I have been going to a new church, a bit bigger then our old one. I visit our old one every now and then because I miss the people and place. It's a good little church, I am just concerned as to the fact that the main Methodist congregation is leaning more and more towards liberal theology which in my opinion is not biblical Christianity. I also would like a church that digs into deep theology and doctrine. The new church we have been visiting is much bigger (I personally prefer the smaller churches) but they seem to stick with sound doctrine and don't waver as to what the world thinks Christianity should be but rather what the Bible says Christianity should be. I admire that for Paul told Titus in his letter to him that: "But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine" [Titus 2:1]
So I took the girls to the old Methodist church this past weekend to visit and to attend services and Sunday school. I even called someone ahead of time in my old Sunday school class to see what they were doing, and found they were in chapter 4 of a book titled "When bad things happen to good people". I went and bought the book at used bookstore downtown and caught up reading it. Quick review on the book: It is written by a Rabbi (who only believes in the old testament) who portrays God as not all powerful and is just a horrible book when run through scripture. What I mean is it does not hold up to what scripture says, which is how I judge all things written on God and theology, like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
There were just a handful of us in the class and I mentioned that this book was crap. I said it does not stand up to Gods word. Well that got (we will call him Thomas) fired up for some reason. I was so flabbergasted by the end of that hour that I forget how it all began exactly, but the next thing I know I am in a debate about the Bible actually being a true historical book written by God. OK, it's coming back to me, I mentioned that this book makes out Job as not actual story but merely poetry, and that the parting of the Red Sea was a story as well as most the miracles of the Old Testament. Praying for rain and it comes, the sun standing still for battle, etc... The biggest was what so many modern age Christians are doing, saying that God did not create everything in 7 days, rather it took millions of years for us to evolve to what we are.
Evolution? Really? Are we at church or the local scientists meeting? Well I am a big mouth and will not stay silent. Don't get me wrong, I was proper, respectful and polite, yet not compromising my beliefs or stance on things. I made my points like, if we don't take the bible serious or as truth from the beginning of the book, where do we start? Is it our job to pick and choose what God inspired?, because if so that's scary considering we are all sinful and far from perfect. Lets say that we aren't gonna believe that God created the earths in 7 days, but that it took millions of years, so what do we make of Jesus being in the grave 3 days? Was it 3? Or 10? Did He even rise from the grave? See what I mean? You can't pick and choose. You either believe the bible or you don't. If you don't, why are you even getting up to come to church when you can sit at home, sleep in and read the Koran, or Tibetan book of dead or whatever? I'm just saying.
Let me share my view, and forgive me if I am blunt. I believe the bible was written by God, Yes though it was penned by mans hand God is responsible for every word on the page. It is not Peter or Paul , or Johns thoughts or insights about God, it is Gods perfect word to us. Since then it is Gods perfect word, that means it is inerrant and it is completely sufficient in all ways. It convicts, it converts, and it sanctifies through its words and the Holy Spirit. God wrote a book to people to reveal Himself and His will to us, and it is the Holy bible. It is complete too. The canon has been revealed and God speaks through it. There are no apostles and prophets today, Gods word is complete, He didn't forget anything and has nothing more to reveal to us, we have His glorious truth that will be with us until Christ returns and after since His word endures forever. [Isaiah 40:8]
I shared my view at the table Sunday with Thomas and he actually told me something along the lines that I was a fundamental idiot. Wow. He said that at this day in age and at his age (hes probably in his 50s or 60s) that he is surprised that he has to still "deal" with fundamentalist people like me. What do you say to that? I was so jaw on the floor. Well R was in the class with me to and he said he worries about the fact that I take scripture to seriously that I may loose faith one day because of something like evolution or I pray for something and it isn't answered. What kind of faith is that? That is not true faith when a person "falls away" considering what God says about His saving power in Romans Chapter 8 [please read it.]
It turns out that most people in that class don't agree with me, and Thomas' wife asked does it matter if it was 7 days or 7 million years? Well like I said, that's the beginning of book, you don't start believing there, then when? Does it matter if the Red sea parted to make a way for the Israelites? Well if it didn't happen, then why are there so many psalms and references to God in the Old testament as the true saving God. How can He be a Savior in the Old Testament if He didn't save His people from anything? What do we believe? If there was no angel that passed over the houses with lamb blood above the door, whats that say about our one and true perfect passover lamb Jesus Christ? When will we be arguing over whether Christ really lived and was slain for the sins of His children? It's a legitimate question.
I am not saying I have all the answers, but I will tell you that there are particulars and principles in the Christian faith. We can agree to disagree on the particulars, but we cannot bend on the principles. I truly believe scripture supports itself as the true word of God, therefore to look at it as anything else is to have the wrong view of God. Jesus was constantly saying believe in me and people profess that by the millions, but I ask, do you believe Him? We don't know God if we don't know His word. Proverbs 111:10 says "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. How would we know His precepts and laws if we didn't have His word? If we don't believe His word is His word?
Its late and I am getting tired. I could go on and on with this, but let me end with just this thought and just one verse that really touches on this subject. If you don't believe God wrote the bible and that it is complete, sufficient, and mankind's only source of absolute truth, than I strongly ask you to do as Paul told the Corinthians [2 Corinthians 13:5] and examine yourself to see that you are in the faith. How you view the bible is ultimately how you view God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
My prayer is that we teach all people the completeness and perfection of Gods holy words to us. That we read them often, meditate on them often, and obey them always. That we do what is pleasing in His eyes through that perfect word we are given. We love you and your revelation to us O Father.
With love and prayers always