On the heels of the last post, “Confusion Rather Than Clarity“, it is a good time once again to return to the major issue behind the problems going on today. Instead of proclaiming the unadulterated Bible, many are turning to other methods and techniques to appease and gain followers. In what I call, “Formulating Sermons”, we have been taught and have had modeled before us that what we really need is clever preaching that begins with an application and then work backward to find verses, metaphors, stories, and the like that support these ideas.
I am always mystified by the sheer lack of fear and reverence for God and the Bible by a growing number of professing “Christians”. By no means should we ever to think to worship the Bible, worship is reserved for God alone, but people’s low view of Scripture is of great concern. It seems many are now being carried away from a solid foundation of the Bible because they are told to “trust in Jesus” separated from the fundamental source of knowing Him through His Word.
Along with this is a growing liberal segment of “Christians” that even go so far to constantly take issue with those that refer to the Bible as, “The Word”. They insist that “The Word” is reserved for Jesus Himself, based on John 1, and that by calling the Bible “The Word”, they fear that people elevate the Bible above Jesus. But is it really necessary to blast people for having a high view of Scripture while simultaneously seeing Jesus as the source of “His Word”?? If what they continue assert is that there is some sort of believing and knowing “Jesus” above and beyond the Bible and that the Bible is somehow less authoritative than this “Jesus” they say they believe in, shouldn’t that raise all sorts of red flags??
All this is to say that we have real issues concerning the Bible that are dividing churches.
If it is too much to take God at His “Word” and to preach and teach even remotely exegetical (explaining Scripture in context so to make sense for people to understand), we might as well call it a day. When it is called too “fundamental” to hold people to a proper understanding that the Bible is our final authority for belief and practice, it is a tragedy. And when people are called “legalists” because they seek to encourage obedience to the Lord from Scripture instead of this “grace” movement we are seeing growing like wildfire, we have some real threats facing the Church.
There are some that claim to hold a high view of Scripture, while at the same time seek to broaden the Way by allowing people to embrace such random and radical interpretations. And worse yet, accepting those that see Scripture is often only meant as “story”, “figurative”, or merely to “see beauty” (whatever that means), is a true rejection of God Himself. When the Bible is viewed through these lenses, it isn’t something of “beauty”, but an awful perversion. It is an attempt to make the Bible into something it is not by those not wanting to submit themselves fully to God. Instead, the Bible is used only as a tool to give assurance to people justifying and embracing their sinfulness rather than repenting of sin and growing in greater faith and holiness.
We are each called to rightly handle the Bible.
Therefore, it is critical that we discern each and every thing that is presented as Truth. As the world becomes more infected with this notion of “tolerance”, we cannot be blinded to the attacks against the Church to be tolerant and accepting everything as well. When it comes to matters of the character of God, what is or is not sin, or how to view Scripture, the wild ideas never cease to stop. And how we view and handle the Bible is of utmost importance.
Context, context, context.
Just as in location, context always matters. If we don’t start from Scripture and explain the context around those verses or chapters, we are in great danger of hijacking a verse or passage for our own opinions. To properly glean from Scripture, we must pull lessons and application from the true context, not the other way around.
Few and far between seem to properly handle the Bible today. It doesn’t matter if it is pastors, leaders, authors, conference speakers or even lay people. It is as if the Bible is used to prop up rather than speak from. This should not be.
Rightly handling the Bible is a serious matter. A matter not to be taken lightly. But we must each make our minds up to guard and defend the Truth of the Bible against all attacks, whether inside or outside the Church. God is the foundation of our faith and has given us the Bible in order that we might know true faith and obedience to Him. There are those that seek to question the Bible and it’s role and authority, but we must not give into these threats. May the Lord give us the strength, wisdom, and courage to boldly stand on His Word in these darkening days!!