Text Size: Zoom In

Conservative Self-Reflection

My guess is that many of us see the mistakes of those who are cynical about:

  1. Prayer
  2. The existence of God
  3. The supernatural side of the Bible
  4. The Deity of Jesus
  5. His miracles
  6. His resurrection
  7. Our personal need for his death in our place
  8. His promise to return
  9. The eventual resurrection of all who have died
  10. The ultimate judgments of God

But how objectively do we see our own conservative weaknesses?

I bring this up because many of us know that our strengths can also be a weakness. And if that’s the case, seems like it might be worth thinking about a weakness that could hide behind our confidence that the Bible is a God-breathed gift of God (2Tim 3:16).

Could theological and biblical conservatives tend to have a besetting sin that grows in the shadow of one of our greatest strengths? More specifically, could a well-intentioned high view of the Scriptures that says,  “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it” be feeding an unreasonable brittleness, self-deception, and unnecessary divisiveness on matters that reasonably honest followers of Christ disagree about?

An obvious and needed response at this point is… for example?  So let’s let’s not go to examples like what Jesus said to do with a right eye that causes us to sin (Matt 5:29); or his words to a rich young ruler about selling all that he had and giving it to the poor– as way of inheriting eternal life, and as a qualification for following the Good Teacher (Matt 19:16-22). Even the most conservative among us seem to get that words like these were spoken in a specific time and place, to someone other than ourselves, for a specific purpose—and that they therefore need to be thought about and processed (for our own learning and relationship to God)—not just “read, claimed, trusted, and obeyed”.

Let’s also not use as our example any historical description of events that appears to be intended to be taken as fact. When the Bible says that the sun and the moon stood still in the sky I want to be counted among those who are ready to accept God’s ability to do whatever he chose to do– either with cosmic smoke and mirrors– or by the real suspension, and over-riding of–and compensation for– natural law (Josh 10:12-13).

Let’s instead think about any statement in the Bible that can be matched with a second text that seems to say the opposite of the first. The most obvious example of this would be studies in contrast that show up in the same immediate paragraph. We’re all familiar with the consecutive proverbs that say, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes” (Prov 26:4-5). That kind of example doesn’t work here because it’s obvious that the two opposing statements that are meant to make us think.

There are scores and even hundreds of other statements in the Bible that, depending on which side we find most compelling, tend to divide us on issues like spiritual gifts, the end times, women in ministry, or divorce and remarriage.

Regarding the last of this list, followers of Christ often divide over whether Jesus statements about the original intent of marriage should or should not cause us to discount Moses’ allowance for divorce and remarriage because of hard-hearted relationships, or even the implications of Solomon’s observation that it is better to live in the corner of a housetop, or in a desert, than to share a house with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered mate (Prov 21:9, 19).

But we don’t even have to step together on ice as thin as that. What if we just think about statements in Scripture that read “as is” seem to say that we are to always forgive (Matt 6:14-15)… until we read others that talk about forgiving generously and repeatedly—but on the condition of confession (Luke 17:1-4).

Some of us have concluded that on almost any idea in Scripture we can find “inspired words in tension.” That’s true whether we are talking about “unity and separation”; “patience and urgency”; “faith with or without works”; “One God in tri-unity”; “self-control and Spirit-control”; “justice and mercy”; and at this point the list could just keep playing out.

A friend talks about such studies in contrast as the Divine fingerprints or signature of God on the Bible. His thought is that if we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God then we should expect to find complexity of ideas that go beyond our ability to resolve.

Others I know are convinced that such opposing thoughts are meant to cause us to stop and think about the fact that we are not just called to read and obey, but to realize that our God is calling us to wisdom, meditation, self-awareness,  and to the realization that love and faithfulness call us to act differently depending on the situation.

Some suggest that many studies in contrast unravel with the question what do love and truth ask of us now?

This has gotten a bit long. But I’ll stop here and wait to see if this line of thought does or does not resonate with what you’ve noticed about what the damage that “conservatives like us” can do if we see the face– but miss the heart– of God-breathed words.


Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+20 rating, 20 votes)

26 Responses to “Conservative Self-Reflection”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    What a daring topic, I hope we will comment in love. As the basis of God is love. That sounds so whimpy, but it is so true.
    But it is very good to be self reflective, so I hope this will be a very fruitful discussion. When we want to help others to get rid of their sins we first must make our own heart clean. I think it is even better to mainly look at our own faults, then the faults of others will be not our concern, but God’s in us, that must be the meaning of
    take out the plank of our own eye Matthew 7:3-5
    One time I saw the bible much too literal, like if God says keep the 7th day holy, the Sabbath, that would mean to me: literally the 7th day.
    Now I understand that God is Spirit, and that the meaning of the bible is a deep spiritual meaning, if we do not get to that deep level, which is also Love, then anything in the bible can be turned in any way that seams right to a man, and we can have needless discussions.

    It has been Pentecost, and boy, do I need the Holy Spirit to lead me.
    I realised that I still see many things too literal in the bible, I hope the be led by the Spirit to a deeper level.

  2. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart…conservative self-reflection might be as simple as, Remember from where you came? Where are you now?
    Where is your spiritual center? How far are you from where you know you must be to be totally surrendered? Conservativly speaking…If nothing else, today you are one day closer to perfection in Him. But, if you are still in this world, and still in your sin-bearing body, you are not quite permanently there yet, as
    a great work which only He can do, must still be done in you! Gary

  3. poohpity says:

    Am I a conservative? Honestly I have never called myself by that term but I guess some of my views may be deemed that way. On the other hand many times I have seen myself as a fool, lol.

    I wish I could say over the years that the Bible was all that I have studied because it is all inclusive but I do not feel that way. Many things outside of the bible have helped in understanding what little I understand. The history of how it was written and put together plus the study of the times which certain parts were written and what was going on have opened my mind to things beyond the pages themselves.

    The life I lived before reading the bible had a lot to do with a better understanding and the thinking “Show Me” although I am not from Missouri, helped me to see the truths. My son has stretched me on the things I say I believe by asking questions that at times I just sit there perplexed as to where on earth did that come from. He was brought up in a Christian home going to church unlike me but is now struggling with his faith enough to refer to himself as an agnostic, do I have any answers for him , no, that is his journey but it has helped me see that we can not force our beliefs down anyone they have to find things out on their own.

    The more rigid we are with what we believe the hypocrisy starts shinning out. It seems the more hard lined we are with certain areas of God’s Word we go the total opposite of other part of the bible. People looking for God’s will in one area have hundreds of other areas they could care less and make decisions quickly and rashly. Expecting people to live up to standards that no human being is able to achieve is one major downfall of believers.

    You said a mouth full Mart when you stated, “but to realize that our God is calling us to wisdom, meditation, self-awareness, and to the realization that love and faithfulness call us to act differently depending on the situation”. Our heart condition has so much to do with our faith. I have realized that over the years more than anything else

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    I trust we are not saying we are only to take the word of God as loosely held, and not ever impose anything restrictive or limiting on ourselves or those within our sphere of infulence, just to be avoiding any hypocricy, knowing there is no reaching of perfection in our lives here, but only that we have the Hope of Heaven in which we live and move upon today, can we then speak of the possibilties of changing not only ourselves,but surely we can help others to see this need for change as well.
    If nothing changes, then nothing changes. Is it not the strongly held and rigid word of God which then chanegs any surrendered sinner into a redeemed believer?
    The world will show you a much different picture then one that says, live holy as I am holy. The world says, just be yourself, do it your way!
    Isn’t saying “only one way” a rather ridig statement?
    Yet, there is, “Only one way to the Father,” and that is through the Son, Jesus Christ. Do we bend just a little on those words also, or do we stand strong even ridig, and against all opposition which wants to weaken them and us? Gary

