God’s Word Matters

Posted: March 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

From time to time I will see things proclaimed by church leaders that will baffle me. They will be going along with the latest trends and following after the culture. While being current and up-to-date, or as some would say “relevant,” is certainly not a bad thing, there is a boundary and it’s an important one. I look at what they say and think “What Bible did they read that in?” The Bible is the boundary and it’s an important boundary. I also maintain that the Bible is relevant on it’s own without any help from us. 

Here’s what we need to remember. The Bible may have been written by human hands but its author is God. These human writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Bible was given to humanity by the Creator of all things. He is the One who made it and knows how it works. He knows what will work in His creation and what will not. He knows what is beneficial to us and what is not, and those things which are not beneficial, are detrimental. He is a loving God and Father and, as such, those things which will be detrimental, He calls sin. Those things are a boundary that we ignore at our peril. We need to avoid sin and turn from it when we are in sin. 

Today though the trend is for people to embrace sin, and there is a pressure on the church to embrace it as well. May succumb to this pressure. We try to tweak the Word of God to be better received by the culture. We think this will make the Bible and the Church more palatable to the culture, but there is a problem. God is the author of life and He has not amended His Word. Changing the Word is a false Gospel, that will do nothing but leave people stuck in the very things Jesus died to save us from. This, in effect cheapens the Sacrifice of our Lord. 

Here’s the thing. If the Bible was given by a loving, benevolent, self-sacrificing God, then it is a gift of love meant to tell people how to navigate this life and find the truth in Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. We are not supposed to change the Bible, the Bible is supposed to change us.

One of my favorite illustrations of this principle, is to set up two paintings on opposite ends of the room. One is a loving portrait of a smiling Jesus in profile looking toward the center of the room. The other is a maniacal portrait of the stereotypical image of Satan. He too is facing toward the center of the room. 

I then stand in the center of the room. I speak to sin and temptation and I face the image of Satan. Noting the position of my body, I note that in order to turn toward sin and temptation, I need to turn my back on Christ. This is precisely what we do every time we choose sin. The good news is, we can turn from our sin. The literal interpretation of the word repent is to turn around and when we turn from our sin and turn to Christ, He is ready to receive us with open arms. 

Watering down the Gospel to match the culture deprives people of seeing the need to turn around. It contributes nothing to the church but to leave people stuck. 2 Timothy 4:3 speaks of the time we are in when it says, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” My “tongue-in-cheek” motto has always been, “If your ears itch, get a Q-tip, because here we love you (and we love God) too much to preach anything but God’s truth that sets people free.” The most loving thing any church can do is follow Paul’s admonition to speak the truth in love and we do love you right where you are, and so does God.

He just loves us too much to let us stay where we are. God has something better for you!

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