“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1, ESV
The Bible is not the “Word of God.” It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. It contains words of God. It even talks about the Word of God… but it is still not THE Word of God. The Word of God is actually Jesus Christ. Not the words of Jesus, but Christ himself. This little misunderstanding has created a whole heap of confusion about the point Christianity and how we are to use Scripture in our lives.
While I would like to claim I am being brave with this topic, I was actually inspired by Zack Hunt’s recent article, The Bible Isn’t Perfect And It Says So Itself. As he has opened the Pandora’s box for discussion, I felt compelled to chime in. My contribution to is not to question the inerrancy of Scripture, which I believe, but define differently from most, but rather it’s place in the mental, spiritual, and religious life of Christians.
Source Yaholo Hoyt: Mislabeling the Word of God – Red Letter Christians.
Another inspirational post over at Red Letter Christians that needs no comments. Click on the source above to see the whole post….
This time I am going to go over a short list of things that are somewhat widely accepted by some twenty-first century Christian denominations but of which I basically disagree. Most of these topic titles are from texts of discussions I have had with Christians on various topics. I put them in a special category here because they were so deeply felt by others.
- All the words in the Bible are the words of Jesus (ie. every word punctuation mark, and space comes from God). This title came from a person fairly high in the LCMS Lutheran denomination. He used this statement to refute my belief that some of the Bible writing were not meant to be taken literally. To me instead of enhancing the rest of the Bible I think he was really degrading the actual words of Jesus. I don’t know if he included all of the Bible or just the New Testament in his statement. I am hoping he meant to only include the New Testament as there are many stories in the Old Testament that I most certainly would not put on Jesus’ lips.
- Nothing is required of Man to be called a disciple of Jesus– Those who oppose this concept call this statement “Cheap Grace”. Anyone who has read even a few of my postings here know that this is one of the very sore points for me. To the ones who believe this I often come back with the statement that if that is true then we should eliminate the New Testament almost entirely and simple jump from Jesus’ birth directly to his death and resurrection. If Jesus did not expect anything from us “poor miserable sinners” then why did he continue to teach his apostles and us through them lessons about living on this earth? To take any responsibility of our existing on the earth away from us is almost to say that God creating the universe was unnecessary. At the very least it is to say that Jesus wasted his breath during his three year ministry as nothing he said makes any difference. Those are fighting words to me 🙂
- One verse negates other verses.. For people who say they are literalist when it comes to the Bible to then latch on to one verse and seemingly negate others is a mystery to me? I take as an example the topic above. Most of the logic for “nothing is required” comes from one sentence in the letter of Paul to the congregation of Ephesus. That verse Ephesians 2:8 is as follows: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. These words with taken alone seem to be a powerful re-enforcement of the belief that nothing is required of us. But if they are put in the context of many many of Jesus’ messages they take on a different meaning. And then there is James, the brother of Jesus, who makes if very clear that, from his brother he learned that faith without works is a dead faith. In the not too distant future I will be addressing the letter to the Ephesians in much more detail via a post to this blog. But this is enough for now. When I look at all the words of Jesus I cannot negate them simply because of this uttered sentence in one of Paul’s many letters to troubled congregations.
- My interpretation of the Bible is the only correct one…. In my opinion this is one of the most damaging aspects of biblical beliefs. Some are absolutely convinced that they alone know the true heart of God and anyone who disagrees with them is simply wrong!! An example of this are those who believe in the 24 hour version of Genesis go on to totally disrespect those who believe in the day age version. The 24 hour believers go so far as to shun any believers in their congregations who differ from the literal belief. To some extent I am personally a victim of this practice. When we continuously divide ourselves over personal interpretations we do a great disservice to God!
Next time I will be talking about a group of beliefs of some Christians today that I think damage the word of God more than help it. I try to leave biblical interpretations up to the individual but there are some circumstances where it is necessary to take a stand. More on that the next time.