea of being King James only. Now PLEASE hear me, I am NOT against the King James AT ALL!!! I grew up on this version. Learned A LOT of my Bible from the KJV. Preached MOST of my ministry out of the KJV. But I have NEVER EVER been a supporter of King James ONLY. I had a man once tell me, when asked to support another version of scripture, “I have been preaching King James only for 40 years and I know that it’s not the closest and probably isn’t 100% accurate but I’m not changing my beliefs now.” Do you see how dogmatic we have become?
Since when did we become so easily stupid about the truth. The word stupid means knowing the truth but believing the lie anyways. Again let me say, EVERY version of scripture has flaws. EVERY version had human translators. Which is fine, as long as you don’t declare it the be all end all. It’s when you get to the point where you believe God can only use the KJV to save people. Like there hasn’t been other versions in the history of the world.
Which leads me to my next point. If you want to make something your personal preference, then maybe learn a little of the history behind it. You wouldn’t believe how many people think the 1769 King James Version was the first English translation of Scripture. That’s IGNORANCE and STUPIDITY. We have more resources readily available today than ever before and yet we know so very little. That’s LAZINESS.
Another personal preference people try to make doctrine is Christian Music. I live in the south and among my parents generation and those who are 40’s and above there is, what I consider, a dying phenomenon called Southern Gospel. I can’t tell you how many people claim the only way you can worship God is through Hymnals or Southern Gospel Music. Again I can’t find that ANYWHERE in Scripture. But truth doesn’t matter when you make personal preference a doctrine. The Bible says if we want to worship God then we have to do it in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. That means as long as the Holy Spirit is in it and the song speaks TRUTH, it can be worshipful to God. But we as Christians like to tell the Holy Spirit what He is or isn’t in. Trust me there are songs by so called Christian artists that have NOTHING to do with God, the Spirit or Scripture.
When personal preference become doctrine, it creates separation between people. Our job as Christians is to bridge those gaps. Not make them worse. You don’t have to agree or even like what someone else does that’s why it is called personal preference. Jesus wasn’t about creating gaps, he was about building bridges. He didn’t tell us what kind of music to worship to, as long as it glorifies him.
My point is this: we all have preferences. We all have things we like. We all have things we don’t like. Just we differ on what we like doesn’t mean you are right and I am wrong. It means that we are different. Just like Jesus takes a different road to get to each of us, so we can take different roads to worshiping him.
Personal Preference SHOULD NEVER be a Doctrine.