Tuesday, April 21, 2015

IS THE BIBLE A DECENT STANDARD?

THE STANDARD

Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he. (Prov. 29:18)



A vision gives people a standard to which they want to measure up or rise to.

In business, it is called a mission statement. Everything is measured against the mission statement. If it does not enhance or move us forward toward the goal, then it is not implemented.

As Christians, we have a vision, a standard of measure, a mission statement.

However, we have been taught that it is our local church which is to provide this for us. In order to join the church, we must subscribe to their vision, their mission statement.

These things have developed due to the influence of the business model upon the church, and the pastor/ceo’s desire to grow his business/church.

Is this where we should look for our mission statement? To the world’s model?
I think not.

Many will reply almost immediately, “Our mission statement comes straight from the Bible,” and I am not here to argue that. Your church may have a mission to “reach the Lost for Jesus,” and that is certainly a somewhat biblical concept.

But, is that our mission? Is that what God has desired, designed and destined us for?

No.

Reaching the lost is quite simply just a part of the overall job we have been given, but it is not God’s purpose in “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb. 2:10). Evangelism is only a tactic to help fulfill an overall strategy.

The church is only a part of God’s overall mission of reconciling the world to Himself.
(2 Cor. 5:18-19)

The church itself should also have a mission, and it is given in Eph. 4:13. All strategies and tactics of the local church should be geared toward achieving that objective.

Therefore, the vision that will keep people alive is one that exalts the pre-eminence of Jesus as the standard to which we all will attain.

That vision is not even on the radar of the world’s standards, so we cannot look to the world as a measure. Neither can we use their strategies or tactics (Psa. 1:1).

The standards of the world are continually changing. Its morality shifts with the fashionable current. Its desires and philosophy is constantly in flux due to the lack of an objective standard.

In this current age, Political Correctness is the new standard to which all must adhere in the “Land of the free, and the Home of the brave.” One is no longer free to have an opinion that differs from “samespeak.”

And Christians are bowing down to the new standard, refusing—not as the three Hebrew children (Dan. 3:18)—to stand with and for the Word of God, but trying to accommodate and acclimate themselves to the world.

All this has occurred because we have allowed ourselves to be taken captive by a philosophy (Col. 2:8) that only has a pretense of wisdom (Col. 2:23).

We have been led into this because we left our desire for the “pure milk of the word” (1 Pet. 2:2), and have allowed our teachers to look outside the Bible for direction as to “how things should be done.”

Most of the sermons preached on Sunday mornings across this land are talks that have as their basis a verse or two of scripture. There are precious few who use the Bible to explain the Bible to the people who believe the Bible (Neh. 8:8).

The result is that most believers go through their week only able to respond with their opinion, rather than the Word of God. Truth has fallen by the wayside as everyone “does that which is right in his own eyes” (Deu 12:8; Jdg 17:6; Jdg 21:25; Pro 12:15; Pro 21:2; Gen 6:5; Gen 8:21; Deu 29:19; Jer 3:17; Jer 7:24; Jer 9:14; Jer 11:8; Jer 13:10; Jer 16:12; Jer 18:12; Jer 23:17).

What are we to do?

Obviously, the first thing is to recognize our condition. If you are in any way arguing in your mind with the premise presented here, including the argument that says, “My church is different,” then you have not yet realized the depth of the problem.

We cannot bring about any kind of change if we do not see that change is needed.

Secondly, we must decide if we are willing to lose friends and relationships as we begin to walk a different path.

While there is much talk and publicity about the general persecution of Christians, when was the last time YOU did or said something for the Lord that caused a deep-seated reaction? 

For me, that has been seldom. I am usually only offensive to another believer who holds a different doctrine.

How sad is that?

I have had to face this very real possibility of the loss of friends over the stance I am beginning to take. I am afflicted with the disease of the need to please. Have been for most of my life. For me to develop a backbone and stand up for truth is going to take a move of God in my life that is nothing short of a miracle of grace.

But, I can no longer stand quietly by while I see so many being led off to destruction through deception.

We have become so cautious of deception that we have allowed anything and everything to come into our circle “because I know that I do not have all the truth.”

We feel that way, because we have become desperately weak in the Word.

Biblical illiteracy today is almost equal to that of the Dark Ages, and has been caused by the very same phenomenon as then—the Bible has been chained to the pulpit. This has not been caused directly by the pulpiteers, but by the people who have willingly allowed themselves to drift away from any meaningful personal interaction with the Lord and His Word, depending mainly on their weekly fix, administered through an artificial IV, to maintain any vestige of a spiritual life.

Thirdly, we must call upon the grace of God to give us the strength to begin living out the Word on a daily basis, speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), and having a readiness to revenge all disobedience—but ONLY when our obedience has been fulfilled (2 Cor. 10:6).

What about you?


Will you take up the challenge to make the Word of God the standard—your ONLY standard—by which you live your life?

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3 comments:

  1. Our pastor has decided to take this same stance. I found it VERY interesting especially after our last visit. God is moving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXCELLENT!! That is good news. May there be more leaders of his caliber to stand up and draw the line.

      Delete
    2. EXCELLENT!! That is good news. May there be more leaders of his caliber to stand up and draw the line.

      Delete

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