So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17).
For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed (Heb. 4:2).
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
When we look within ourselves for authority, no longer going to the Bible for our faith, but looking inward, to human reason, practical experience or “feelings” for answers, we have given ourselves over to subjectivism.
Subjectivism takes many forms, but always carries with it a disdain for Bible authority. The rank modernist makes God’s Word subject to his approval— divine Truth becomes “relative” to his understanding, or so he thinks.
The same error is at work among those who say God’s Word can be understood only by the "Spirit-endowed elect"––whatever that means. Any who believe they are cut by the Holy Spirit (apart from His sword, the written Word of God) are but a step away from the altar of subjectivism.
When a preacher tells you that God communicates with him “in a way that maybe you wouldn’t understand except inwardly and in a spiritual way”— this is subjectivism. His feelings or experience (really his interpretation of his feelings/experience) is all he can offer as proof of his salvation. Crucially, however, his salvation cannot be proven by the external authority of God’s Word (1 Jn. 4:6; Eph. 3:3-5; 1 Cor. 14:37), but this matters little in the wake of his experience.
The question is, "Is our standing with God determined by our feelings, or by the rule of divine law?"
"Is it a matter of God's will, or ours?"
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him (Jn. 14:23).
Satan won't mind you thinking the Bible has some value, so long as what it says is always overridden by your feelings (Matt. 15:8-9). This delights him because, in the final analysis, you accept no responsibility to conform to Christ's teachings, thus you are firmly in Satan's grasp.
Subjectivism and its equally twisted offspring, Relativism, glorify human wisdom and authority. The highest court of appeal becomes human minds and thoughts, rather than the mind of God––"For who among people knows the thoughts of a person except the spirit of the person that is in him? So also the thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:11; see also Is. 55:8-9; Ps. 50:21).
If what I feel is right, even if it contradicts what God teaches in His word, then MY idea is seen as better than His; my authority as greater than His. In so doing I trash the greater wisdom and power of Almighty God (2 Chron. 36:15-16).
The result: anarchy, chaos, SIN. Rejecting ultimate authority––the written Word of God––means each man becomes his own source. There are as many "rights" as there are people to think them up (Jdg. 21:25).
No wonder we live in troubled times. No wonder our children are so confused as to morals and religion. Countless competing human ideas bombard them with equally justifiable claims to what is "right."
It ignores God's place in our universe. He has defined right from wrong, sin from righteousness, truth from error. Any course conflicting with His law exacts terrible penalties (Rom. 1:27; Heb. 2:3).
The solution to mankind's problems lie not in human minds, but in the unsearchable mind of an all-wise God. Man's way never "fixes" anything important, nor moves us one step toward fellowship with God (Jer. 10:23).
This may not be the popular line, but we are interested in Truth, not compromise, and all human objections aside, God's Word is Truth (Jn. 17:17), and obeying Christ is still the only way to salvation (Jn. 14:6).
“Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46).
––Robert Turner & Aubrey Belue