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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

If you are like my wife and me, you can remember from your first day in church being taught that the Bible was God’s holy word. The Bible was perfect and without mistake or any contradictions.

We felt the Bible was personally written by the hand of God through chosen men, and all the answers were contained therein. I truthfully think a lot of us Christian people have come to see the Bible as the fourth member of the God-head.

In fact, to even question if the Bible is inerrant was sacrilegious. It was like the familiar quote in the court system when being sworn in, do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We have come to believe the Bible is the truth, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible. Everything is contained within the written word, and God can do nothing outside of the written word.

Swear-In

Of course that way of thinking really limits the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and is our teacher and guide. If the Spirit teaches us something or shows us something, we immediately want to look it up in the Bible, and if we cannot find it there, then we think the voice of the Spirit certainly must be wrong.

Also like my wife and me, many of you have come to a point where you began to wonder if this inerrancy of the written word of God is really the case. I remember reading a section in one of my Bibles between the Old and New Testament that was about how we got our Bible. I remember thinking about how certain books were chosen, by men, as divinely inspired and others were not, which books to put into what we call the Bible and which books to leave out. It sure made me think about how this can be a perfect, inerrant group of writings. Of course at that time, I quickly dismissed my questions and moved on, lest I made God mad at me for questioning his perfect book. Or maybe I was more worried about making the pastor and other members mad.

Of course a lot of us were taught that the King James Version of the Bible was the true word of God and any other translation was wrong, and some translations were even an insult to God. My thought on that is how can any translation be considered the true word of God? They are all translations, even the King James. Truthfully, some of the stories I have heard about King James and his instructions on interpreting the manuscripts would make me want to stay away from the King James Version anyway. This is why we depend on the Spirit within us to bring the truth to light and not depend on any particular translation.

When we read John 1:1 and many other verses within the Bible, we come to realize that when we hear that the Word of God is living, perfect, powerful, inerrant and so forth, what is being described is Jesus, not a book.

The Bible was definitely inspired by God, and that inspiration was through men. We all know if mankind has a hand in anything it is going to be flawed. Being inspired to write does not mean you write word for word through dictation. I can be inspired to write a book about a topic, but it is still going to be me writing, and have my thoughts, feelings, and flare to it.

Just because the written word of God is not perfect, that does not negate anything about God. I always heard people say that if the Bible has errors in it or contradicts itself, then the whole idea of God must not be true either. I really do not understand that logic, especially since we know that Jesus is the Word of God. The written word, when viewed through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. The verse in 2 Timothy 3:16 does not say the written word is perfect.

In fact, when Christ walked on the earth, and the early days of Christianity, there was not even a written word like what we call the Bible available to the believers. There was the Word of God though, because Jesus has always been around.

My wife and I believe the Bible to be very valuable for learning and a means of hearing from God. We also believe the Holy Spirit within us and His still, small voice is even more valuable. We believe godly friends and wise people of God can be a help and guidance to us as the Holy Spirit speaks through them.

Jesus word of GodSo many of us want to fight and defend the written word we call the Bible. We divide ourselves into groups and denominations, we separate ourselves from the world, we fight, condemn and alienate ourselves over the written word because we think it is the inerrant words and ways of God, yet the true Word of God, Jesus, is standing right in front of us and we miss Him. Just like when Jesus was talking with the Jews and said in John 5:39 and 40 … ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life’.

We see that life is in Christ. Jesus is not telling them to come to the Bible or accept the Bible, but to come to Him. Jesus is the true, powerful, inerrant, living Word of God. Read your Bible, let the Holy Spirit bring life to the words, learn and be encouraged from them, but realize the written word is not perfect. Look to the living, perfect Word who is Jesus, and listen for His voice through the Spirit.

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Do you find yourself questioning things more than you used too? I know I do.

As Christians, we’ve always been taught that we need to have the answers. Study to show thyself approved meant, you must have an answer for everything people come up with so you can prove your beliefs are right.

I remember having questions in the past, but I basically blew them off and buried them, thinking I was wrong to even think such things. As time went on, the questions kept popping up and I began to realize that questioning was not wrong.

I believe God accepts us, questions and all. I am hoping that one day I’ll have more answers, mostly for my own sake and not necessarily to defend my beliefs.

Welcometochurch

I think the modern-day church and religion in general do not like questions, at least not hard questions. Especially questions that make us wonder about the basic beliefs they teach. They like to have all the answers, and answers that fit into their particular belief and doctrine.

In his book ‘Dying to Religion and Empire: Giving up Our Religious Rites and Legal Rights’,  Jeremy Myers makes a statement that is oh so true: “And as is the nature with questions, asking hard questions rarely leads to answers, but only to more questions”

I think God is much bigger than what the church makes of him sometimes. They try to fit everything into a box and don’t like people asking questions that require out-of-the-box thinking.

It seems to me the spirit within, the spirit of truth, brings up questions that the religious system taught us and we always just accepted. Now, rather than suppressing these questions, I have allowed them to surface and truly seek God for guidance.

On February 9, 2015, Mick Mooney posted an article on Facebook, part of which says: “But who has the faith to ask questions with the intention of seeking the answers to them? Who can let their foundation be not a doctrine or dogma that must be defended, but Christ himself who needs no defense? For it is those who have their foundation solely upon Christ, who can walk in their faith without fear of questions, but rather they walk in their faith knowing that God is lighting their path with questions, and it is these very questions that are paving the path that the Spirit of God is guiding them upon”.

