As of late I’ve realized I am exceedingly more cautious of certain words then I was in my younger years. The older I get, the more I seem to have an aversion to words such as ‘foolproof, unprecedented, cutting edge,’ and a myriad of others.
Although the word ‘consensus’ is somewhere near the middle of the pack, it is a word that seems to be inching its way up the list in recent months.
Apparently, nowadays all that’s necessary for something to be considered acceptable, scriptural, or dogmatically accurate, is the consensus of a handful of stuffy old suits who call themselves theologians.
Even though God’s word is clear on certain topics, we are asked to suspend what the word of God clearly says, and receive instead what a handful of men are saying, because they have reached consensus.
A consensus, for those who slept through English class, is an opinion or position reached by a group as a whole.
What frustrates me to no end is the indisputable fact that in recent years we have allowed denominational consensus to dictate what we believe, all the while disregarding what the word of God clearly says.
As a general rule, I don’t take issue with the notion of consensus. If the consensus is that a certain chicken joint is better than another, or a burger joint makes better burgers than their competition, then I will most likely try the place which the majority of individuals preferred.
What I do take umbrage with, is superimposing the notion of consensus upon the things of God.
First off, human consensus doesn’t make something right, nor does it make it true.
There is a memorable event within the pages of scripture which speaks to the danger of consensus, and of receiving it as gospel. It is an event we would do well to remember each time we hear that there is a consensus regarding certain spiritual realities, which contradicts the word of God.
As it so happened, one day the king of Israel and the king of Judah got together, and agreed to go to war against a place called Ramoth Gilead. Before marching their armies, they decided to inquire of the Lord as to whether or not they ought to proceed. Four hundred prophets were gathered together and asked whether they should go to war against Ramoth Gilead, and four hundred men said as one, ‘Go up, for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.’
Not only was there consensus, there was unanimous consensus among all the prophets of Israel, that if Ahab and Jehoshaphat went against Ramoth Gilead they would obtain victory.
2 Chronicles 18:6-7, “But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?’ So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘there is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.’ And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Let not the king say such things!’”
Although four hundred men had assured them of their victory, something just didn’t sit right with Jehoshaphat. After inquiring if there was not another of whom they might inquire of the Lord, Jehoshaphat was informed there was one more, but because he always prophesied evil concerning him, Ahab hated him.
If Ahab would have been a righteous man, a man after God’s own heart, one given to obeying the commands of God, then Micaiah would not have prophesied evil concerning him.
What Ahab failed to understand, is what many believers fail to understand in our day and age: those who prophesy judgment on a nation, don’t necessarily hate the nation, and those who prophesy abundance and prosperity, don’t necessarily love it.
Of all the prophets in Israel, Micaiah was the lone voice amidst four hundred who warned that if they went up to Ramoth Gilead Ahab would die. Rather than be praised for telling a hard truth, he was put in prison and fed with the bread of affliction and the water of affliction.
Tell a lie and men will love you. Tell a hard truth, and men will despise you.
I wish I could lend my voice to the chorus of voices that says the worst is behind us, we’re moving ahead, and the prosperity train will be pulling into the station momentarily. I wish I could say as others do that we will not have to endure, suffer, or stand for our faith, but instead be allowed to cut to the front of the line, and wait in the first class lounge while the rest of Christendom is persecuted for their faith.
I wish I could, but I cannot, for I do not answer to men but to God for the things that I say. No one will stand before God in my stead on that Day of Days; no one will act as defense counsel on my behalf. And so, if I have to endure the mocking and disdain of some in order to stand before my God absent the blood of innocents on my hands, so be it!
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.