  5. foreverblessed says:

    dear Gary, it is exactly this fear of watering down the truth that makes us rigid.
    It is fear.
    We should not be motivated by fear, but by love of God, and love for God.
    The truth, the way and the Light, the door, the bread from heaven is Jesus, the son of God, and the son of man. Through faith in Him can we become God’s children.
    That truth is not watered down.
    And God Himself is not rigid, He became very flexible, He did not remain as He was, He laid down His Glory, and became man, a man of flesh and blood, to redeem us from this dark world. In love for us He did this.
    Would God have stayed rigid, and stayed in heaven, it would have been impossible for us to become perfect as He is perfect.
    And so should we become for our fellow man, not to water down the truth, but to come to his level so to redeem him from his worldly life.
    (sorry for being so direct, but you yourself did not want to retain wrong opinions, you wanted to be freed from them you said in the former topic, so here you have my advice given out of the love of my heart for you: forget the fear, just as I have to do that, and learn to live in the love, just as I am reaching for that life)

  6. poohpity says:

    Gary, what I was saying is that believers at times hold so tight to somethings but yet in other areas do not give any thought to them. Holding to rigid beliefs for others but fail to hold to them in their own. I will use an example from scripture where Jesus confronted the Pharisees about condemning Him for healing on the Sabbath but when it came time for a circumcision if it was the Sabbath, it was done. (John 7:21-24) That was just one time when they were demanding such a strict adherence to the law they failed to see the heart of the matter of showing mercy anytime and in anyway which believers are infamous for missing even still today.

    Believers want to be a separate people but not for the right reasons of glorifying God but to bring glory, feeling self righteousness, and honor to themselves sort of like being better than others type of attitude.

  7. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon Mart & Friends –

    Please excuse me if I restate the question, to be sure that I understand it. My short-hand for your definition of faithful Christian is: The authority of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus and the sovereignty of God. Do you hold to these, or do you not?

    All the principles you have stated are up for grabs in the market-place of 21st century culture. On any given day, many people in the Western Hemisphere do not hold to these principles. Still, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It is God’s way that even though many are obscured in their capacity to hear and see and understand who God is (Isaiah 6:9, 10) – Christ has claimed this darkened world as part of his kingdom. (Revelation 11:15)

    The weakness of the strict conservative position is the expectation that my pre-Christian neighbors, relatives and friends will see the beauty and grace of Jesus before they see it taken out of my skin. Have my unbelieving friends seen me give honest measure, when it was not to my benefit? Have they seen my wounds and also my forgiveness of the one who did the damage? Have they experienced words from my lips that do not condemn them or others? The witness of Christ in our lives cannot be planned or staged. It comes out in day-to-day decisions – and the willingness to let the decisions be shown forth – and the transparency to allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever he desires with our lives.


  8. oneg2dblu says:

    I beleive the Holy Spirit wants us to live separated and holy lives as he constantly guides us in all holiness, as He holds us apart from those who constantly reject him.
    It is the things of world that sets itself against the things of God. We are to be in the world, but not of it.
    Supporting sinners in their sin is what the world promotes already, but the Holy Spirit does not promote us to live ungodly lives that mimick the world. He promotes change in us, if we just choose to listen and obey, we will walk more upright and be a more holy people where we are set apart by God for His pleasure, and no longer serving our self-serving desires. But, I may be wrong about how others interpret this new life for themselves as believers. Seeing only pride in other believers who desire to be changed, may be from the Holy Spirit, but not the Holy Spirit I’ve encountered that has guided myself and many others into changing what we desire. Where does God show us in his word that this worldly tolerance will end? Is it being cast out of the garden forever, or being under water for forty days, or having your tables overturned in his temple, or wondering around the same mountain for an entire generation to die? According to the bible I’ve read, or the part I’ve read, this Age of Tolerance will come to an end. Until then, you either stand for something, or you will fall for anything. In him we live and have our being, unless of course you believe something else for yourself, then I guess we are to tolerate you in your sin as well. I’m rather ridig about giving evil its day, although I gladly walked in it for many years before He changed something in me! Now, I can not tolerate evil as well as I used to. Aren’t we all as beleivers following the same Holy Spirit as the one in the Holy Bible? Gary

  9. fadingman says:

    I’m a biblical conservative by today’s definition of the word. But I recognize the tendency for both conservatives and liberals, myself included, to defend our beliefs based on what that we’ve been taught versus what we’ve learned and proven from personal unbiased study of the scriptures. (By ‘proven’ I mean taking God at His word, stepping out in obedient faith, and seeing how He reveals Himself.)

