Defending God’s Word

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Just some thoughts that came to mind today as I was scrolling through that bastion of culture, Facebook.  I guess you could say I’m just as patriotic as the next person, but sometimes I wonder….when are Christians going to defend the Word of God just as much or more than they do the American Flag?

Please, don’t think I’m trying to be unpatriotic.  I consider myself blessed to live in this country, even though it is becoming more and more entrenched in racial disunity and our society is becoming more tolerant of the most vile and deplorable behavior that we have ever seen in our lifetime.  Sure, this stuff has been around since Adam and Eve ate of that fruit that God told them to stay away from, but the debauchery we’re seeing now is the same stuff that caused many cultures and civilizations to fall.  We were once a great country, but now we’re becoming the laughing stock of the world.

But all this is not due to people being unpatriotic.  It’s because people have turned away from God’s Word.  Even mainstream Christian churches are going away from God’s Word.  Oh, they still open their Bibles and read passages from it, but they are twisting and distorting the Word to fit what THEY want it to say instead of what God meant for it to say.  And many times the twisting and distorting comes from popular “Bible” preachers/teachers that have gained the trust of so many people that, when others begin pointing out the flaws and heresies that are being taught by them, their followers tend to get mad.  Not sure why that is.  Is it because they don’t like their favorite teacher knocked off his/her pedestal?  Or, maybe, it’s that they don’t like finding out that they’ve been duped.  Jude 1:4 says, “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” 

In that first part, these false teachers who twist scripture crept in unnoticed.  They came in feeding the sheep a little morsel at a time and as time went on, they began mixing some sugar coated poison in with the good stuff until those who kept feeding on it didn’t know the good from the bad.  There’s been pagan practices introduced into the church and many are blind to it.

Sadly, nowadays, people are more apt to defend their favorite “Bible” teacher, rather than defend the Word of God.  No matter how much of their heresies are revealed and how they are shown to twist scripture and how they have introduced pagan practices into the Christian religion, it’s not God’s Word that gets upheld, it’s the one who is mangling scripture that gets defended.

There’s also some so-called Christian artists who have become very popular these days that many would be angry or upset if it were revealed just how badly they twist and distort scripture/doctrine.  And they wouldn’t be angry with the artist.  They would be angry with the one who revealed it to them.  How DARE you talk bad about MY favorite singer!!

Discernment isn’t easy.  It takes study, reading, more study, and more reading…..and maybe a podcast here and there (Fighting 4 The Faith by Chris Rosebrough is a good one) to be able to learn to know when something doesn’t sound right.  I thank God that He introduced me to other Christians who helped me to gain a better understanding of Scripture and to direct me to resources that help me to know who’s the real deal and who the imposters are.

Please, Christian…..I realize you love your country and want people to respect it and the nation’s flag, but there’s something WAAAAAAAYYYYY more important than our patriotism.  It’s our defense of the Gospel and God’s Word.  It’s being picked apart, twisted, and mangled and we turn a blind eye to it because either we don’t want to give up our favorite “Bible” preacher/teacher, or we just don’t think God’s Word is that important.

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CONTENDING WITH THE ALMIGHTY

As with any catastrophe, many people question why God allows calamity and suffering to occur.  Well, let me cut to the chase and go ahead and give my main point right here and now so you don’t have to muddle through a whole bunch of words to get to it, okay?  Here goes:  God allows calamity and suffering because He chooses to, plain and simple.

People begin questioning, “If God is so powerful, why doesn’t He stop these storms from happening?”  Probably for the same reason that able bodied people stay and ride out these storms instead of fleeing for safety…..because He chooses NOT to.  God is more than willing and able to stop a storm.  Remember when Jesus was asleep in the boat while the disciples struggled to keep it afloat during the storm?  When they woke him up in fear asking him does he not care that they were about to perish, Jesus stood up and commanded, “Peace!  Be still!”  So, we know that God can calm any storm.  When Job lost his children, all his wealth, and was left sitting in ashes scraping his sores, he began justifying how righteous he was and how God was wrong in bringing this calamity upon him (Job 33:9-11; Job 35:1-3).  In Chapter 38, the LORD spoke up and says, ““Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.”  Then God proceeds to ask WHO was responsible for creation and everything that goes on within it.  Was it Job who causes the sun to rise, or the rains to fall, or causes lightning to fall to the earth, or the snow to cover the ground?  Of course not.  Job was not responsible for any of that.

