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Our Devalued Bible


Evangelical Christians throughout the years have placed great emphasis on the Bible as being God’s inspired message to mankind.  For this reason we’ve held this book and its message close to our hearts.  We’ve read it, studied it, dissected it, and memorized it.  I’ve certainly done all of that over the years. 


As we draw close to the end of the first decade of the 21st century, I’m far from convinced that the average Evangelical still holds the heart felt commitment to the Bible as we once did.  This apparent lack of interest among some has “devalued” the Bible’s influence in those people’s lives.  This devaluation has profound consequences on both the individual Christian and on the church. I believe this is evident in the way we live and the way we approach church.      


Recently I watched a PBS video series entitled, “From Jesus to Christ”.  This video showed a very liberal approach to Biblical thinking.  The featured theologians were clearly following in the steps of their 19th century forefathers who denied all supernatural aspects of the Bible.  For you more scholarly types, you’ll remember that this is called “demythologizing the Scriptures”. Once the supernatural has been removed from the pages of the Bible, the only thing left is a history book with certain moral lessons.  Of course this reduces Jesus‘ teaching to more of a philosophical approach to morality than universal truth as Evangelicals have claimed over the years.    


Those featured on the video gave great credence to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, but gave little credence to the first century New Testament writers.  They view Josephus’ account as being factual, but his contemporaries, like the apostle Paul and others have questionable accreditation.  Liberal theologians  effectively devalued the Bible’s usefulness by ignoring its power and authority, something else Evangelicals have held dear to their hearts in the past.  


When I was young we memorized Scripture in Sunday school because Scripture was seen to be  the spiritual food we absolutely needed to maintain our spiritual health.  Now, fifty years later, many Evangelicals take a fast food approach to the Bible.  We’re not doing due diligence in reading and studying.  The result of this approach to Biblical truth is emaciated Christians and a much weakened church.       


One result of this devaluation as I see it can be seen in those who allow extra Biblical thinking to shape their theology.  For example, some people of late are using the Mayan religious calendar to support their view of Biblical prophecy. 


The Mayan civilization is a Central American community of people that trace their roots as far back as 2000 B. C.  Back then, they were a highly developed society, as can be seen in their sociological structure, science, math, and their religion.  The Mayan culture still exist today in Central America .  They are polytheistic. That means they believe in multiple gods, and to this day, they still sacrifice their cats and dogs to these gods.  Their calendar predicts that there will be a major convergence of universal energy in the year 2012 that will suddenly send us into a whole new dimension of living, something similar to the thousand years of peace the Biblical Futurists teach. 


It is this Mayan prophecy that some are using in support of their Biblical thinking of end time prophecy.  Whether the Mayan prophecy turns out to be right or wrong concerning the end of the age is not the issue.  The issue for me is, why are some of us using their thinking in support of our Christian thinking?  In my opinion such an approach to Biblical thinking devaluates the Bible’s importance and effectiveness. 


I’m not against being well informed about other belief systems, but to use these belief systems in our defense is questionable.  Paul states in  2 Timothy 4:1 that in later days some will depart from the faith and follow teachings of demons.  Allowing other belief systems to shape our thinking is getting dangerously close to what Paul is saying.


Jesus clearly told us that He was the ultimate truth (John 14:6).  It seems to me that mixing the truth of Jesus with other religious beliefs is a departure from the truth Jesus claims to be.  Such mixture is not acceptable to God.  This mixture was seen in the post Babylonian Jews.  God was extremely upset with this mixture. (Malachi 2:10 to 3:5).  This mixture was also found in the seven churches of Revelation. Jesus was quite unhappy with this mixture (Revelation 2:14-17, 2:20-23).


When we devaluate the Bible by leaving it out of our lives, we open our hearts and minds to worldly philosophies and doctrines of demons.  We end up mixing Biblical truth with false teaching. There are so many of these false and seductive ways of thinking these days that it’s hard to keep track of them all.  If we fail to allow the Word of God to live richly in our lives as Paul puts it in Colossians 3:16, we may not stand the temptation to resist these philosophies and demonic influences that some of us are using to support our thinking.  The clear answer to this temptation is to reevaluate the Bible’s importance in our lives.  Make a full course meal from the food it provides for us, and leave the fast food stuff to McDonalds or Burger King. 


In the days of the post Babylonian exile, the Jews were approached by their enemies to help build the temple of God.  Of course the enemies had other motives than simply helping the Jews.  They didn’t want the temple or Jerusalem rebuilt.  Their plan was to join forces with the Jews, and in the process they’d soon influence the Jews sufficiently enough with their pagan thinking that the Jews would stop their building project.  Israel’s answer was clear and decisive.  They said “no” to their enemies.  They knew something we should know today. They knew that such a mixture would never work.  Truth and falsehoods do not mix.  If you mix the two, you’ve lost the truth. 

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