This guy found a problem in the Bible and thinks he can now disprove God

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was reading comments on a friend’s Facebook page on something she had written about the Bible.

After a number of statements from one critic in particular–each comment shallow and several of them insulting–she patiently responded with kindness and reason.

But nothing worked on that guy.

When one is determined not to believe, no amount of truth or reason or logic can penetrate the protective armor of alibis, arguments, excuses, and slander in which he clothes himself.

What was the “contradiction” he had found in Scripture?

He said, “In one place the Bible says an eye for an eye and another place it says turn the other cheek.  What do you say about such a contradiction?”

I found myself wondering if this guy was serious.  My 13-year-old neighbor could answer that.

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Fifteen lies Satan tells you about Scripture

“(The devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

If I were the devil, I would do everything in my power to keep you from the Word of God.  I would say anything I could think of, anything I thought you would believe, anything that works, to get you to read other things.

As Paul said, “We are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).  We know how he works.  And here are some of the lies we have noticed pouring out of his factory, all geared toward destroying confidence in God’s Word.

One. “You already know it, so don’t read it.”

He’s lying to you. You do not know it. I’ve studied the Bible all my life and in no way could I say I “know” it. I know a great deal about it, but there is so much more.  For the typical church member to shun the Bible because “I’ve been there and done that” is laughable.

Two: “No one can understand it, so don’t read it.”

He’s lying.  Even a child can understand a great deal of Scripture.  Meanwhile, the Ph.D. will find plenty to challenge his thinking.  Only a book from the Almighty could touch so much at every level of their existence.

Three“It’s boring. So don’t read it.”

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Bad things happen when God’s people fail to live in the Word.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in that law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).

The Lord never intended for His Word to collect dust on a table in your back bedroom.

People paid for your right to own a Bible in your own language with their very lives.

What are you doing about that?

Christians who own numerous Bibles which they rarely open are thumbing their noses at the saints of old who paid the ultimate price.

This hard-won treasure lies buried under the dust and detritus of your life.

The Lord’s plan calls for His people to live and breathe His word, to read it and receive it inwardly and to think about it regularly and practice it. He intended it to become part of the very marrow of their bones.

Digest it. Assimilate it. Live it. And meditate upon it continually.

He even told people to “Eat this book.”

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The world into which the gospel came

Robert Harris is surely one of the most effective historical novelists on the scene. Everything he writes is so readable.

Conspirata is a sequel to Harris’ novel Imperium, which chronicles the rise of Cicero in ancient Rome.  He sticks to the facts and to the actual speeches of Cicero as much as possible, which is what make this so valuable.  You feel you know these people afterwards.

Conspirata  tells of Cicero’s consulship in which he ruled over the Roman Empire for a brief period, his work as a senator, and his brilliance as a lawyer and orator.  It’s impossible to recommend this novel too highly; I loved it.

I was struck by the conditions in Rome at this time (the story begins in 63 B.C.). This was the most civilized and progressive society known to western man at the time.  We still speak of “the glory that was Rome.”  It was glorious, to a point and depending on the strata of society you occupied.

Into this world, Jesus Christ was born. Into this culture the gospel came.  To these people, God sent a Savior.

Read what follows and ask yourself, “Man, did these people ever need a Savior?”

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The delights that constantly come from our surprising Lord!

It’s great to be able to say with Paul of Timothy, “From a child you have known the Holy Scriptures” (II Tim. 3:15), as some of us can.

But it has its downside.

Familiarity breeds contempt, the saying goes. However, for those of us raised in church, I suspect it’s more boredom than outright contempt.

The amazing story loses its edge.

One of the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to continually sharpen our commitment to Christ and our enjoyment of Him. He alone keeps putting the edge on our faith.

When we drift from faithfulness to the Lord, that is, when we backslide, well, the Holy Spirit, who can take a hint and know when He is not wanted, turns to others who want His help. You and I are hardly aware that He has moved away. We are the last to see that something else has happened….

We have lost something special. We have become bored with our faith and boring in our proclamation of it.

When the Holy Spirit is in the driver’s seat in our lives, many things happen. And one of the best is this: We see the Scriptures through fresh eyes.

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When a pastor is called to an ignorant church

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18).

“By this time you ought to be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and have come to need milk and not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12).

The pastor had been called from his rural church to another part of the country. He was excited about the new challenge, as he well should have been. In a parting comment to a friend, he assessed the state of spirituality of the church members he was leaving behind:

“There is enough ignorance in this county to ignorantize the whole country.”

What happens when a pastor gets called to a church like that? A church where the members and leaders alike do not know the Word of God and have no idea of how things should be done (what Paul called “how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God”–I Timothy 3:15), or why it all matters.

