Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Bible is still right

A troubling phenomenon I’ve noticed among some of us who profess to be Christians: Our faith and confidence in the Bible is conditional. That is to say, we believe the Bible as long as it doesn’t demand drastic change from us or condemn those we love.

I’ve noticed this phenomenon most often in the area of sexuality. For instance, someone will say they believe sex is reserved for one man and one woman in marriage until they meet someone they want to have sex with. Or, someone will say they believe homosexuality is sinful until their son or daughter “comes out of the closet”. When the Bible comes into conflict with their sexual urges or the urges of their loved ones, they either ignore the Bible or reason that somehow the Bible is wrong on the particular issue in question.

My friend, we don’t have the right to play around with Scripture this way. When our lives conflict with the Bible, it is not the Bible that is wrong; it is we and our loved ones who are wrong. You do no one a favor when you minimize the authority of Scripture in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), which is another way of saying Scripture is the word of God. If you want to hear God’s voice, open the Bible and read! It is in the very words of Scripture that we hear God. Jesus (who is God) said His sheep—His followers (i.e., Christians)—hear His voice. Christians listen to what the Bible says; and, not only do they listen, said Jesus, but they do what it says. Christians obey the Bible. And, I’m not talking about coercion. No, Christians want to obey God’s word (Psalm 119:174; Romans 7:22).

Jesus, on another occasion, asked, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). If we will not do what the Bible says, then Jesus is not our Lord. “Let God be true though every one were a liar” (Romans 3:4). Even if it condemns us and our loved ones, the Bible is still right. The way out from under condemnation is through complete surrender to the authority of the word of God.

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