Ordinary Christians tend to let the scholars of their choice do their study and thinking for them. The individual search for truth gets swallowed up in loyalty to our preferred scholar, preacher, teacher or party. Since scholars, preachers and teachers usually enjoy the praises of their followers, it is easy for them to encourage the party or denominational spirit where their positions on issues will be accepted and followed.
No matter how pure we believe our motives are, we are still subject to the same political pressures to conform, once we become a part of a particular religious community or fellowship. If we deny this, we have already violated truth.
Dominant personalities tend to move into positions of leadership and influence in any organization -- religious, social, political or business. They can perpetuate error as easily as they foster truth....
Most churches spend much of their time promoting the doctrine which separate them from their religious neighbors. They put out so much effort in making sure the faithful remain faithful to their peculiar doctrinal positions and long-held traditions, that they spend little time asking the questions which lead to a new and broader understanding of truth. Their time is devoted to building walls around their special doctrines and communions. Because of their need to be accepted, feel secure, maintain positions of power and influence, keep funds flowing, maintain cooperation in mission efforts, support institutions, and keep subscriptions coming, dominant personalities in the church are inclined to cease asking questions and searching for truth. And, if new truths are discovered or questioning arises, they are often not allowed to be expressed, due to the political consideration involved in the motives listed above.
- Robert Rowland, "I Permit not a Woman..." to Remain Shackled (Newport, OR: Lighthouse Publishing Company, 1991), 13-14.