A church that exists to condemn sin and sinners, that knows only slivers of Scripture, that sees ministers as slaves of the whims of the congregation, and that is ready to reject as a liberal any minister who wants the church to feed the hungry in the community, take a stand for justice, or invite in the minority neighbors–the ignorance takes all kinds of forms.

We wish we could say such congregations are few and rare, but they aren’t.  Veteran preachers have stories of those churches, tales of run-ins with those leaders, and scars from the battles they have waged to set matters right.

–One pastor told the group of ministers meeting in his fellowship hall, “This building is actually owned by a member of the KKK. We rent it from him.”  The rest of us were naive and thought the Ku Klux Klan had died out ages ago. Here they were living among us in our own southern town.

–One lady visible in church leadership told her pastor, “I don’t know what the Bible says but I know what I believe.”

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Half right, totally wrong: Shallow things religious people believe

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine.  –Titus 2:1 

We hear them all the time.  Something about these oft-repeated claims just does not seem right, we think.  Here are a few that have occurred to me. You’ll know others….

One. “Christianity is not a religion;  it’s a relationship.”

Sounds right, but it’s wrong.  Ask yourself one question:  As a follower of Jesus–by which I mean in a relationship with Him–would it be all right if I joined a religion and became a Buddhist or Taoist or a Jew or a Muslim? After all, as a Christian I’m not in a religion as such (according to this thinking) and there would be no reason not to.   Of course, those religions are incompatible with the way of Jesus Christ and that’s why we counsel believers to avoid them.

“The way of Jesus Christ”?  We call that The Christian Religion.

Friend, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, well….

A religion may be defined as a systemized practice of worship involving a God, a place or places of worship, a system of beliefs, and in most cases exclusivity (that is, it claims to hold The Truth).

Sure sounds like the Christian faith to me.

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And now a special word to you who love to read. And you who do not!

“Write this down,” said God to Moses and various prophets, as recorded in Holy Scripture.  If He wanted His story written, God surely intended it to be read.

The sharpest people you know are readers; the dullest never crack a book.  My parents both read constantly. There was never a time in my growing up years when we did not take the newspaper, and sometimes more than one. In 2007, when God took our Dad the family had to cancel a half dozen subscriptions to magazines he was taking.  He was nearly 96.

At the moment, my bedside table holds books on history, politics, music, and westerns.  Every couple of weeks I go through those I’ve read and ship some off to family or make a delivery to Goodwill.  Otherwise, we would be running over with books around here.

And I love it.

In her book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells how several presidents came to develop their gifts for influencing others and leading the nation.  Early on, with Abraham Lincoln, there was a love for books.

Left on his own, Abraham had to educate himself.  He had to take the initiative, assume responsibility for securing books, decide what to study, become his own teacher.  He made things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Gaining access to reading material proved nearly insurmountable.  Relatives and neighbors recalled that Lincoln scoured the countryside to borrow books and read every volume “he could lay his hands on.” A book was his steadfast companion.  Every respite from the daily manual tasks was a time to read a page or two from Pilgrim’s Progress or Aesop’s Fables, pausing while resting his horse at the end of a long row of planting. 

Then, Goodwin says about his technique:

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Playing our little games with Holy Scripture

“I did not send these prophets, yet they ran with a message; I did not speak to them, but they prophesied” (Jeremiah 23:21).

What if we sliced off a bit of scripture here, pasted it in there, omitted a reference over yonder, and pretended the result is what Jesus actually said?

That happens.

Fortunately–in my opinion–it happens rarely.  But it is done often enough to make it a concern to those who value God’s word and our integrity.

Here’s my story….

At a preachers’ conference, we heard a stem-winding brother drive the several hundred of us to our feet in a shouting, hand-clapping final eruption of praise and joy.  He was good, I’ll give him that.

His text was Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  His theme was that God’s people today have no trouble with Jesus Christ being “the same yesterday”–His birth in Bethlehem, His miracle-working ministry across Galilee and Judea, followed by His sacrificial death and His divine resurrection–and no trouble with Jesus Christ being “the same forever”–as we proclaim His return to earth, the judgment, and His forever reign.

The problem present-day Christians have, said the preacher, is with “Jesus Christ today.”

Okay.  So far, so good.

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Things the New Testament does not tell us

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable….that the man of God may be complete” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Those who demand a Scripture verse for everything they do place an intolerable burden on the Christian life, something never intended by the Heavenly Father. 

Some among us have all the answers about the Christian life and have solved all the mysteries of doctrine and theology.

Is there a verse of Scripture on that?

Stay tuned.

These “super-apostles” write me, taking issue with our positions in these articles.  They have it all worked out and find it incredulous that we do not see matters their way. The only explanation, they conclude, is that I must be a) unsaved or b) willfully blind.

Case in point: I wrote something about tithing for this website.

One of several online preachers’ magazines picked it up and sent it out to their 75,000 subscribers.  The tithe-haters came alive.

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