Posts Tagged ‘biblical authority’

I’ve been writing this incarnation of this blog since 2012 and I’ve written literally thousands of posts, most of which involve creativity and the church. I am a strong advocate for the church embracing creativity and creative people, but is there ever a time when creativity should stop. Is there ever a time when being creative in the church is “out of bounds.” The answer is yes.

It’s simple really. We can be immensely creative with presentation. Whatever we can do to creatively spread the Gospel, we should do and I know in my heart of hearts, the church has only scratched the surface of what’s possible. We should also go to great lengths to make our presentations memorable and again there is still much ground to be taken in this arena. We can and should teach and preach as creatively possible. We should strive to make things interactive, get people involved, we should find and use the gifts of everyone, as much as possible in the life, mission and ministry of the church and we should put our whole hearts, souls and creativity into the worship of our Lord. Creative opportunities abound and I know there are many more ways than I can conceive today, so where is it out of bounds?

It’s out of bounds when it attempts to change the meaning of the Scripture. The Bible can only mean what God intended it to mean, even if we wish it said something else, even if it doesn’t endorse what we wish it endorsed, even when we think the times and the culture and even the church has changed. The Bible says very clearly Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His opinion is the only one that matters. We live this life submitted to Him and not the other way around. His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways, but his thoughts and ways are ultimately higher and better. We are created in His image and not the other way around. He is the Lord and we are supposed to be growing into His likeness. Believe it or not, this is all incredibly good news. No we can’t change the Scripture, but the good news is, if we will submit to His authority, the Scripture will change us.

The boundaries of the Scripture are our friends. They keep us in the Father’s will and even with these boundaries, the possibilities for creativity are endless in the church. So let’s submit ourselves and our creativity to the One who made us creative and let us watch in amazement as His truth is revealed to the world through us and our work. To God be the glory.

My web comic Creacher, has been on hiatus for a little while now while I finished other studies and projects, but I have now brought it back. It will be a while til it is totally up to speed but here is the first one.

I’ve heard several people on social media of late talking about some very different views of the Bible. Some of them were actually somewhat alarming, seeing as how they came not from people who don’t claim to believe the Bible, but from church leaders. I decided to create something to challenge this view.

Yesterday I preached a message on reading the Bible literally. I know there are many who don’t, even within the church. From believers, I just don’t get it, at all. Let me just be blunt today and maybe sound a little prideful for just a second. Many people have told me I’m a pretty good speaker. It’s not really a pride thing, God has given me an ability and I try very hard to use it to the best of my ability. Again I hate to sound boastful, and hopefully in a second you’ll hear what I am getting at.

I serve a church that loves me and compensates me to the best of their ability, fairly and even generously. I also get the privilege to speak at a lot of churches and, almost to a one, they have also been quite generous. That being said, I know many professional motivational speakers make upwards of $2500 an hour, and many make substantially more. One guy I know, who has a very similar speaking practice to mine in the “secular world,” using art and storytelling, drives a Lamborghini. Why do I serve the church when other things could be so much more lucrative? Because I believe the Bible and what it teaches, and I believe God in his grace has called me to preach His Word. If I didn’t, I’d be grabbing for the big bucks. I can’t for the life of me understand how people can be in ministry without believing what the Bible says.

Now I know some things in the Bible are figures of speech, and I’m even willing to concede that a few things in there may have been best understood for another time, but I have to tell you for the most part, I take it quite literally and believe it is all useful to us (see yesterday’s post). Some will look at this and shake their heads. I understand that. They will point out some things, especially the miraculous things, and say they are impossible in our world. This, I believe, is the disconnect. We serve a God who is supernatural. This means He is not limited by the order of nature He created. He is above it.

I take on faith that the One who changed my life and saved my soul is big enough to do the otherwise impossible. I believe He cares for us and loves us. I believe He knows the story from the beginning to the end and the role each of us plays. I believe He has my best interests at heart and that He rewards in ways that last beyond this world. I believe He gave HIs only Son to save us from our sins and reconcile us to Himself and I believe I (and many others) are called to take that message to the ends of the earth. I believe the Bible and I am willing to take God at His Word. To quote the apostle Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”

We Christians, especially those of us entrusted to preach, need to take God at His Word and we need to take His Word seriously, and dare I say, literally. The Bible is the Word of God. God is not a man that He should lie. His Word is the truth that points us to the One who said “I am the truth.” Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Lord and Savior, the only way to the Father.

I know I’ve been a little quiet the last few days, but believe me when I tell you, I have been hard at work on a variety of projects. I did a quite a bit more art for the flower show from the 14th to the 6th of the month, I’ve been making some other art as well as trying to write a paper and finish a class for my Masters program. Most importantly, I’ve been making some things for my church ministry. This week, I preached on the authority of Scripture and I decided to make a video for it, based on one of my favorite passages, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There seems to be a trend lately, even among some in the church, for picking and choosing what passages of Scripture are important and which are not, which should be taken seriously and which should not. I made this video to illustrate what the Bible says about that.  I hope it blesses you.


Not long ago, I overheard a person talking about their church. I have to admit I was taken aback. As this person spoke, they related how no one preaches at the church and there are times where they just sit in silence for a whole service. “No one tells us what to do or what to believe.” They seemed to think this was Panacea, almost paradise. The faith is a fairly old tradition, but I have to tell you the truth… I don’t get it.

See I know my own tendency to go my own way. “There’s a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death.” That’s what Scripture says, and I’m pretty sure I have demonstrated it in my own life. Left to my own devices, even after all these years as a Christian, it’s still pretty easy for me to talk myself into doing what I want to do and putting God’s seal of approval on it. Thankfully I have a few things that help me to stay on the right path.

First I have God’s Word. I have the Bible, I can look at it, read it, study it and take it to heart. I read the Word and the Holy Spirit convicts me to stay on the right path.

Next I have the church. When I come together with other believers around the Word of God, I receive the blessing of conviction and accountability. If I am honest enough to be open about what I am thinking, someone will take me to task and take me back to the Word of God and show me the error of my ways.

Finally I have a pastor. He comes and preaches the Word of God to me. He studies the Word. He prays and He brings messages that are often exactly what I need to hear. Not always what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. He declares the Word of God. He does tell me what to believe and sometimes even what to do, based not on his whim but on what the Word of God says. His messages sometimes step on my toes. That is a blessing, called conviction that God gives us to turn us around before we make things much worse. No one telling us what to do or what to believe may sound like a wonderful thing… but it isn’t. In the grand scheme of things, if the Scriptures are true, and by the way, THEY ARE, then someone who doesn’t tell you what to do or what to believe is showing you they don’t care about you at all.

I think it is far better for someone to go to the Word, seek the Lord and preach it, speaking the truth in love and saying…

Thus sayeth the Lord…

From there the choice is mine, but at least I’ve heard the truth. What I do with that is up to me.