Passion And Belief -- By: Kathy D. Colebank

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 11:1 (Winter 1997)
Article: Passion And Belief
Author: Kathy D. Colebank


Passion And Belief

Kathy D. Colebank

Kathy Colebank has been a member of the Steering Committee of the CBE Twin Cities Chapter This article is adapted from her presentation at the May 1995 chapter meeting.

I recently read a letter by a young woman struggling with the issue of women in ministry. She was torn because her father, a wonderful man of God, believed strongly that women were not to be ordained to ministry. “How can I question the beliefs of such a passionate godly man?” she asked.

But passion for God does not guarantee correct belief.

In Acts 22, Luke reports Paul’s words when he stood on the steps of the barracks in Jerusalem and told the story of his conversion. Paul’s experience offers four facts to inform us on our spiritual journey.

The first is found in verses 3-5, when Paul said:

I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

Paul was zealous for God but that did not guarantee correct belief. Paul recounted how, out of his zealousness for God, he killed the followers of the Way. In Galatians 1:13-14 he says he was “extremely zealous for the tradition of the fathers.” Yet he was wrong. Because of incorrect belief, his passion was misdirected.

Paul was highly educated. Yet his education had lead him away from the truth instead of toward it. Neither passion for God nor education guarantees correct belief.

In Romans 10, Paul points to the Jews who were “zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” In their zealousness without knowledge, they rejected the Messiah. Passion for God does not guarantee correct belief.

Second, in verses 4-5 of Acts 22, Paul writes:

I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and the Council can

testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Dama...

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