Is the Bible true? Can we believe everything it says and teaches and tells us?
Do we believe the world was formed in seven literal days?
Do we believe Noah built a huge boat and God flooded the entire earth?
Do we believe Moses parted the Red Sea?
Do we believe God made the sun sand still for Joshua?
Do we believe Jonah spent three days in the belly of a giant fish?
I could go on and on – and we could have a lot of fun debating the validity of these stories…
But how do we handle these verses:
Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Let’s be honest. Today is full of plenty of worries. How to pay the mortgage. Will the NFL come back. How to raise kids. How to deal with your neighbors. How to deal with USC winning back to back NCAA baseball titles…
Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned”
Have we all really sinned? Well – let’s figure it out by eliminating folks who have sinned and see how many are left in the end…
Let’s eliminate everyone all women in the world. James 5:12 says to let your yes be yes and your no be no. Ever met a woman who didn’t changer her mind? Me neither…
There are approximately 6.95B people in the world and just over half are women. That eliminates 3.5B people and leaves 3.45B remaining…
Ever met a man who didn’t struggle with pride, greed, lust, or anger? Me neither – current company included. That should eliminate everyone else…
If not – ever met a kindergartner or adolescent? I rest my case…
James 1:19b-20 – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
We’ve learned from first hand experience the power of our response. When we respond with kindness or compassion or fairness, it diffuses the situation and puts everyone back into their proper place. However, when we respond with anger or frustration or sharply, it only causes things to escalate.
You know this is true too, don’t you…
James 3:8 – but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”
Who hasn’t said something they regret? The Bible says it is impossible to completely tame the tongue. We’ve all said something we later regretted. We’ve all toed while teasing or pushed the limits while telling a joke. The tongue can’t be tamed…
So how do we handle the Bible. Clearly there are verses we must deal with – verses which we know are true. Verses we can’t deny or explain away or argue over…
And if these verses are true, how do we handle other portions of the Bible? Shouldn’t we at least give them their proper chance?
I sincerely hope verses like the following are true:
- John 14:2-3 – In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
- 1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
- James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
- The Beatitudes:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This is probably not a very strong argument in favor of the believing in every word of the Bible, but the thought that I can’t shake is that if even just a few verses are true, it causes me to think critically about the rest of it…