    Without this ‘trust and obey’ factor, we’re just arguing doctrinal theories – and this tends to become a platform for pride (the ‘besetting sin’ of us all).

    Conservatives tend to approach the scriptures like the Pharisees, and liberals like the Sadducees. One had a fixation on the letter of the law, and other disbelieved much of what the scriptures said. Neither saw the ‘big picture’ – the overall intent of what God said.

    For example, the Pharisees saw the letter of the Law as allowing divorce. While many or most conservatives would disagree with that viewpoint, we still think of divorce in a similar ‘letter of the law’ manner. We could be having all out brawls with our spouses or we could be living in separate houses, but as long as we haven’t filed for a divorce, we think we haven’t sinned. This ignores God’s intention for marriage: unity, oneness, selfless humble love for the other. Many married couples are living as practical divorcees, even if they haven’t signed the dotted line. This is just as sinful – perhaps more so, because it goes on and on. The choice shouldn’t be what is more sinful, or what does God permit, but what does God desire?

  10. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    It seems to me that all these theological and doctrinal spectrums are in fact lines that are joined at the ends – they are circles or ovals, not separation but merging. I say this because thinking the correct thing is not the same as doing the correct thing: Morpheus speaks to Neo on the rooftop and says, “Knowing the path is not the same as walking the path.” (Matrix) We meet ourselves both coming and going.

    Mart, you wrote:
    “Some suggest that many studies in contrast unravel with the question what do love and truth ask of us now?” Even though you do not wish our answers to reflect something from Scripture from the historical time in which it was written, you may agree that the whole four-part gospel relates the story of Jesus walking about teaching and healing and doing good. If we think about Jesus walking about, it is not the same as walking about as he commanded us to do. (John 14:6) My experience has been that when my hands and feet get involved in loving others, there are way more questions than answers – areas of gray as well as black and white (as your zebras exhibit in their stripes). I often find it the right thing to do is keep my mouth shut about “Who is God?” or “The definition of God…”

    “God is good” is a workable plan for living. Christ calls us to live like him – not think like him, since we are not God. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) and (John 14:6, 7) One writer said recently, “Jesus puts a face on God – Jesus puts a face on the Holy Spirit.”


  11. SFDBWV says:

    The opposite of *doubt* is “dependence, faith, reliance, trust” as recorded in my thesaurus.

    I begin with this because my views my beliefs my stand for Jesus of Nazareth is based in part on *faith, reliance, trust and dependence*

    Have I seen the Christ in person or put my hands into His wounds? No I haven’t, but I believe the words of Jesus as recorded in scripture whereas He say’s I am blessed for not seeing yet believing ( John 20: 29).

    Why am I so blessed? Is it because I am just conservative in my Christianity? No it is because I have in me the Holy Spirit of Christ and that same Spirit bears witness with my own Spirit of the truth (Romans 8: 16).

    It is not because I am hard headed, stiff necked and stoic in my faith, it is because I have the *Truth* alive and aware in me, speaking to my spirit and attempting to lead me through this life that gives me the *confidence* I possess.

    Whose voice are you listening to? Is it the nay sayers, or that still small voice within your heart (1 Kings 19: 12).

    Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10: 17). But where does doubt come from? It comes from questioning the Word of God from a heart of unbelief. It is fed by intellectuals who want proof and seek out edification from each other and from outside of the Word into the world.

    Yet God is already ahead of such people and gives warning (Hebrews 3: 12) and in Romans 11: 30 shows that through the unbelief of others you can find faith and so mercy.

    I would never knowingly attack what little faith some people have by giving them questions they are not prepared to answer, yet even such a misadventure can bless such a person by giving them the opportunity to say “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.” In this way they stand on faith alone, not intellectual proofs or the rewriting of scripture to satisfy modern society.

    If this makes me a “conservative Christian” then so be it.


  12. Mart De Haan says:

    Good morning, Steve,

    Looking back to our past conversations, would you say that the friends of Job were or were not men of faith, when they maintained that “we reap what we sow”(Prov 4:7-9)to accuse Job of hiding the sin that would explain his suffering?

