Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2010: The Year of Thinking Biblically?

It's a new year and already I'm a little ticked off. If you are the least bit curious as to where I have been hiding since my post of June 7, 2009, the answer is: over at Facebook. Now, you may think Facebook is a monumental waste of time; but it has afforded me the opportunity to share a little of what I talk about here without always preaching to the choir. What has ticked me off is the large number of professing "christians" who have espoused this "designer christianity" that does nothing but make unbelievers all the more resistant to true Biblical theology.

Recently, I posted a statement condemning abortion as a sinful and heinous act. One of my friends (a female) responded in opposition stating that there were valid reasons for a woman to have an abortion. I challenged her position in private emails, away from the public forum of Facebook and I was blind-sided by one of her defenses. I shouldn't have been; but I was and I'll explain why. Part of her defense for abortion was her perception that the Bible is "full of contradictions". Of course, she failed to provide even one example of any such contradiction. Here is the kicker: she continually posts these pithy, quasi-spiritual statements on Facebook. One of her recurring posts is the "Go to Church" command that she posts frequently on Sunday mornings. I can't help thinking: "Whatever for? To hear teachings from a book that is (as she believes) 'full of contradictions'"? What is mind-blowing is that she has absolutely no clue as to the duplicity infecting her words.

This is the kind of non-thinking that I hope becomes extinct among professing Christians in the Year of our Lord, 2010. Folks, we have to make a decision and commit to it. Either the Bible is the inerrant, infallible and immutable Word of God; authoritative in all it teaches or it is not. It's that simple. If it is the former, then it must be the final rule of our faith and practice.

I challenge all of you "designer christians" to at least be honest. If you don't believe the Bible please have the common decency to stop calling yourselves "Christians". Try "Cubic Zirconiums" or "Soy Beans"!

Notice I didn't say, " if you're not going to do everything the Bible says . . ." That would mean we all would have to stop calling ourselves "Christians". None of us can keep the whole Word without fail. But if at the very minimum you don't even acknowledge the veracity of Scripture, then you are not a Christian. You are a fake a fraud and a total black-eye on Jesus' bride! So please, go set up a religion of your own; draft official tenets to which you can submit and support. Recruit those who think like yourselves. Before you know it you'll be featured on Oprah and even have a television network of your own . . . you can call it TBN!

Now for those of you who love, and I mean Psalm 119-Love, God's Word . . .what must we do to make 2010 the "Year of Thinking Biblically"? The first thing we must do is READ God's Word. ALL OF IT!!! We have many guides to help us read the Bible through in one year. This is a fine goal; but I think it is more important to read the Bible through continually year after year. We must continually feast on Scripture.

"But brother Keith, I need a plan". Today is your blessed day for I, indeed, have a plan! I highly recommend reading the Bible chronologically. I'm positive that many of you have read the Bible through in its given order. A chronological study of Scripture will allow you to understand God's redemptive plan linearly as it unfolded. This is particularly helpful when studying I and II Samuel, I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles. When read chronologically the prophecies of the major and minor prophets are inserted into the books where they were historically pronounced. This gives the reader a more clear understanding of the status of the divided Kingdoms; and the acts of the people and various kings in light of the warnings they received. I must say that reading the Bible this way made a huge difference in my understanding. Huge!

Here is the chronological list of the books of the Bible

The next thing we must do is commit to memorizing Scripture. No small order here. Knowing exact chapter and verse is a great goal; but we should at least know where to find just about anything in our book. Thank God for James Strong and biblegateway.com!

Next, meditating on the Word. Now I'm preaching to myself. We have to hide God's Word in our hearts if we are going to live by it. A bevy of good sound Bible commentaries are available online for free! Try this one:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Finally, we've got to follow James' admonition to be "doers of the Word and not hearers only"! As Nike says, "Just Do It"! Caution: not in a sense that there is any merit toward salvation in it, but because we know the Word is the Truth and we are the people of the Truth. Face it, because you trust chairs to hold you, you never hesitate to sit in one. Because you trust your spouse, you never hesitate to leave your house. Because you trust your President . . . well, y'know what I mean!

I'm throwing down the gauntlet fellow believers. Are we "Christians" or are we "Cubic Zirconiums" Let's resolve (strong word) to love God's Word as we do the God who reveals Himself in it!!! Remembering that we can do NOTHING on our own. It is our sovereign king, Jesus who is our nourishing vine. And if you run into any of those "designer christians", give 'em a packet of soy sauce and a smile!

Let's make 2010 (and beyond) the year of thinking Biblically!!!

Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!!(Acts 17:11)


Anonymous said...

I like it my Brother! I couldn't have said it better myself.


Keith L. Tolbert said...

Thanks, G&T! Good to "see" you here again!!!

Dessy Mullane said...

Well said! Our Pastor announced from the pulpit a few weeks ago that he would no longer answer the same way when asked what kind of church we were. "We're not Non-Denominational, we're not Word of Faith, we're not Pentacostal, we're not Baptist, we believe the BIBLE! If it's in the Bible, we believe it. We don't take part of it and forget the rest, we believe it all." And we are also admonished regularly to be like the Bereans and "examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so" and not just sit and listen to the sermons expecting that every messsage that is preached in a church is sound doctrine.

Keith L. Tolbert said...

Thanks, Dessy!!! Now that's thinking Biblically!!!