Changing Beliefs: Why Your Beliefs Not Only Can Change, They Should Change

April 10, 2013 — 7 Comments

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10

It’s interesting that the Apostle Paul, who was the man with possibly the deepest revelation of the gospel that ever lived (God’s chosen instrument is what Jesus called him) actually said, “We know in part”. This is an incredibly humble thing to say, and just as important for us to remember; for it means there are more parts that we currently do not know. Meaning, your beliefs/theology will continue to change as you come to understand more, when God shows you another ‘part’, when you continue to seek truth, and find another piece. Not only this, but even at the end of our lives, even with the greater insight, revelation, and truth God shares with us, we will still only know in part. Not until this creation is finished, and we stand before God will we understand the full picture of God, his gospel, and his complete truth.

Often our beliefs change, but once that change happens we think now we’ve ‘got it’ – we think now we really DO have the full truth. While we may have come to understand another important part of the truth, we have to be humble, as the Apostle Paul was, and realize we still only know in part. There’s more parts still to discover; there’s more renewing of our minds to come.

If your beliefs are exactly the same as last week, that’s all right. If they are exactly the same as five years ago, that’s concerning. I say this because our faith is a journey, and along this journey God continues to give us new pieces to his puzzle of truth.

Some of the doctrines you think are the most full-proof, the most foundational even, will come tumbling down at some point, and replaced with a clearer, more divine understanding. The first time this happens it is shocking. The second it is still shocking, but at least not as unexpected. After a while, you start expecting it as part of the faith journey.

Doctrine is the interpretation of man. Popular doctrine is the interpretation of very powerful men, meaning church/denominational leaders who in essence demand people to accept their doctrines or leave; they use the fear of exclusion to keep people agreeing with their doctrines. This is sad, but it’s been happening for centuries, but don’t let the pressure and doctrines of other men/women override the Spirit of Christ in you, your teacher, as you move forward in your faith. Let him teach you. Allow yourself to learn new things from him, even when you favorite preachers are saying the opposite.

A rule of thumb that the Apostle Paul gave us when talking about only knowing ‘in part’ was to remember what we have right here, right now. That is, faith, hope and love. And he particularly drew attention to love, reminding us this is the greatest of all.

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13

While on the journey of faith, seeking and discovering new ‘parts’ of the puzzle of the gospel truth, keep your heart centered on the reality of love. For in the end, doctrines will fade away, but love will remain forever.

  • lyn

    Wonderfull post Mick..
    am going through this every other day…in the beginning it was very scary…
    everything i believed or thought i knew……just came tumbling down….it was very scary..very confusing , very unsettling for the overwhelmed my heart and caused me to tremble…but He’s been faithful…He’s an excellent teacher and am allowing him to teach me…each and every day..he reveals a facet of truth…..its incomprehensible..we surely know in part….:-)

  • Joel

    So, when these fool-proof doctrines come tumbling down, what happens when salvation by grace alone in Christ alone begins to tumble down as well? Or is that the REAL tamper-proof one? I’m just curious where you see a line, if there is one at all.

    • mickmooney

      Joel, if you ask 10 different Christians what “salvation by grace alone in
      Christ alone” means, and they will give you 10 different answers. Each
      of them would think their answer is tamper-proof. So yeah, it’s entirely
      possible that at least 9 of them will see their interpretation of that
      scripture come tumbling down at some point, and will come to understand
      it in a different, clearer and more divine way.

      • Dave

        So in other words, everything is up to our interpretation. There is nothing we can know for sure, because it’s all subject to change. There are no absolutes other than the one that say that everything is subject to change. So just go for whatever tickles your ears. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” —2Timothy 4:3-4 — We are indeed in that time.

        • mickmooney

          So Dave, are you making the claim that nothing can be challenged, and if someone does then it means that person fits into the 2 Timothy 4: 3-4 category?

        • Kevin Burgess

          I wouldn’t say that everything is up for personal interpretation, but personal exploration with a heart seeking God’s guidance is healthy. I would suggest that we, for nearly 2000 years, have BEEN in that time, as Timothy states it, and as people challenge the long held traditions and beliefs of our forefathers, we are actually beginning to come OUT of that time, into a more pure pursuit of God apart from religion. Even Paul chastised the church for their reliance on traditions and teachings of old and called them to something more pure, pure grace and faith in the only One who could lead them. The fact that we haven’t challenged beliefs has lulled the body of Christ to sleep and left us completely out of touch with Christ and out of touch with society.

  • Ilene Wood

    a lot of christians don’t understand what you are saying, but i do. it’s precept upon precept. it’s seeing [with the eyes of understanding] and knowing what God is saying, revealing, by His Spirit through revelation, revealing the whole of God, instead of just the bits and pieces that we get [the part]. by a continual reading of God’s Word, being discipled, we will know the truth, and the truth shall set us free. no where does His Word contradicts what is being revealed. we tend to see darkly, but when revelation comes, we truly see. :) thank you for sharing. i see where you are saying, “our” beliefs, that is what is coming under challenge, not God’s Word.