Friday, May 13, 2011

The Inerrant Word of God

Proverbs 30:5
There is a lot of buzz circulating throughout the church over certain men who, in the past, were regarded as those who could be trusted to correctly handle the Word of God, yet have strayed into the corridors of apostasy.

Many wonder how these men who once seemed firmly grounded upon the inerrancy of Scripture could now be preaching a blatantly false Gospel and/or doctrine.  After all, their former behavior seemed to reflect a desire to know Jesus Christ and further His kingdom as they acquired seminary degrees, doctorates, wrote books, and built their institutions into mega-church empires.  When notoriety such as this catches the eyes of Christians and fills the pews of their churches, it shouldn’t surprise any of us that, when they do stray from the path of God’s truth, some of us will take notice and find great offense.

History is replete with men who have perpetuated the belief that the  infallible Word of God has been corrupted by man and, therefore, needs to be changed back to what they perceive as its original translation and intent.  There is a certain amount of truth to this because the church has experienced it with men the likes of Joseph Smith who began the Mormon movement.  The Latter Day Saints tirelessly stand on the teaching that the Bible can be trusted “insofar as it has been correctly translated.”  (See the 8th Article of Faith) Others, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, weren’t satisfied, either, and created their own interpretation.  The list is endless of heretics who were dissatisfied with God’s precepts and doctrines, thus creating their own and defiling the purity of Scripture.

However, it would have taken decades, if not hundreds of years of work to alter Scripture to substantiate claims that the Word of God has been changed to deceive mankind into believing a false doctrine.  One would have to believe there was a conspiracy from the beginning of time that the inerrant Word of God would be defiled by scheming men bent on destroying God’s truth.  Right?  Well, therein lays the problem to the whole mess the church is finding itself in.  It began in the garden and was whispered from the lips of the serpent that tempted Eve, and it continues even up to today.

The condition of the present church is in grave danger of falling prey to men and women who have motives and agendas born out of darkness.  They, like Eve, are being led by the first tempter, Satan and, in return, are leading a multitude of souls to destruction.  Because professing Christians are willing to follow them and have their "itching ears" tickled by their deception (2Tim 4:3), they are unable to see the greed and "passions" these men and women harbor and the grave danger their motives and agendas will bring (2Tim 3:6).  It isn’t necessary for these wolves to worm their way into the hearts and minds of the body of Christ.  Christians have opened wide the door to their hearts and minds to allow them entry and to present them with a more palatable Gospel to ease their guilty consciences.  They have become willing participants in a damning environment and they’re not even aware of it; or worse yet, they are feverishly embracing it.

Mankind is in a constant search for the truth and he will go to extraordinary lengths to gain it.  The problem, however, is that some stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that all truth has already been given and is readily available to them if they will only look outside themselves and fix their eyes on the One Who gave it.  Instead, they prefer to believe that truth is relative, insisting it is subjective to individual experience and perception.  When confronted with the truth of God’s Word, it assaults their ideal of fairness and insults their own sensibilities.  In the end, they create for themselves and, sadly, others, a more digestible doctrine that alleviates the guilt and shame that’s buried deep within them.

It is obvious that today’s church is being overtaken by deceivers who stand behind the pulpit.  The list of today’s false teachers is beginning to defy those from centuries past.  Although the Apostle Paul wasn’t afraid to name names, there is no need for me to name the present deceivers because true believers know who they are.  If they don’t, then they should do their homework in order to guard themselves from being led astray.  If we are approaching the day of our LORD’S return, as some of us believe, it would benefit us all to remember His words and those of His Apostles warning us of the multitude of antichrists that would infiltrate the church and attempt to lead us away from the truth of Scripture (Matt 15; Matt 16; 1Tim 1:3-7; 2Tim 2:15-18; 2Tim 3:1-9; 2Peter 2:1-22; Jude 3-25).

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, exhorted him to guard himself against preying wolves that had slipped into the church.  He warned of the boastful and proud who had “a form of godliness but denying its power,” telling him to "avoid" them (2Tim 3:1-9).  Peter wrote the same warning in his second epistle, telling the people that false prophets and false teachers were, and would be, among them.  Both Apostles, as well as Jude, knew that there would be many who would follow after their destructive heresies and that God’s children must take extreme measures to keep themselves from being swept away by them.  Their warnings should also be heeded by us as today’s emergent climate of “feel good” theology creeps into the fibers of the church.

There is a clear and present danger to those who are seeking the truth and also for those who believe they may have found it.  Some will never look beyond their own nose.  Others will follow after men who delight in re-writing God’s Word to suit their own desires, greed, and arrogance.  But as there always has been, there will always remain a constant few who will remain faithful to the infallibility of Scripture and preach and teach it in its purest form.  They will never deviate from it or reinterpret it to fit a sinner’s need for an excuse for their depravity.  And we can be eternally grateful for this.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”  (Matt 24:39)

The Word of God is eternal, inerrant, infallible, sovereign, trustworthy, good, and beyond reproach.  Man has and will continue to try, but he will never be able to change it...and that's a promise in which we can believe and find rest.

No comments: