Do We Believe the Bible?

January 8, 2019

The title of this article asks a very big question. I believe most church going Christians would quickly respond yes. Does the way we live our lives reflect the answer we give to that question? I am considering beliefs, choices, and actions, not necessarily stumbling in sin, though living a blatantly sinful lifestyle would fall into the parameters set forth.

 

This question came to mind as I considered what we are taught in churches, bible studies, home groups, etc. Very little is actually a time of study or even teaching believers how to study. Most often presented are sermons and teachings, the beliefs of someone that are supported from various verses and presented in a fashion to enforce the point that is trying to be made.

 

When conflicts with the teachings that form our beliefs arise, what do we do? Often the gut reaction is to rationalize something, be it the contradiction or the original idea. At times it may be ignored, or put on the shelf until some future time, whenever that may be, to be dealt with. Rarely do we dig in and figure it out. Perhaps we fear having to say we were wrong about something, as if correcting an error in a belief would result in destroying our years of faith, as if nothing would count as worthwhile.

 

There are all kinds of hot topics that can generate debate concerning the meaning of scripture. That is why we have so many denominations and so little unity across the landscape of the “Christian” churches in any given city. The city I live in is no different. Rather than focusing on the common ground and worshiping together, the differences keep people apart.

 

A pastor of a denominational church once questioned me about working alongside another denominational church in a way that made me pause to consider how he asked the question. He was my pastor at the time. He asked me, “Why are you doing that for that church instead of us when we have the better theology?” My initial thought was one of surprise, thinking, “Well, isn’t that elitist thinking!” I had met a pastor who had asked me to consider teaching a bible study in an area of a neighboring suburb of which they were looking to impact with the gospel. Neither of the two churches had representation in the area. Ironically the classes were being taught in the chapel of a denominational church, different from the first two churches. So, as I taught the classes I saw three churches working together to bring the gospel to an area. Then that question comes up. All I knew was that I was asked and given the opportunity to preach Christ and no parameters were set upon me. I’ll say yes to that opportunity almost every time if the Lord allows me time to do it.

 

I have two points here. First, we are far too short on time to focus on minor disagreements that we build up that keep us from working together. Second, none of us can be so dogmatic that we have all the correct answers and ridicule others. I am not opposed to debating a topic in search of truth. I am also willing to change my beliefs in order to live in truth.

 

That said, I will be writing at times concerning topics with which we may have differing views or beliefs. Should you think I’m all wet, send me a note and we can discuss the point of concern, and God willing, one of us will, or perhaps both, come to know truth we had previously misunderstood. My goal is to have the mind of Christ on a matter. By comparison, my opinions are very unimportant.

 

If my opinion differs from what God is saying, I had better waste no time in humbling myself and seeking God to give me the necessary revelation I need to resolve the issue in my mind and heart. On the other hand, I have no problem being in disagreement with some church teachings simply because that is what has been taught for longer than I have been alive. Lord willing, I will remain set free from the religious spirit that seeks to keep us bound up in the traditions of men. This could spark the first debate: is revelation progressive, or is all knowledge and understanding the same now as it was in 70AD, and the dark ages, and the 1800’s? Where do we draw the line?