The first thing a biblical counselor does with couples facing marital problems is learn the facts. He gathers data. He doesn’t go immediately to Scripture. He doesn’t show Mr. and Mrs. Smith where and how they must clean up their lives because, at this point, he doesn’t know what the problem is.
Giving Scriptural advice on adultery and porn doesn’t help a couple struggling with poor finances and dishonesty. A priori assumptions on the supposed problem could lead to counsel far, far worse.
Ready, Fire, Aim
Sola Scriptura doesn’t mean Christians are not in need of other information. It means that Scripture is the only unfailing source for faith and practice. Everything God requires of us is given in Scripture (2Pe 1:3). We must never add or take away from the Word (Rev 22:18-19). Sola Scriptura means it carries the only hope for the Smith’s marriage problems. But without the facts, it’s of much less help.
If this inerrant Scripture is not aimed at the proper prey, disaster will follow. What good is “judge not” if aimed at an unrepentant church member? What good is “preach the Word” if pointed at a teen-aged girl? Ready, fire, aim, is not a good model for Christians.
What about Social Justice?
Apply this to Social Justice. Before we can open our Bibles to address what it says about institutionalized racism, wouldn’t it be best to determine if institutionalized racism even exists? If the answer is yes, then a little history lesson is in order. Before we lecture Joseph on the sin of rape and and before we comfort Potipher’s wife with the Psalms of lament, we better know what actually happened in the courtyard. Just because Joseph was innocent in Genesis doesn’t mean Amnon is innocent in 2 Samuel. Learn the facts.
Sadly, many pastors today do not know the facts about social justice and the supposed systematic racism in certain parts of the world. They’ve been indoctrinated by government schools, liberal universities, humanist books, and godless media channels. The great conservative Thomas Sowell was a Marxist all through university until someone challenged him with the facts. After listening to a conservative pastor expose the lies of the Social Justice Movement, three young black men from our church said 80% of what they heard was brand new. We need courageous pastors today that will do the hard work of study and research in order to tell the truth.
Some corners of Christendom say, “Don’t give me stats. Don’t give me history. Don’t give me politics. Just give me Bible. Sola Scriptura.” But without the facts of incest, Paul couldn’t have rebuked the Corinthian church (1Co 5:1-2). Without the data from the two prostitutes, Solomon could not have brought his biblical wisdom to bear (1Ki 3). “The honor of kings is to search out a matter” (Pr 25:2).
It seems that many pastors have little understanding about the vile roots of Black Lives Matter, the twisted ideology of Marxism, the conniving strategies of Planned Parenthood, the atheistic moorings of Cultural Marxism, the racist strategies of abortion clinics, and the vacuous foundations of feminism. These same pastors have memorized and preached on every equality passage in Scripture, but what good are those texts if they don’t know when or where to apply them?
What help is your world class bait if you’re fishing on the wrong side of the pond? Of what benefit is Genesis 1:1 when you’ve bypassed the onslaught of Darwinists and instead joined the fray against transubstantiation? Who cares is you know the Second Commandment when you fail to see Black Lives Matter is Baal in disguise? How vital is “thou shalt not steal” when you are unaware socialism does just that?
I thank God for men like Voddie Baucham and Josh Buice and Tom Sowell and Phil Johnson and James White and Seth Meyers and Doug Wilson and Tom Ascol and many others that have not only given us the biblical standard to preach on social justice but the historical and cultural roots beneath that which we apply Sola Scriptura.
One Reason Good Christians Differ
How is it that when two A+ marksmen aim at the bullseye, one hits the mark dead center and the other misses by a mile? One of them is aiming at the wrong target. How is it that when two A+ Christians aim at the bullseye, one hits the biblical center, and the other is off in the weeds? One is aiming at ghosts. Let us be sure “we aim at what is honorable” (2Co 8:21).