I can not count how many times I have heard that God is not a god of confusion and so logically would not allow people to come to different conclusions about theological matters. Is it possible that God will lead people to believe different things?
Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us to all truth.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth
But not everyone is as spiritual as everyone else – Paul addressed the Corinthians as worldly, rather than spiritual.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
Paul was writing to people who were in the church, yet Paul addressed them as worldly. They were not ready for the more spiritual food. Even though they were in Christ, they were mere infants in Christ.
Apparently the Holy Spirit at least sometimes leads people to a different understanding of truth. Paul said we each have to be convinced in our own mind:
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
Some will say that God is not a god of confusion (1st Corinthians 14:33), and that is true, but in context, when Paul said that God is “not the author of confusion,” he meant that God didn’t design for there to be chaos in His church by the misuse of the gift of tongues. This does not mean He does not allow people to be convinced of conflicting things (such as whether to eat certain food or not celebrate certain holidays).
By the same token, I think that Christ Himself said what we need to believe to be saved. Anything beyond that is more spiritual and we need to not condemn people for disagreeing with us, but educate people without being condemning them.
Yes, correct doctrine is important to help us mature and not be led astray. But few people have correct doctrine in all areas, even if they believe otherwise. Only God knows the entire truth. If people trust Christ for salvation, they HAVE GOD in them – even if they end up with different doctrinal positions on some issues.
No, God is not a god of confusion, and there IS only one truth. But sometimes we dont understand that truth even if we think we do. An example would be that we have freedom in Christ, but this can be modeled by some in thinking they must follow certain holidays or eat certain food; while it is modeled by others in thinking they are able to do what they want when they want how they want; while it is modeled by others in thinking we are to live holy lives (some by our own doing, others by the power of God). Each is in a different place in their walk with God. Some are more spiritually mature than others. But this does not mean they are not saved.