Staying anchored to the truth requires beginning with the truth. The proper order of knowing and living the truth is facts, faith and then feelings. Jesus stated in John 17:17, “Your word is truth.” We find out what the truth is from God’s Word, we accept it as the truth by faith, and then we experience it in our lives as a reality. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Because we have begun with the source of truth, our experience or feelings will be reliable.
Unfortunately, many modern believers have reversed this proper order. Instead of basing their faith on Biblical fact, they rely on what they experience to determine what they believe.
Because of this flaw in their basic perspective, the believer becomes subject to the individualistic whims of feelings. From worship style to methods of preaching to doctrinal persuasion, experiences are no longer tested by the truth, truth is determined in light of experience. This experiential mentality to faith and practice leads to a very dangerous end. When doctrine is no longer Biblio-centric, it ceases to be absolute and is open to all sorts of subjective opinions
This “cafeteria approach” to religion is increasingly prevalent in modern society. If doctrine is unimportant, the door is opened for syncretism. People from all beliefs and denominations can be drawn together by their common experiences. Doctrine loses its importance.
Yet what we believe IS important, and true doctrine must be based on truth. With the Word of God as our source for truth, we can evaluate every teaching, doctrine and experience to determine what is right and what is not.