  13. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Fadingman’s comment on marriage was right on target. That is a good example of following God’s loving intent behind the law in contrast to the letter of the law. Some might think that if they are following the letter of the law, they are righteous and beyond reproach. That is what happened to the Pharisees.

    But Jesus pointed out that following the letter of the law is not enough. You must reach further into your heart. Your heart must be right. If you reach deeply enough, you will see that your heart is not right. All have fallen short. All need the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

    When reading the Bible, I really think the words are for the reader. The words are meant to speak to and guide and convict the one who reads them. We rest on these words. But we can’t take these words to another individual and assume that they must follow what we have read. They have to read it for themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I think anyone who reads the Bible for themselves will be guided by the Holy Spirit. God’s word is living and active in the heart of the reader/listener.

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    Gary, I agree with you about holding ourselves accountable, and asking God to help us understand our own heart. The problem I see comes more when we stick our necks out, as the friends of Job did, about the hearts of others– or about what God is doing.

    Am guessing you’d agree that to recognize the difference between the voice of the Holy Spirit and our own hearts we need to start with what we all know for sure about the heart of God (as revealed in his Son).

  15. Mart De Haan says:

    tracey5tgbtg, looks like we were writing a similar thought at the same time :-).

  16. poohpity says:

    I was thinking this morning about the civil rights movement when Reverend King asked those who were struggling with their freedoms not to use anger, hatred and physical abuses to gain their freedoms. It was done in a peaceful manner without violence. While on the other hand those “well intentioned” so called Christians of the south used horrible means to stifle the rights of others. They used burning Crosses, fists, anger, hatred, malice, beatings while all the time referring to themselves a Christians. Which group was acting with the heart of Jesus?

    How about those who oppose abortions and burn down abortion clinics and blow them up in the name of Christianity. There are ways of doing things that show what we believe and stand for that give a witness of our faith and there are ways of doing things that show our words are only rhetoric meant to impose our beliefs on others while not living them ourselves.

    There are those who talk so hard and fast on what scripture says yet have never even read the bible while drawing passages out to prove points while not even taking the time to read the whole thing and understanding the heart of God in what we are given.

  17. schmeggly says:

    1st time posting. What a topic. One that has been churning me for quite a while but never find any one addressing it. It stuns fellow Christians when I say that I think that we have made the Bible into a religious symble, exalting THESE writings above any other method of God revealing Himself to mankind and us individually. How did the Church exist and prosper for a thousand years before this collection was finally put between two leather covers. When ever I discuss this my friends they think that I am dismissing the importance of the scriptures we have. I am not. I am convinced they are true but are not the sole container of Truth. Jesus said – you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have life, but it is them that point to me. I think that that says that the scriptures do not contain the Life but can lead us to the one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Bible can lead us to the heart of God but only the spirit of God can bring light and life to words written down.

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… I certainly know how to stick my neck out,and to me being vuneralbe is all part of being led instead of not following at all. Where the words come from and who directs them, may just be part of the, none return void when directed by and for Him.
    I always think this way, if God could use a donkey…
    though the donkey took a good beating, he also got the message out. :)

    Pooh… you are right about the entire word, but even if a man reads the entire word,if he does not have the Holy Spirit giving those words their godly applicable wisdom in its entirity, or their entire workings, then what is really attained other than just book knowledge?

    If reading the entire bible were required by God for every believer then there should be a commandment given beyond “Follow Me!”

    I have not read the entire dictionary either, so I get your point, as I try choose my very limnited words carefully, then there is the spelling, which is another realm where one like myself can also flounder.

    Like you have said in the past you have read it all several times but you certainly can not retain it all.

    My thinking is this, those words which you have stored up in your heart, are the very words the Holy Spirit brings to your tongue when you need to use them for His purposes.

    Is reading the word in its etirety really his prompting for us all?

    All the well read worldly knowledge is just worldly knowledge that may also be available to the tongue, but who or what are they guided by and for what purpose are they used?

