All Scripture is God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV 1984).
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17–18, NIV 1984).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, NIV 1984).
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. Our preaching is useless and so is your faith. (1 Corinthians 15:19, 14, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Don’t believe everything you read [or ‘see’] on the internet” — Abraham Lincoln. An amusing meme that you’ve probably seen at some point or other. If you can’t believe Honest Abe, who can you believe? We laugh at the irony (other than the fact that Abe could not have said it) because we all know that you cannot believe everything, but we still get sucked in all too frequently. Not just on the internet, but on what we used to believe were reputable sources of news devoid of bias and opinion. It’s gotten to the point we no longer know what or who to believe.
For centuries, in the Christianized world, there was one source that was sacrosanct because it was nearly universally accepted as the “gospel” truth. Of course, I mean the sixty-six books of the Bible. Not so much anymore, even in “Christian” churches and universities. We can probably trace its beginning to the Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason of the 17th and 18th centuries, gaining momentum in the late 19th and early 20th century and exploding exponentially since then.
In a nutshell, many now believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible may “contain” the Word of God but are not in their “entirety” the word of God. That what may have been relevant in the 1st century has little of no relevance to the 21st century. Human “reason” is much too advanced to be taken in by the fanciful “fairytales” and increased scientific “knowledge” has debunked them anyway. When it comes right down to it, the Bible must submit to man rather than man submit to the Bible. Another irony — this is exactly what was prophesied in the very same Bible that many are now saying is outdated or irrelevant. The detractors seeking to discount or disprove the Bible are fulfilling what was said in the Bible.
So why does it matter? Either we believe that the Bible was and continues to be the inspired, inerrant Word of God that can be trusted in its entirety or not at all. There is no middle ground. If it cannot be trusted in its entirety, “our preaching is useless and so is [our] faith.”
Of course, it can be trusted in its entirety. But Satan is out to deceive us (“did God really say?). He knows that once he dislodges one pebble, the avalanche eventually follows. One pebble begets a stone, one stone a boulder and one boulder the entire mountainside. Some will rationalize that it’s merely “surgically” excising the questionable and leaving intact the rest. This may have sounded reasonable in the 17th and 18th centuries, but time has proven that the pebbles of days gone by are the boulders of recent days. How does one really stop an avalanche once it starts? You stop it at the pebble.
My Advice – Stand with me.
We believe the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments are the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, and God’s complete, written revelation to humankind. We believe the Bible to be understandable and coherent in its primary purposes to disclose salvation, God’s will for godly faith and living, and it’s thorough-going testimony of Christ; when interpreted in light of its divine authorship through human agency, and according to principles of grammatico-historical interpretation. (Articles of Faith, First Baptist Church of Sycamore, Church Constitution & Bylaws).
Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. (Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy – 1978).