God created EVERYTHING and He is in sovereign control of it all.  In Job 40:2, the LORD says, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?”  How dare we question God as to WHY He doesn’t stop these storms from causing destruction.  It’s His creation and He can do as He pleases with it.  We could stand and shake our fists at Him all day long demanding to know why He allows these catastrophes to occur, but He doesn’t owe us any explanation.  Compared to Him, we are like a tiny ant walking across a table and at any point He could take His finger and flick us off of it.

It’s not our place to demand answers from Him.  He’s the Creator and we are His creation.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  Just as a potter has control over how his vessel turns out, God is Creator and He has control over what He does with His creation.  Read Job 38-41.  Those chapters will tell just how in control God is and how puny we are.  God owes us no explanations as to why He does what He does.  He can shelter His people under His protective wing like a mother bird, or utterly consume someone with His hot, fiery breath.  Just know that God is still Sovereign and in control of all things.

WITHHOLDING CHARITY

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This is written for all, but I want to specifically speak to Christians.

When you woke up this morning, did you have a roof over your head?  Were you able to sit down at your dinner table last night and leisurely eat a nice meal with your family?  Did you enjoy a nice hot shower this morning?  Have you taken a look at all you’ve been blessed with and say a prayer of thanks to God for blessing you with everything you have?  If not, you should, because one day, in the blink of an eye, it could all be swept away or blown away and you are left with nothing but the clothes on your back and sleeping on a cot wondering how you’re ever going to get back on your feet.  That is what the folks affected by Hurricane Harvey is experiencing right now.

Christians…..WE are to be some of THE MOST giving people on this planet.  The stuff we have in our possession…..this wasn’t something we obtained due to luck or due to our smarts/intellect.  These possessions we have are given to us by God.  That job we have that pays us on a regular basis?  It is a blessing from God.  It is that job that God gives us the opportunity to own what we have.  But, yet, I’ve found that many Christians tend to be some of the stingiest people out there.  Just ask a waiter/waitress on Sunday afternoons who gives the worst tips.  My sister worked a few years as a waitress and, as a Christian, she found it very disappointing that the “church” people were the worst tippers despite the great service she gave them.

Some people may say, “Well, I don’t get paid that much and I have a lot of bills to pay.”  The early church spoken of in the Book of Acts took some of their possessions and sold them so that they could provide assistance for those in need.  Look around your home.  Do you have things lying around just collecting dust?  Might be a dandy time to have a yard sale and use that money towards helping people in need.  You’re killing two birds with one stone.  You’re giving assistance to people who have lost all they have while de-cluttering your house.  I mean, why are you holding on to that stuff anyway?  You can’t take it with you when you die.

Maybe you do have some extra cash at the end of your pay week that is used on frivolous items or pursuits.  Why not decide to put that cash to good use and buy supplies to help the people displaced by Harvey get back on their feet?  I’m not asking you to buy them a house or a new car.  I’m asking you to do something that will help them take one step at a time towards getting back into a new home and having a new car.  OR it could help them fix up the home they were living in.  I have never experienced something like this, but I can only imagine how it must feel to be faced with the knowledge that I have no house left to go home to.  It must be stressful and nerve wracking knowing that I would have to wake up every morning with hundreds of other people crammed into a school gym who are in the SAME PREDICATMENT as I am.

I know there are Christian organizations out there lending a hand to these folks.  But, why isn’t EVERY Christian willing to sacrifice just a little to help someone who’s lost everything?