A few weeks ago or so I perused an article in a Christian magazine that ticked me off. The writer of the piece spewed fightin’ words to all things evangelical. He regurgitated a barf bag full of of his frustrations with some of the core realities of God’s Word firmly held by orthodox Christians for almost 2,000 years. I had the feeling there was alot more gurgling in his “stomach” ready to come up and out…but he held back (probably out of PR reasons…after all the slow reveal of heresy is much less shocking than a full on coming out party!)
After reading his rant I started thinking about other articles, books and blogs that I have read, perused or sampled in the last few years. It seems to me that basic Christian beliefs are falling on hard times in many Christian circles today. The trend setting hip Christians (isn’t that an oxymoron?) are too cool for school, the old school of theological accountability. Many feel that they’ve earned a “get out of jail free card” when it comes to orthodoxy because of their biting intellect and bad experiences with the evangelical church.
As founding member of The Guild of Guys With Lower IQs Who Happen To Believe What The Bible Says Because It Says It I live in a simpler world. If the Bible says it then I believe it. Now does that mean that I understand everything the Bible is talking about? No way! I struggle everyday to understand it more. But there are some core truths that are impossible to dispute if you take the Bible seriously. Among these are salvation by faith alone, Christ being the only way into heaven, the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, the return of Christ and the deity of Jesus. By the way, these are the basic doctrines that the church has been hammering out as essentials for the last two millenia. And, in that same time span, there have been those who have sought to undermine them every step of the way.
Maybe I should come up with a Mr. Potato Head God game that we can sell in Christian bookstores all across America. Those who don’t like a certain aspect of God’s character (or the theological concepts that particular character trait represents) can replace that part with another piece that suits their version of God.
If you don’t like the holiness of God (and the implications of an eternal hell and Judgment Day) you can replace the eyes of uncompromised holiness that see into every sinful heart with blind eyes that don’t see transgressions of any kind and allow everyone into God’s presence regardless of their beliefs. If you don’t like a God who is omniscient and knows everything including the future you can replace his brain (yes in my version of the game you can replace the brain) with a big pile of gush that is just as clueless about the future as we are. The strong arms of righteousness can be replaced with the skinny arms of “as long as you are sincere in whatever your beliefs I’ll let you into heaven!”
You get the idea.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson basically did the same thing? He took a pair of scissors to the Gospels and cut out every story about Jesus that seemed too good to be true. He didn’t like the miracles so he sliced them out of his Jeffersonian Version. Anything that sounded too supernatural or too judgmental hit the cutting room floor of his “have it your own way” editing room.
Jefferson would have been the first buyer of my Mr. Potato Head God game if he were alive today.
What’s my point to this rant? Let’s not play games with God. Let’s accept God on his own terms. The Bible is not a book we can take scissors to if we don’t like what it’s saying. God is not a Mr. Potato Head to be manipulated and re-manufactured to our own liking.
The Bible is the Bible. It says what it says. If we don’t like it we can choke on it…or repent and accept it. God is God, regardless of what we think of him and his doctrines. And we will all stand and give account before him someday for the way we revered and obeyed Him and His Word.
So let’s walk carefully and humbly. Let’s be careful to color within the lines of sound doctrine. Our God is an awesome God and He and His book are not to be be trifled with. After all it is a “fearful things to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Gotta go. For some reason I’m hungry for a baked potato. Pray I don’t puke.