I go walking or running (these days mostly walking) at night while Vic tucks the boys into bed. Last night I was walking and talked to a good friend of mine over the phone. She was disappointed by some of the views of other Christians she encountered recently who had watered down Scripture in such a way that it said certain sinful acts were okay. We talked about a trend we are noticing more and more around us where certain implications or interpretations were added to the Bible that made it match culture.
Then I told her about an argument I had with a man a couple of years ago over this issue when I was still in the workplace. We were talking about a couple of issue of sin and I made reference to the fact that the Bible is clear that those who do not accept Christ are condemned by their sin. Their final destination is hell if they die in that state. The Good News is that Christ died to redeem us from our sin. This man told me that as a Christian the God he serves would never condemn certain acts that brought about the conversation and that the God he serves would never condemn someone to hell-- he loves them too much. Sadly this man is also a pastor. I will very rarely argue with someone over the Bible (some call it debate, but the fact is most of the time it really is an argument) due to the fact that there can be so many interpretations of certain issues not to mention The Bible is clear about women teaching not teaching men. There are however some issues that are SO clear, they are black and white instead of any room for grey. We were now into one of those areas. Therefore, I argued with this man. I told him that we must not serve the same God and I asked him about certain passages that clearly state that those things were sins and the final destiny of those who do not accept Christ. He then told me that he did not believe that part of the Bible because those passages "did not feel right to him".
Wow! I had never heard a Christian say something so outlandish before. It took me a minute to recover from the shock of that one. Then I reminded him that Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death." Of course that verse did not feel right to him so he did not believe it and the conversation was over.
Scripture is clear that we are not to add to or take away from the Word of God, but are to follow what it says(Deuteronomy 12:32). We will find life if we do follow His ways. The Bible is our guide to life and is the guide to ALL truth without exception. Therefore if something does not match up to Scripture then THAT thing or issues needs to bend, not Scripture. The Bible is the authority for ALL things. The Holy Spirit uses God's Word to convict us of things we need to change in our lives, but when that conviction is rejected the growing and changing does not happen as it should. In fact we are grieving the Holy Spirit which Scripture also warns us not to do. So let us be careful to not bend our interpretation of Scripture to suit us, but to adjust our lives in permanent life changing ways to what the Word of God tells us. So that we are living for Him and not for ourselves.