(a) The world is full of difficulties about points of doctrine.
(a) The world is full of difficulties about points of doctrine. The house of error lies close alongside the house of truth. The door of one is so like the door of the other that there is continual risk of mistakes.
Does a man read or travel much? He will soon find the most opposite opinions prevailing among those who are called Christians. He will discover that different persons give the most different answers to the important question, What must I do to be saved? The Roman Catholic, the Protestant, and the Mormon each will assert that he alone has the truth. Each will tell him that safety is only to be found in his party. Each says, "Come with us." All this is puzzling. What will a man do?
Does he settle down quietly in some church here at home? He will soon find that even in our own land the most conflicting views are held. He will soon discover that there are serious differences among Christians as to the comparative importance of the various parts and articles of the faith. One man thinks of nothing but Church government�another of nothing but sacraments, services, and forms�a third of nothing but preaching the Gospel. Does he apply to ministers for a solution? He will perhaps find one minister teaching one doctrine, and another another. All this is puzzling. What will a man do?
There is only one answer to this question. A man must make the Bible alone his rule. He must receive nothing and believe nothing which is not according to the Word. He must try all religious teaching by one simple test�Does it square with the Bible? What does the Scripture say?
I pray to God that the eyes of the Christians of this country were more open on this subject. I pray to God that they would learn to weigh sermons, books, opinions, and ministers, in the scales of the Bible, and to value all according to their conformity to the Word. I pray to God that they would see that it matters little who says a thing. The question is�Is the thing said Scriptural? If it is, it ought to be received and believed. If it is not, it ought to be refused and cast aside. I fear the consequences of that submissive acceptance of everything which "the preacher" says, which is so common among many Christians. I fear lest they be led where they know not where, like the blinded Syrians, and awake some day to find themselves in the power of Rome. (2 Kings 6:20). Oh, that men would only remember for what purpose the Bible was given to them!
J. C. Ryle