If you are feeling guilty for having questions, I have found it best to stop feeling that way and keep asking the questions. That is the best way to continue growing and learning in our walk with God. Even when we don’t get the answers, we should continue to be asking and seeking the truth from our Father.

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Is it me, or do you find that it can be very frustrating coming to realize that the teachings we have grown up with in modern day religion may be wrong? Be it by way of simple misinterpretation or by people purposefully trying to force others into accepting Christ by scaring them.

Do you ever grow tired of reading all the different views and opinions, interpretations and doctrines? Do you get aggravated when people argue over their beliefs, yet God has told us to love one another?

It can get pretty discouraging seeing all the postings on Facebook and other sites where people argue, and sometimes heatedly, over their views and interpretations. Sometimes they are basic views we have grown up accepting as gospel truth, yet now we question whether they are gospel or man’s wrong interpretation.

No matter how you interpret the scriptures, no matter how much you believe your way of thinking on spiritual matters, someone else will have a completely different view. Even those who are followers of Christ can’t agree on everything. We all have a different view on the bible.

I wonder why we can’t accept each other, no matter what our interpretation. Truthfully, none of us can prove most of what we believe, be it faith in God, heaven, hell, satan and a number of other topics. It is all by faith that we believe what we believe. We can’t prove or disprove anything.

I think we should ask our Father daily for His guidance into truth. Hold to what you believe, but be open enough to change when God (not some other person) gives a clearer view of the truth. When someone has a different way of looking at things, accept them. You don’t have to agree with them. Who knows, they might be right.

I don’t think any of us can say without a doubt who is completely right or wrong in our interpretations. We should seek God for truth through the Spirit, and let everyone have their right to do the same. Quit fighting and arguing over who is right and who is wrong.

One thought comes to mind in all this, ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so’. The most basic and simple thing we learned long ago seems to be the only consistent thing we can all agree on.

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I wanted to again state what the purpose of this website and my writings are about. I will borrow the words from Mick Mooney, which he wrote in his new book ‘An Outsider’s Guide to the Gospel’ to explain:

 

“I guess all this is my little disclaimer. I want to clarify that I’m not writing in the hope I can somehow teach you something. I’m sharing, that’s it. I’m sharing my thoughts and experiences. If they help you, great. If not, no problem. These words I’m writing are just that. Just words. Take them with a grain of salt.

You know who you should trust? Trust the Spirit within you, that’s who. Let him lead you into all truth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to seek answers, and to discover the abundant life along the way”.

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Is it aggravating to anyone else, or is it just me? I mean the fact that no matter what you believe, what your interpretation, someone always has a completely opposite view.

You get excited about hearing some truth that really connects, and the next thing you read an article by another Christian that completely disagrees with what you just heard.

Even more than that, most of us Christians get mad when someone disagrees with us and is different. We get on Facebook and make ourselves look crazy because we talk about brotherly love, then we fight and argue with someone because they interpret things differently….and mostly about things we can’t prove one way or the other.

We really have to stop and think that whatever it is we believe, whatever our interpretation, everyone is not going to agree with us. There is no reason for us to get mad at someone else for being different.

This life is all a matter of faith. No matter what it is spiritually speaking, no one can really prove what is right and what is not. Just because someone has a different interpretation doesn’t mean they are right or wrong.

We need to keep our ears open to the leading of the Spirit, and follow on our own path looking to Jesus. That does not mean any and every path is the right one, but we can’t be the judge of who is right and who is wrong. Jeremy Myers, in his book ‘Dying to Religion and Empire’ states, “The beautiful thing about following Jesus is that while He leads us all in the same direction, there are millions of different paths He can take to get us there. His goal, of course, is to advance the Kingdom of God on earth through the people of God who are being conformed into the image of God”. We need to follow Christ as he leads us individually, and then be ready to love all people, no matter if they are on the same path or not.

Let’s stop arguing, fighting, and demanding that everyone agree with us, and love those we meet along the journey. I think God is big enough to lead us all to His truth in His timing.

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Matthew 23:10 – Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ….

Do you notice how we Christians get so caught up on which pastor, evangelist or Christian leader becomes our focal point? We listen to this one, or that one, read books from this guy, or listen to tapes by this woman. We attend a fellowship because we like the pastor, or we will drive miles to listen to a popular TV or radio evangelist.

But wait a minute, doesn’t God’s word say that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, all fellow-servants. We are not to be called leaders, no one is higher up than anyone else. We don’t need anyone to teach us because we have the Spirit of Christ within us, the true living Word lives in each of us (1 John 2:27).

In Christ, we are all His children, no one should be looked up to or revered more than anyone else. True, we can learn from one another by the way Christ works in each of our lives, but we should stop putting our hope in other people and start listening to the Holy Spirit that is within us for truth and guidance.

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1 John 2:27 But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ…….

This verse talks about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within each of us as followers of Christ. He is there to comfort, teach and lead us.

This talks about a common problem we who follow Christ seem to have these days. We talk about Jesus as a person from the past and seem to find out about Him from books, pastors, and the so-called ‘spiritually educated’. We know it in our head, but do not act on the fact that Jesus is alive and it is His Spirit that lives within each of us as followers of Christ. We have a living relationship and fellowship with Him through His Spirit.

The Bible says that He gives us His Holy Spirit and we do not need anyone to teach us. The Spirit will guide us into all truth. We need to let that get into our spirits and quit looking to only books and people to tell us what they think about Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us and lead us into His truth.

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