I find a mistake we often make in the church, is that we focus too much on the Bible alone.
Now I will say this up front. I am NOT discrediting the Bible, saying we should distrust the Bible, Saying the Bible is ‘just good literature’ or any of the other arguments bouncing around that scare Christians into clinging too tightly to the Bible alone. But I do feel we have limited our perspective too much.
Many Christians live their lives as if the Bible is a window into God’s world… the only view of God that we have. People spend lifetimes peering through it. Trying to see it from every angle. Many go so far as to start drawing on the walls around the window trying to extrapolate what they can of the world from that tiny little glimmer…. But in doing this Christians often seem to forget one very important point.
We live in God’s world NOW!
God is still alive. God did not send Jesus His son and then go “Welp! See you all in a few millennia. If you want to know what to do, read my book! Bye!”
One of the biggest things that happened when Jesus came down is we were given access to the Holy Spirit. We can still talk with God. We still live in a world where God is very active in. We still live in a world where God is at work in our lives every day.
So where does the Bible stand then? What makes it so important to read in the first place?
Reality needs constants. Without constants, nothing can be true or false. Without a comparative, you will not be able to know which way to go. A skilled woodworker may be able to tell 2 feet of wood from just looking at it, but that does not mean that a measuring tape is a worthless invention.
The Bible gives us a breakdown. A guideline. A foundation for our beliefs. But a building that is just a foundation, is a fairly worthless structure that will never stand out!
Realize God will never direct you against His word, or in a warped view of His word… but also realize you are meant to live your faith in your own life and this current stage of the world as well.
Don’t lock yourselves in introspection! Jesus IS alive! Don’t you realize what that means? Not WAS alive. Not WILL BE alive. He IS alive! Now! This moment! Right here right now!
So stop looking with in. Look up! Look to him as well!
How do you spot when a lie has been created? The answer is quite simple… When a lie is created, a contradiction is simultaneously created as their lie contradicts the truth. As we realize this contradiction we begin to lie more to cover it up which in turn creates more contradictions which are harder and harder to hide. Then, as time passes, our need to cover up our lie creates multiple contradictions and even begins to drift slowly from what our original lie was.
Contradiction is NOT to be mistaken with different perspective however. I could say I went to the beach and saw Jane, while Jane could say she saw many people on the beach today. The fact that she speaks of many but not me while I speak of one which is her does not contradict each other. It simply shows that we care about different details.
We are currently in a day and age which is rife with contradictions. People become worse tyrants than those they are fighting. People sell themselves cheaply in an attempt to raise their self worth. People try to destroy people who differ from them in an attempt to create equality and peace.
We have reached the stage where people no longer even try to hide the contradictions they live though they seem to be mostly oblivious to it themselves. But do not point out the contradictions. Simply observing them will do the person more harm than good.
Until a person WANTS to change, they won’t change. Until a person WANTS to be different more than they fear or find comfort in staying as they are, they never will be.
You cannot control the human heart. A person must LET you do it. Until they do, no amount of announcements, knowledge, or explanation will save them. Till then the only hope is God’s not yours
To my Christian friends: Are you serving the Bible? Are you serving Jesus? Are you serving the Spirit? Are you serving the church? Or are you serving God?
Now I’m sure at this point, some of you are asking “Wait… is this a trick question?” And congrats! It really should be one! But unfortunately, many of the Christians I meet, though they may say otherwise, focus so much one one individual factor of the above, that it affects the rest of their faith.
Those who serve the Bible are possibly one of the most common types in the Western church today (second only to those who serve the church)
If you have read my past statuses, you will know that my opinion right now is that whatever you turn to firstmost for your differentiating between good and evil, as well as for your direction and protection in life, is God to you. So as such, people who serve the Bible, simply are people who rely SOLEY on the Bible for EVERYTHING. If you were to confront them on the fact, they would tell you that they believed Jesus rose from the dead, God cares for us, we need to pray, and everything else the Bible tells them to believe, however their actions and lifestyles betray their deeper feelings as they try to force Bible verses to fit their current day problems. They skip over passages about prophesy, miracles, angels, and demons… or try to rationalize the miracles and warnings against spirits because it’s awkward to them. Though their mouths may claim to believe in the heavens and hell; their lifestyle speaks of an inability to believe in anything they cannot tangibly hold… Much like a Thomas or Saul/Paul when you think of it…
Those who serve Jesus, but not God, tend to focus only on the New Testament, and not the Old. “Red Letter Christians” if you will. The problem with this, is that these two testaments are not mutually exclusive. Much like a parent that gives a bunch of rules to their child until they are old and mature enough to understand the reasons behind them; The Old Testament gives us the context which the New Testament explains. These Christians have a tendency to be strongly supportive of “God’s Love”, yet struggle with His Awestruck Might and Power. To steal the words from CS Lewis: “Of course He’s not safe!! But he is good!”
To serve the Spirit is in many ways the foil to those who serve the Bible as each tend to use the other as a warning… causing them to cling more tightly to their cause in fear of becoming like the other. The Holy Spirit is real. Spiritual Warfare is real. Angels and Demons are real. The end times are real. To turn your back on these things is idiotic, but to fall in love with them is deadly. Even God warned about chasing after miracles as even the demons can create miracles. The biggest danger to chasing miracles over chasing God, is that there are many powers in this world… But God’s is the only power that does not come at a deadly price. Where people serve God, miraculous things WILL happen. Where miraculous things happen, there is not necessarily God! Beware of imitators and false prophets. Beware of making your focus. On miraculous works, not serving God.
Those who serve the church are possibly the largest group in western culture. They are those who fall in love with their church, their denomination, their pastor, their rituals. People who go to church because they have always gone to church. People who look to their pastor for their life goals. People who believe the stronger their church is, the stronger their faith is. People who get totally caught up in denominational debates and distracted from the actual point of their faith. The church is not your faith! The church is a collection of people who share your faith! You do not serve to keep the church going! The church keeps going so you can serve!
So what is the solution to this? Is all of Christianity just a waste with a bunch of different people with different problems? No… the problem with each of these groups is not that they believe different aspects of their faith, are important… because each of these things ARE important! They are critical to the Christian walk! The true problem is that they let these things take PRIORITY in their life… when the one who should take priority is God! And God alone!
To serve God means to read His word to know Him. To Serve God is to pray and build a relationship with Him! To serve God is to know that His son came to die for us and show us God better. To serve God is to support your fellow Christians through this struggling walk called Christianity. All of these aspects are needed in serving God… and we all do tend towards one or another.. but that’s because we were made different…. not so that we could clash or take advantage of each other… but so we could complete each other and together see more of this world than we could alone.
It is not wrong to specialize in one area or another. In spite of attending a Baptist church currently, I am far more prone to spiritual awareness than Biblical knowledge. What is wrong is to think it is alright to throw away the rest because it is more comfortable that way. What is wrong is to start relying on your strength and comfort zone over relying on God to show you His wisdom through your weaknesses. You are made for better than that! Don’t give up so easily!!