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Church Bulletin 10

February 18, 2009

God Has Spoken: Part 1

“Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!” This was the famous opening to the Superman show/cartoon for years. Interestingly enough is that the opening statement implies many people did not realize what (more like “Who”!) they were encountering. Today, the church’s stance on the authority of the word of God is often contradictory between what it says to believe about the Bible and where it actually turns to for help.  “It’s the word of God. It’s good for everything. But when I have trouble, I do…” “I believe the Bible is good for all of my life but when it comes down to the tight spots in life, I go to (blank) for help.” Hmmm…Well, what does it mean for the Bible to be authoritative for our lives? Does it actually take an authoritative position in our lives! Seemingly, no.  

            Let me start this way. Scripture warns us that “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8) Another verse, “Let no one deceive you with empty words…” (Eph. 5:6) Also, ”Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 3) It seems overtly apparent that the Scriptures warn us of outside, world influence infiltrating the church and turning our hearts and minds away from the Scriptures that lead us to Christ: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:3) Surely not us! We are too sophisticated to be led astray! This couldn’t happen to us, could it? Yes, we are no different than our church forefathers. Past centuries the church has been deceived into thinking good works help add to salvation, circumcision & baptism are necessary for salvation, God created by means of evolution, miracles aren’t really possible, etc. All these and many more have been issues that have infected the church and compromised the church’s stance on Biblical authority. Many of tried to blend the Bible with worldly philosophies to make the Bible “acceptable and bring it up to date” with the modern times. The church, instead of being salt and light, has taken on a worldly flavor or has abandoned the Bible “practically’ as the authoritative word for life although still giving ‘verbal’ acknowledgement that it’s ‘authoritative’ for life. For example, today many people know the Bible condemns homosexuality as sin, but say “Well, I just don’t know today.” You ask them if they believe the Bible and they will say yes! But this is double talk! You can’t say you believe the Bible and then not stand on its authority on an issue it clearly says is sin! Same is true with abortion. Does man or God have the final authority on an issue? This doesn’t mean we don’t love and minister to people. God help us if we didn’t! But that doesn’t change what God says about an issue.

            So, you say “How does this affect me? I’m not taken captive by any philosophies of the world. We as a church are not deceived about anything.” I think we are. We confess that “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3) and that “no temptation has overtaken but that which is common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13) We confess God’s word is good for all of life and that no one today is facing something that other people haven’t. And we know those same people have overcome and been changed by the power of God’s word. Yet, today Psychology and Psychiatry are what we practically grant authority to for counsel and change in our lives. I contend that these two practices have been the biggest blight on the sufficiency of the Bible in the modern church. They have effectively removed Christ as the “wonderful counselor” (Is. 9:6) and downplayed the role of the Holy Spirit as our “Counselor” (John 16:7).  Over the next several weeks, I want to give a brief history behind modern psychology/psychiatry and show in its beliefs why it is totally incompatible with the authority and sufficiency of the Bible. They are actually another ‘religion’ and I’ll show how in the coming weeks. Did I get your curiosity peeked? Good. I love you! Let’s see if the claims I’ve made above have any legitimate standing. I can hear your questions already and I’m more than happy to answer them. I hope to address many of them in the coming weeks. Let’s keep our minds open to hearing a loving critique. I’m not doing this to just bash so please don’t hear it that way but I’m doing it to help us see if we’ve really been ‘taken captive by empty deceit.” We often look at the Bible much like the opening credits to Superman. “Look! It’s good! It’s powerful! It’s perfect! No, it’s not good for this area of my life though!” I hope to lovingly show where the church has given only lip service to the Word of God as authoritative and help call us back to its proper place. Love, HCK.

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