For the first time in my life, it feels unpopular to believe that the Bible is God’s Word. By “unpopular” I mean, it feels like believing in the entire Bible is looked at as uncool and outdated, like we’re past that and holding on to is crude, ignorant and even barbaric. This has something to do with social media that I spend a lot of time on, something to do with me getting older and being exposed to a broader population outside of my “bubble,” and also something to do with what I sense is a genuine trend in our culture toward secularism, pluralism, intellectualism, materialism, me-ism and several other “isms” that I’m leaving out.
I see this trend in both the Christian and non-Christian cultures.
I was at a Christian clergy gathering recently when one of the pastor presenters told us one of the keys to loving people was to accept that Jesus, Allah and Yahweh (Judaism’s belief, which rejects Jesus) are all the same. She put “Christianity” in air quotes, as if it were some fictional set of exclusionary dogmas that only stubborn bigots would still hold on to.
Ironically, I just blogged about how Satan’s work among us has little to do with Satanic statues of Baphomet in Detroit, and much more with how he has deceptively snuck into our lives and into the Church undetected, lulling us to sleep into his destructive lies that we are hardly aware of. One of the examples I gave in the Baphomet post was:
Churches who don’t preach repentance of sin or how we’re under the wrath of a holy God unless he intervenes with his blood shed on the cross. But instead believe that “all ways lead to heaven.”
Then I go to a pastor gathering and here this exact message. Not only did I hear it, I was evangelized with it–told that this is how pastors need to operate and if we weren’t, we were being unloving.
I’d like to take a moment, with all due respect to those who disagree, to say in writing that I do believe the Bible is God’s authoritative, inerrant Word. I’m not ashamed of this, I don’t care what people think of me for believing this, and frankly I’m incredibly thankful for knowing this! What follows is simply a few reasons why I’m thankful for the Bible being God’s word and for the record, some of the important truths about the Bible that I’m not afraid of or ashamed of:
- You can’t believe in Jesus without believing in the Bible. Where do we find out who Jesus is? The Bible. I’m so thankful for Jesus and I’m so thankful for the Bible which tells me about Jesus. No Bible…no Jesus. No Jesus…no salvation.
- I’m so thankful we have the Bible so we know how to be saved!
- Saying all religions are the same is another way of making yourself your own god. If they are all the same, you don’t have to obey anything you don’t want to and can do whatever you want. Convenient.
- I’m thankful that God is a Person, not a set of ideas, and that He is powerful enough as a Person to tell us who he is. I find it strange that so many people believe in an amorphous “God” but they don’t think this “higher being” would be able to tell us who he is. That doesn’t seem very “higher” to me.
- I’m thankful that Jesus believed in the whole Bible. (Matthew 5:17-19)
- I’m thankful that the Old Testament points to Jesus and without it, Jesus’ showing up would have been super random. With it, Jesus’ showing up only confirms the truth of the Old Testament.
- I’m thankful for the ancient Jewish community and for the ancient Jewish prophets. Why is the Old Testament true? Because the Jewish community always affirmed it as true. They lived it and experienced it in real time.
- I’m thankful for how honest the Old Testament is. I’m thankful that it’s not true that it was revisionist history where “the winners write the history,” as it is full of lost battles, terrible kings and failure after failure of the Jewish people (the Israelites).
- I’m thankful that the Early Church understood what was Bible and what wasn’t, so that they could weed out the many false writings that sprung up centuries after Jesus’ life. Acts 1:21-22 explains how apostolic authority was given to eyewitnesses of Jesus, so the writings written by eyewitnesses who already had God-given authority in the Church were kept as Scripture. We see this was already being modeled in 2 Peter 3:15-16, holding Paul’s writing with equal authority as the rest of the Scriptures. In the Church councils of the 4th century, Bible books were not being picked randomly or according to bias. The books always held by the Church as authoritative because they fit with Acts 1:21-22 were simply ratified as official to stop the many false writers who were writing “gospels” in the 3rd, 4th and 5th centuries, hundreds of years after Jesus, in attempts to deceive people and gain glory for themselves. Just like in the Old Testament, the people of God who saw the events take place were the ones who held the writings about the events as authoritative. That’s powerful.
- I’m thankful that this understanding of what is Bible and what isn’t Bible is the same reason we don’t hold Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, David Karesh, or any other person’s words as authoritative who say God randomly appeared to them in a vision and now all of a sudden they have a different, better, more authoritative teaching that what is already in the Bible. The same principle applies to pastors and preachers today who give you their opinions rather than the Bible. Acts 1:21-22 is just as helpful today as it was in the 1st century, or in the Church councils of the 4th century.
- I believe Jesus is the only way to heaven.
- I believe in hell.
- I believe that God tells us how to live sexually in the Bible and that being a Christian means making him the Lord (ruler, king, one in authority) of our lives in all areas, including our sexuality. I believe this goes for homosexuals and heterosexuals.
And I’m thankful for the discipline of sound hermeneutics, which teach us how to understand each book of the Bible based on who wrote it, when they wrote it, and who they wrote it to. If you’re interested in learning more, here are some recent related posts I’ve done on these topics:
- How To Understand the Laws of the Old Testament
- Aren’t the Killing Commands of the Bible the Same as the Ones in the Qur’an?
- Creationism Origin Summit at MSU: Christians Wrong in So Many Ways
- 2 Unexpected Ways Believing in Hell has Reinvigorated my Faith
- What to do with Jeremiah 29:11 and the Rest of the Old Testament
- Do You Need to Believe in the Authority of the Bible to Be Saved?
- Why “All Ways Lead to God” Offends Me
- Jonah & the Whale: Fact, or Fictional Fish Story?
- Rob Bell Offers a Bibleless Jesus & Bibleless Christianity
- And a whole bunch more…
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