Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Where the rubber meets the road...


"We believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the accepted canon of the Scriptures as originally given and that they are infallibly and uniquely authoritative and free from error of any sort in all matters with which they deal, including scientific and historical as well as moral and theological. 
(II Timothy 3 :16; I Corinthians 2:13)"
This is the first statement under the What We Believe tab on our church's website.

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
This is the first statement of the fundamental truths of the denomination I grew up in.

Whatever your opinion, whether you feel these statements are right, wrong, or you couldn't care less,
the fact that they are first on the list in both instances is significant.
Because, what we believe about the Bible is the foundation on which our whole belief system is built.
What we believe about the Bible is a "watershed" issue, 
and where we draw the line on this issue is of utmost importance.

Here are the three most common views of the Bible-
The Evangelical View-
(This is reflected in the statements above.)
The Bible is seen as presently applicable to our lives.

The Orthodox View-
The Bible is viewed as an historically accurate document giving account of the truths about the living God.
A person doesn't need to do anything further than to simply believe in the truths.
There is an absence of expectation that the Holy Spirit can make the Word alive today.

The Liberal View-
The Bible is a source of comfort but is not the final authority or decisive truth.
It is a book of faith inspiring stories, legends and myths open to subjective interpretation.
A final opinion on God, Jesus or the Bible is considered narrow minded.

Here's the problem...
"If the Bible is no longer the Word of God without error, each part may be eaten away step by step...
What the Bible teaches about itself, what Jesus taught about Scripture, and what the church has consistently held to through the ages, is a strong, uncompromising view of Scripture."
( from the article by Francis A. Schaeffer linked below)

Paul Little in his book, Know What You Believe says
"There is rational evidence of truth that the Bible is a supernatural book, that the God of the Bible who created the heavens and the earth, is God, and that Jesus Christ, His Son came to earth, lived, died and rose again.  There is no need for you to kiss your brains goodbye in order to believe this."

{At this point, I could go into all the evidence that the Bible is no ordinary book, 
but my purpose here isn't to write a research paper.
Another article you may find interesting is, Science and the Bible.}

"If the Bible really is the supernatural, infallible, inerrant, God-breathed Word of God, 
than it not only has life-giving power, but life-governing authority." Jack Hayford

My premise, is that the things that divide us, things like what we believe about gay marriage or abortion and those sorts of hot-button issues are a symptom of an even greater divide...
the differences of what we believe about the Bible.
This is at the root of it all.

My purpose here is to make clear what I believe and where I stand.
{And to encourage you to think, to study, to delve into this yourself, 
rather than to just accept whatever the current cultural trend is or even what I'm saying.}

I believe that the Bible is perfect, true and complete.
I believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired and therefore inerrant Word of God.
I believe that the Bible is the final authority for all that we believe and how we are to live.
I believe that the Bible is the Truth.

So, that being the case, if what I think or what I feel doesn't line up with the Bible, 
then I'm the one in error.
The Bible is not subjective truth, "I feel it's true, so it must be."
It's the objective plumb line, by which I must measure what I think and feel, 
and how I am to act, react and respond.

This means, in our culture where there are few moral absolutes and cloudy views of right or wrong, 
where saying something is morally wrong is often considered to be narrow minded and bigoted, 
I am going to stick out like a sore thumb.
I am going to be considered narrow minded.
I may be thought of as hateful when I won't accept someone's lifestyle 
because I believe that the Bible calls it sinful.

On a personal note, embracing the Bible as God's Word, as the Truth, 
also means that I must accept what it says about the sinfulness of my own lifestyle.
I must recognize my selfishness, my pride, my lack of love, as grievous sins to God's great heart,
and I must do what He says,
repent and turn from my own way and return to His.

Much of the time, I feel like a fish swimming upstream.
It sure would be easier to go with the flow of culture.
But I can't.
I just can't.
by my words,
in my actions,
no matter what it costs,
no matter how unpopular.

And that, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road for me.


still following,


                                     

                    

21 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    I agree that what we believe about the Bible is crucial. It isn't just the head knowledge, but the living it out, and letting God's Word mold me, and change me. It is a daily challenge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Dolly. I just had to write this!

      Delete
  2. Hi Elizabeth, I love that you brought out Francis Schaeffer! My husband and I had the chance to live at L'abri in Switzerland for a semester in 98 and we had Monday morning "Shaeffer" times listening to his voice on tape expound the scriptures. I wish we could have met him during the 70's/80's when L'abri was so alive with redemption stories.

    Besides the truth you brought out here, my favorite thing about the scripture is it brings me together with the author!

    love your photos!

    Summer @ www.athirstforGod.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great, great man! I have many of his books and all of Edith's. I would love to hear more about your time at L'Abri!

      Delete
  3. A beautiful response to all of yesterday's political brewhaha. I can not always explain everything found in Scripture nor do I always understand it. But I also realize it isn't my job to convince someone of what it says...I am to live it and He will grant knowledge and understanding.
    Love the picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's either all true, or why accept any of it? I really don't understand the pick and choose philosophy.

      Delete
  4. And such a high price He paid for us... It's still the most amazing grace ever imaginable. Keep being that fish, Elizabeth, and glorifying the Father.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement, Lisa. You bless me so.

      Delete
  5. when the line is drawn in the sand, I want to be standing where He Is.
    you have spoken my own heart here.
    amen and amen, from another thumb sticking out boldly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too! Thanks for linking arms here.

      Delete
  6. There is no doubt - no possibility - that I can stand anywhere else! I know I stand out in a crowd but a lighthouse must stand out above the rocks or it's light wouldn't be seen. If my life is going to shine I HAVE to stand out above the crowd! He told us to let our lights shine - not to hide them under a basket. To be obedient we MUST stand out!

    Standing tall,
    ~Adrienne~

    ReplyDelete
  7. AMEN! Well-written and powerful.
    Thank you for the acknowledgement of current societal "misdirections" and the difficult issues we as faithful Christians continue to face. Love reading your posts!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear Elizabeth
    I firmly believe the Bible to be the love story of our Pappa God' love for us and of Jesus.
    One thing that I do know for certain and that is that we need to know the author of the Bible, to truly understand what He is saying. Without the Holy Spirit that gives life to the words, the letters only kills.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, truth spoken in love, but not compromised is my desire.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. In my humble opinion, this is your best post ever--Wow!

    Written beautifully and thoughtfully, wisely and shrewdly, you have shared my heart also.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you always say that, just like I think that all of your paintings and photos are your best ever!

      Delete
  11. You. Nailed. This. Amen and Amen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank the Holy Spirit, because I'm not that smart! :)

      Delete
  12. Truth spoken here. We must take God's word in it's entirety and apply it to our lives.

    ReplyDelete

The best thing about blogging is hearing from you!
I'd love for you to leave a comment! Click subscribe by email if you want me to be able to reply to you.