By Ken Blue
The American Heritage Dictionary gives the following definition of the word principle. I have also added a list of synonyms. 1. A basic truth, law, or assumption. 2. A rule or standard, especially of good behavior. b. The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments. 3. A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action. 4. A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior. 5. A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes.” Synonyms: • standard • benchmark • criterion • gauge • measure • touchstone • yardstick • guideline • requirement • prototype • guide • canon.
Since many principles (standards) are manmade and misapplied, the believer must distinguish between those of God and those of men. The Old Testament Law had one set of principles and the Pharisees had another by distortion of the Law. We need only to read the Gospels and the book of Acts to see Israel’s departure from Old Testament principles. Jesus rebuked this self-righteous crowd. Certainly, the religious leaders had their principles, and they expected everyone to live by them.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We must have principles to live by, but they must never become legalistic mandates to control others.[/pullquote]
Things have not changed. There are some Christians who think they have God’s principles, and all who do not follow them are apostate and liberal. They are confident they have found the Bible verse which assures them that their principles are established by God. However, where that verse is found in Scripture is of no consequence to them. They have developed a set of standards, and now they must search from Genesis to Revelation to find support for them.
The problem with these men is that they have never learned how to rightly divide the Word of God. They either reach back under the Law or forward into the millennial kingdom for their principles, and then they seek to impose them on everyone else. We must have principles to live by, but we also need to know what part of the Bible to find them. They must match this dispensation of grace.
The principles or standards of dress, hair, days, musical instruments, background music, power point, boots, glasses, etc. have not Scriptural mandates for this dispensation. They are the legalistic mandates of men to control others.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.