Christian Living

Believing Biblical Doctrines Requires Humility, Not Arrogance

Author Melinda Penner Published on 09/14/2017

Christians who believe the Bible teaches Jesus is the only way of salvation or the traditional view of sexuality, sex, and marriage are often labeled arrogant. The idea that someone knows the truth and someone else is wrong is interpreted as arrogant. No doubt, there are plenty of Christians and purported Christians who are prideful and express this—it’s tragically easy to forget sometimes that we are sinners only saved by grace and mercy through Jesus. And for that, we should examine ourselves and repent.

But these views about the Bible are not arrogant; in fact, they’re humble. When we become Christians, we place ourselves under God’s authority and His teaching about reality. Our beliefs, wills, and behavior should conform to His will. We also join the Body of Christ, the church, which has been seeking to understand God’s revelation for 2000 years. There’s a body of teaching and understanding that is mainstream. Sure, there are disagreements, but Christians should and usually do treat each other with charity where a difference of interpretation about the text is understandable. But there’s a large body of beliefs the church has held where there’s been widespread and long-held agreement. Many great and brilliant Christians have gone before us trying to understand God’s revelation for us. There’s a huge corpus of biblical teaching that Christians have agreed on over those 2000 years. And in humility, we approach that body of teaching called orthodoxy, taking instruction and realizing, if we disagree, that we should have excellent reason to do so and be open to correction.

That’s the humble posture Christians take when we will not be swayed by modern cultural norms or new unpersuasive and untested interpretations of Scripture. It’s actually quite a stunning posture for Christians to say the church has been wrong for 2000 years or our culture is so superior that the church’s teaching should conform to it.

Of course, standing in the mainstream of Christian orthodoxy doesn’t mean we’re right. But it’s a posture of humility to let what Christians have believed about God’s revelation about reality for two millenia inform and guide us.