When I talk to pastors or sessions and I hear about the challenges they face, I...
I believe the Bible is the unique and authoritative Word of God, which teaches all that is necessary for faith and life. The prominence of God’s Word over our lives shapes our priorities, and the unrivaled authority of the Bible directs our actions to be in concert with Christ’s very best for our lives. I believe in Biblical Integrity.
Over recent years, I have heard statements such as, “God didn’t mean exactly what’s written in the Bible. He didn’t know how society would be today” or “people wrote the Bible – and people make mistakes – so it can’t really be God’s words”. Recently I overheard “I agree with most of the Bible – but I just can’t agree with that concept!” And, when I was much younger and weak in my faith, maybe I said some of those same things.
However, the more my faith grows, the more I have come to depend on the Bible as God’s Word – as applicable to those whose stories we read in the Bible – as well as those living today. God’s Word doesn’t change. Though I believe it is a living document. I find that passages can affect me differently at different times, based on life situations.
I do wonder how can we, as practicing Christians, can question the validity of the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 21:6). He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (all-present). God’s power is infinite, limitless. His knowledge is total – all there is to know or can be known. God knows what our world was like before He ever created it. He is the master creator who also knows how it all turns out. God is everywhere at once – and yet knows each of us individually.
I have seen God working through my life over a six year period of upheaval as my home church entered the discernment process of moving our church from one denomination to ECO. I watched as He directed numerous ordinary individuals like me in many locations and churches across our nation to step up and go where He led them to develop and move to ECO. I personally felt God’s love, power, direction, reassurance, and peace throughout the process and transition, much as I read in stories of Moses, David, Daniel and others.
As do many 21st Century Christians, I am busy with work, church, and personal obligations and responsibilities. I say I want to spend more time reading the Bible and in prayer, more time developing my relationship with God. A former pastor used to say you can tell a person’s priorities by where he (or she) spends his money and time – which can be very condemning when you think about it. Today’s Christians have a unique advantage over those from ancient times. The Bible is God’s Word to us and it is readily available. We just have to make studying the Bible a high priority. When we spend time with God’s word, we are spending time in God’s presence.
Biblical Integrity includes allowing God’s Word to shape our priorities and using the Bible as a resource for how to change what we are doing and the path we are taking to what Christ has as the very best for our lives. The Bible provides us examples as we study the lives of others, the sins they committed, sacrifices they made, and the outcomes of each.
God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 21:6). He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. God created his children and knows them – whether 2015BC or 2015AD. He makes the sun rise and set, created the vastness of the colors of nature, and diversity of species found in nature. If he can do all that, he can certainly maintain His words over time and Biblical translations. I believe the Bible is holy, true and accurate – the authoritative Word of God. He doesn’t need his children to agree, just to read, study, and obey.