    That is why I seem to oppose an ever pressing, either read the entire book or don’t speak at all with limited out of context comments.

    I know in your heart you do not want to condemn others to exposing their limits because we all have them, but your words, as mine, do challenge a rebuke.

    I’m pointing my fingers at us all here, and wonder how far reaching this pride issue that penetrates all of us can really become, because we are not yet perfected? Gary

  19. SFDBWV says:

    Mart I am least busy from 6:30 am until 8 am, after that the race is on and I apologize for not being able to answer your question to me sooner as well as to answering it on the run.

    Who is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12: 10)? Who is the accuser of Job (Job 1: 9, 10, 11) (Job 2: 4, 5)?

    Were Job’s friends knowledgeable about God or were they basing their understanding upon worldly wisdom and not God?

    On what did they base their faith? Were they filled with the Holy Spirit? No because God said that they were wrong about Him (Job 42: 7).

    It is very true that which you sow so shall you reap, though that quote is not found in Proverbs, but rather a version of it is found in Galatians 6: 7.

    Also found in Psalms 126: 5 is the encouragement of our suffering that which we sow in tears we shall reap in joy.

    Job’s friends based their faith without knowledge of the nature of God and so falsely accused Job. They were wrong and God called them on it.

    We have the Holy Spirit (John 14: 16, 17, 18) Job’s friends did not. my faith is based on the fact that I am in Christ (Romans 8: 9, 10, 16) and that faith is because I chose to *believe* that which is written in God’s Word and my confidence is established by the witness of the Holy Spirit, in me.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Since your topic is so long and involved I will get to more of your subjects, maybe tomorrow….God willing.


  20. foreverblessed says:

    Schmeggly, thank you for your comment, and what you say is so right!
    But it people can easily misinterpret what you say, they think you do not believe in the bible, while afcourse you do. But the bible is not bigger then God! God is overall
    Wasn’t there some saying:
    It is the bible of God, not the God of the bible
    meaning God is bigger then the bible.
    The same thing goes when you say that you should not take everything too literal, but to see the spiritual truth, immediately christians ask you: you are not saying you can sin, are you?
    No, afcourse not, but the following are the ways of Jesus
    Judgment mercy and faith,
    love God above all and your neighbour as yourself
    Do good to those who hate you, do not repay evil for evil,
    forgive and you will be forgiven.
    If you follow these things, do you then sin? No, you don’t,
    To be able to follow these things you need to ask the Holy Spirit for strength, love, patience, joy.
    Ask the Holy Spirit more and more, without it the whole bible is of no use, but with the Spirit we can see the depth of what we read.

    I am so thankful for our discussion of Job, and yes, I do believe that we as christians can be the same as Job’s friend. For instance, I get this from many fellow christians, who have God’s Spirit, but still make assumptions too easily. Because I have migraine (which by the way is getting less and less), and when I tell chrisians I have it, mostly I get the advice to relax,to trust God more, not to be so anxious to see to it that I am not stressed.
    It is good for me to experience this, it makes me realise that I too easily make assumptions when a fellow christian tells me of his struggles, I easily think, well afcourse: logic consequence of your own behaviour, -what you reap is what you sow- thinking. I am very sorry for that. I should ask the Holy Spirit first, what do You think about this, and then wait for an answer, and until I get ans answer, I should not make assumptions.
    So yes, Mart, you are right, we as christians easily do the same as Job’s friend.

  21. poohpity says:

    Gary, how do you know the things you know about God? Have you heard them from the pulpit or heard a sermon, read a book or flier, maybe from the mouth of another person, maybe on the TV or over the radio? Those people have most often read the bible so why not make it a point to do it for yourself. Before the bible those stories were written on scrolls and read or told verbally through the centuries until they were gathered together to make up the bible. They were written down maybe not bond with leather. When Jesus taught He taught from the scrolls that were written down. There is no pride in telling anyone about reading the bible it is not my words, it is simply directing people to the truth to find out on their own not just hearing it from the pulpit, or sermons, or fliers, or books from a third person who may or may not be communicating truth but finding out on your own.

