Acts 17:11 – “Now these (the “Bereans”) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.”
Another translation renders it this way:
“The people there (“The Bereans”) were more open-minded than the people in Thessalonica. They listened to the message with great eagerness, and every day they studied the Scriptures to see if what the apostle Paul said was really true.”
What a powerful scripture and yet,...AND YET, absolutely contrary to what we see in today’s local institutional churches. Exactly the opposite is occurring!
The typical jargon that you will often hear about this verse in regards to the “Berean’s” behavior goes something like this:
“We clearly see here how the Bereans willingly received the message. They were more than willing to hear, and also exhibited love and appreciation to those whom they saw cause to differ. This was very noble of them, as the text indicates. They weren’t looking to quarrel or to find fault with the apostle, but honored him, hanging upon every word he said.”
REALLY? Is this the conclusion that is to be arrived at?
Well, for church leaders and church members alike, the answer is yes, and you could probably figure out why this is so. It fits in very nicely with an "institutional" church mind-set.
But let’s take another look and “reason together.”
In Acts 17, we read about the brethren sending Paul and Silas to Beroea in order to carry on their ministry in that location. In verses 10 and 11, we encounter "the Bereans," listening to messages from the apostle Paul, ……… THE APOSTLE PAUL mind you! And what did they do? Every day, they went home and checked out what they had just heard from the apostle Paul. They examined the scriptures every day; they studied; they investigated; they tested; they "tried the spirits." They used discernment!! (1 Corinthians 14:29)
They did all of these things in order to see if the apostle Paul was correct in his teaching and to see if what he said was really true. These Bereans were not pew-sitters. They were thinkers! They used their heads. They used their God-given minds. They didn’t swallow everything they heard from the pulpit.
They QUESTIONED everything they heard from the pulpit!
They studied the scriptures; read the context; considered them; prayed for wisdom; scrutinized very carefully whether the apostle’s words and applications were genuine, or whether they were forged out of a carnal-minded spirit driven by envy, pride, and a wanton lust for showmanship.
And you know what? They didn’t care what kinds of names they were called for doing this.
They didn’t care what other people said about them behind their backs either.
And what do the scriptures say about these Bereans? Do the scriptures call them a rebellious bunch? How about “troublemakers,” or “disaffected?”
Do they say that these Bereans didn't trust the leaders?
Do the scriptures say that the Bereans were “UN-SUBMISSIVE” to the apostle or were being disrespectful?
Does it say that they acted like arrogant snobs or know-it-alls? NO, NO, a thousand times NO!
What does GOD think of people who question what they hear from their church leaders?
What does GOD call people who don’t trust what their “pastors” are telling them until they go home and search it out for themselves?
What does God think of them? What does God call them? What does the scripture say of people who act and behave this way?
There it is, right there in the text. THEY ARE CALLED NOBLE!!!
God calls the Bereans NOBLE!! And not only noble; they were "MORE NOBLE."
They were more noble for checking out an APOSTLE! How much more, for a believer to be checking out their so-called “pastor” today, who is NO APOSTLE!
What a contrast from what we see in today’s church.
For the “Bereans,” the scriptures were their authority; the scriptures were their rule; the scriptures were their guide - NOT THE MAN IN THE PULPIT!
The Bereans knew this and lived and acted accordingly. Not even an apostle could ever coerce them into following his ways and his teachings. They knew better. They were more noble.
They studied the scriptures day and night and had their minds filled with higher thoughts; not with thoughts of obeying them that had the rule over them. No. Their thoughts were more noble.
Their heart and souls were fixed on scriptural principles, not synagogue principles. They were more noble.
The very aims of their life were designed and formed out of a love for God and for His Truth; not for pleasing men and following the religious crowd. Yes, these were more noble.
God calls them more NOBLE! Do you see that in the text?
Not troublemakers or suspicious people, but noble people; MORE noble people!
Most pastors today are so inflated with self-esteem that the first sign; the first indication of ANY questionings will immediately and rigorously be stamped out. Pastors today are totally obsessed with the “submission and total control of the flock!”
Pastors today will hardly ever appreciate the compliment given them when a believer will disagree with their exposition of a text.
At least, the believer shows that he is more devoted to scripture than to the man in the pulpit.
But no, this will not be permitted. The domineering pastor, with his swollen image of self-importance suffers too much for him to be approached by an “un-submissive sheep” with questionings or disagreements with his message.
I’ve heard pastors say after they have been questioned, “You are not embracing and obeying the biblical mandate to obey them that have the rule over you!"
Or how about this:
“If you continue on this path of questioning, it shows that you are infected with a spirit of insubordination and rebellion!”
This is the condition in many, many churches today, where pompous, arrogant, overbearing, sleazy, lust-filled deceitful workers have complete and total reign.
Will a true and biblical “Berean” ever be accepted in today’s local institutional churches?
Never! How could they be, given today’s professional clergy.
You must remember: “local institutional churches” are NOT of God. They are all creations of men.
All of these so-called "churches” are not just inconsequential, harmless structure’s. They are all unbiblical entities that function on an entirely wrong foundation.
“Institutional churches," along with the professional clergy, exist as divisions in the Body of Christ; operating under fraudulent authority; with false leadership resulting in a myriad of unbiblical practices!
"The local institutional church" stands between the disciple and his Lord and it needs to be removed!
The local church institution controls and orders the lives of its adherents who are reduced to being member slave’s and it needs to end. We all shouldn’t hold our breath though because it will never happen.
In today’s world, a “Berean” will only be permitted to exist OUTSIDE the man-made institutional church walls, which is where they should be anyway!
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
"And what agreement has a temple of God with idols? for we are a temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, And will be to you a Father, And you shall be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:16-18