The Bible: Dare We Leave It?
It is amazing how much of religion in general has left the Bible. Catholicism bears little resemblance to the Bible anymore, nor does Denominationalism. In fact, some of the congregations who wear the name "Church of Christ" are quickly abdicating biblical principles in preference for what the people want instead of what the Bible says.
Is it because the Bible is no longer relevant? Is it out-dated, no longer relevant? Have we reached a point in time where there is no longer a need for scriptural precedent for what we do. Have we become so "mature" that we no longer need the "thou-shalts" and the "thou-shalt-nots" so prominently displayed in the Bible? And is our "new hermeneutic" better than the original hermeneutic which called for direct command, approved apostolic example, or necessary inference?
Is it possible that we have reached the stage in modern religion where we have bought into the Old Roman philosophy that says Vox Populi, Vox Dei, "the voice of the people is the voice of God"?
It’s scary to note where we’re headed.
Why the Bible? Well, first of all, because it works. People have not changed. Technology has changed, Communication has changed, Medicine has changed, Transportation has changed, but man has not changed. Not one wit! He still has the same ole problem with sin–too much pride, too much lust, too much acquiescence to the moods and fancies of the day, too much "whatever" when it comes to defining morals. In the midst of it all, God’s word is "profitable for doctrine," what we are to believe about who we are, where we came from and where we’re going, "for reproof," to point out our imperfections, "for correction" to get us back on course again, and for "instruction in righteousness" so as to keep us going straight even in the midst of all sorts of pressures to get us off course. It is sufficient for all our needs; it thoroughly furnishes a man "to every good work." (Read II Timothy 3:16-17)
But it only works if we use it. And to use it we must become familiar with its information, its warnings, its promises of peace and hope. And so we are admonished to "study to show thyself approved unto God." There must be a conscious effort to make the word of God a consistent part of our lives; and that requires a diligent concern for all that it says–not just part of it–but all of it. And it won’t provide what God wanted when He gave it if it’s up on a shelf somewhere gathering dust, pressing funeral flowers, wedding invitations, and other such memorabilia. (Read II Timothy 2:15)
The Bible identifies sin. It shows us the need for a Savior. It shows us the Savior. How dare we neglect it? (Read Jeremiah 10:23; Isaiah 55:8-9)
"It is appointed to man once to die and after this the judgment." "Let us hear the conclusion to the whole matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will being every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." The Bible sets forth the truth about man’s destiny. It answers the question "if a man die shall he live again?" It speaks to the condition of man at his death as being the most important consideration of his life. "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess unto God." How can we possibly neglect to consider–and that most carefully–these and many other references to man’s destiny? And how can we dare be so pompous as to change or alter what the Maker of the Universe says? (Read Hebrews 9:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Romans 14:11)
Finally, the Bible brings heaven into focus. Hope comes alive for those who subscribe to the Bible. The resurrection becomes a manner not of if, but when to the serious Bible student. (Read I Corinthians 15:55-f; Philippians 3:20-21; II Thessalonians 1:7-12)
So, do you want to take a chance on changing what God has said? Not me, sir! (Read II John 9)