    There are many scriptures that say to read the bible and mediate on it day and night. There are also places that show when the scrolls were brought out and read to the people they were convicted in their own hearts, not convicting others, then they turned away from the path they were on and turned back to God. If Jesus is the Word and the word is with God and you believe in God then believe the Word it does not get into a person’s head through osmosis or deferment.

    I do not tell people about reading the word to be prideful or boast it is because I care about you and want you to be filled with all the awesome things contained in it. When you know the Word so many things in this world make so much more sense and not only that you grow in your knowledge, wisdom, and love for the Lord. So please do not think that I try and feel better than anybody else in any way it is has nothing to do with anything other than so you will have a foundation and if anyone comes along and tries to teach you something else you will be prepared by having your mind transformed by the Living Word and because I love you Gary.

  22. poohpity says:

    Just like reading Mart’s topics you can pick parts out and miss the meaning of what the total essay is saying in whole which I know for myself sometimes takes several times reading it to get the point.

  23. florida7sun says:

    I find myself incapable of describing myself as either a conservative or as a liberal. All I know is I was a sinner saved by His mercy and grace. I guess in our carnality man has a tendency to label everything.

    When I sought understanding through prayer I received faith from Our Father in Heaven. The gift of faith took me into the Word of God, and the Word took me to the Cross of Christ.

    As I surveyed His Incomparable Love I asked Him to live His Life in me. I could no longer live without Him. His light brought me understanding of His Word in the fullness of His time. His Word is made new every morning, as we pray and hunger for Our Daily Bread.

    Man has a way of coloring everyone through the application of labels and descriptive adjectives.

    How do you color Jesus? What label can we place on Him? What body of believers would He join as a member? Would He be accepted for church membership? What price would ever compensate for His shed blood? Is anyone ever good enough?

    The purity of His love is indescribable. He cannot be defined. He alone has been with Our Father in Heaven.

    His perfect light through the prism of His Cross brings understanding. Yet, there still remain many unanswered questions. However, in His presence, I no longer remember what they were.

    The light appeared on Stephen’s face. Paul was blinded by the light. Jesus knows the inner longing of our hearts and has prepared a way for us. – Romans 10:13

    Paul, blinded by the intensity of His light, understood the importance of viewing the Word through the prism of His Cross. – Galatians 6:14

  24. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, my apologies if you are spending time this a.m. on this post. If you happen to be writing as I move to some additional thoughts, I’ll try to migrate your thoughts forward.

  25. SFDBWV says:

    When I was a young man I sat around with other young men and discussed all the worlds issues and of course the Bible. We were young and stupid, but of course thought we were the first to discover anything and that knowledge and wisdom rested with us.

    It was the 60’s and Satan’s power had full control of warping the intellectual thoughts of my generation. It was a time also when it was chic to criticize the Church and second guess Jesus and His existence. It was a time for the young to become disillusioned with accepted Christianity and seek out other religions, led on by the likes of the Beatles whose member John Lennon even stated that they were more popular than Jesus.

    Look then around us today, look at the state of the moral decay that is everywhere and the results of our society for turning our backs on God.

    If you knew nothing about God and have lived your entire life void of any hearing of spiritual matters at all; you would most likely feel a longing that you couldn’t identify or understand.

    People had forgotten God and so invented Him; God set the record straight by using special people to create the story of what we call the scriptures and to record it. It provides the nature of God as well as His history with mankind and His plans for it.

    Finding the Dead Sea Scrolls showed that this *scripture had not changed for thousands of years; an amazing feat seeing how people today want to rewrite scripture to make it more *modern*.

    God became a man and the story of Christ is also recorded by special men whom God chose for the task. Jesus’ Words are recorded in these writings and in Mark 13: 31 Jesus states that heaven and earth shall pass away, but His words shall not pass away.

    There are *NO* contradictions of the Words of Scripture only our lack of understanding them.

    We begin by reading the words of scripture and by meditating on them (Psalms 1: 1, 2) (Psalms 119: 15), questions are either answered via the Holy Spirit (John 14: 26) or left to faith.

    This is getting too long, so I will pick up some of the examples of what may seem as contradictions and hopefully shed some *light* upon them, later.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.