The following is an article I submitted to the Tacoma News Tribune. I have had the privilege of submitting articles every other week for a few months now and this my latest one; printed on Saturday, Nov 4. I have received a number of requests to make these more available so here you go…
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17]
I came across a quote recently that really bothered me and scared me. The quote came from a prominent church leader in a major denomination. The reason it scared me was not just that it came from this leader, but that this leader has and will be again speaking at a national youth gathering. I fear what her ideas and beliefs will do to the next generation. The quote is this, “Preaching hopefully in some way is the word of God, speaking is not. So I thought, I wonder, we can look at (the apostle) Paul that way. You know like sometimes he was just going off on his snotty opinions, he has some authority to speak on it but that’s not necessarily the Word of God.” Just his “snotty opinions”? Wow, that is scary because it is saying that if you don’t like something in the Bible, you can just call it a “snotty opinion” and totally discount it as something not authoritative. The problem is that when you start doing this, then all of scripture becomes suspect. When that happens, then scripture ceases to be authoritative.
The fact of that matter is that ALL of scripture is breathed out by God. ALL of scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, not just the parts you like. C.S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” Those are very wise words. The Word of God operates the same way. You simply cannot twist and manipulate it to justify a certain way of life, or a certain behavior, or a certain belief system. You simply cannot toss out the verses and/or chapters you do not like or agree with. You cannot rewrite scripture because it makes you uncomfortable. The Word of God is just that, the Words of God almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You cannot pick and choose like going through some divine a la carte line. The Word kills but brings to life. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 Corinthians 5:17]
The Word of God is not outdated or irrelevant as some would want you to believe. It doesn’t need to be updated to fit our culture today. The Word of God does not need to be softened so as not to offend certain people. The Word of God is authoritative, all of it, and thus needs to be listened to, for in it are the words of eternal life and that never goes out of style. Don’t minimize God’s Word but hold it as authoritative and watch it transform you. Cling to God’s Word and trust in its power. Taste and see that it is indeed good.
The Pastor -|—