About Jesus Steve Sweetman
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
the days of the post
Babylonian exile, the Jews were approached by their enemies to help
build the temple