The Authority of Scripture is a Red Line That Must Not be Crossed

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time. It is also, sadly, one of the least-read books of all time.

That’s a really big problem brothers and sisters. If we are unfamiliar with the Bible, it’s no wonder the Church is so weak, ineffective and plagued by heresies and false teachings, to say nothing of the wrong attitude that so many Churches have towards Israel.

Do yourself a favor, DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO DOESN’T KNOW YOUR BIBLE!

Read a portion of Scripture daily, and make an effort to go to your congregation’s Bible Study and the prayer meeting during the week. Congregations don’t have these meetings for no reason. It’s really important to take advantage of them. How can we ever witness to our friends and neighbors or otherwise be useful to Yeshua if we don’t learn this stuff ourselves? Going to the weekly meeting on Shabbat (or Sunday if you’re outside Israel) isn’t enough, it requires an extra effort.

And here’s another thing. If you call yourself a Christian and/or Messianic Jew but you’ve never read the Bible all the way through, there might be a LOT of stuff in there that you don’t agree with! You need to make an effort to find out what it says, and what you’re saying about yourself by calling yourself a Christian and/or Messianic Jew.

There’s another big problem many who identify themselves as Christians have, and in my humble opinion it’s actually a worse problem than a lack of familiarity with Scripture, and that’s a lack of respect for the Authority of Scripture.

Here’s what I mean.

II Timothy 3:16 says; “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”

Do you believe that?

Do you believe that EVERY SINGLE WORD in the Bible came straight from the mouth of the Being who created this Universe and everything in it and who has all the power and authority in this Universe and who has every right to expect what He said in the Bible to be taken literally and seriously by us, whom He created?

If you don’t, then you’re wasting your time calling yourself a Christian, and/or a Messianic Jew. Because if you don’t believe that, if you believe the Bible is anything less than the Word of God, if you do not believe that it was written by men under the direction of God the Holy Spirit, than you need to understand that it’s actually an act of extreme irrationality to call yourself a Christian.

There are dozens of books available to us that were written over the centuries by ordinary people who wrote down what they thought about any number of topics. If the Bible isn’t the Word of God, if it is instead just another collection of thoughts and stories by ordinary people who weren’t writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, than there’s no reason whatsoever to treat it any differently than any of those other books.

Most people totally ignore all those other books, and if you don’t believe that the Bible contains the thoughts of God, but rather just a bunch of thoughts of ordinary people, than what possible reason would there be to do anything other than completely ignore it just like all those other books are ignored?

I would actually prefer it (and I suspect God would also prefer it) if those who don’t believe the Bible is something more special/important than the Epic of Gilgamesh or the plays of Sophocles would stop calling themselves Christians, because it causes a lot of confusion.

But a large number, perhaps even a majority, of people in the world today who call themselves “Christians” think they can treat the Bible like a salad bar, taking the parts they like and ignoring the parts they don’t. This is blatantly taught at many seminaries in North America and Europe.

I was taught it 20 years ago when I was studying for my BA in Biblical Studies (pre-seminary track, although I didn’t go to seminary) by a professor who told us that “The Bible contains three things, facts, truth and myth.”

From this starting point, many young and impressionable people who go to Bible College and/or Seminary eager to be equipped for the work of the ministry get sidetracked, sometimes for life, by teachers who are themselves agnostic and who consider it their job to disabuse their pupils of the child-like faith they arrive with.

You can see the fruit of this in the church today. Many mainline Protestant denominations have embraced and become part of promoting the secular humanist agenda. Even in Evangelical circles this is apparent in polls showing shrinking numbers of Evangelical pastors who, for instance, believe in the Virgin Birth of Yeshua, or that Satan the Devil is a literal being (rather than an abstract concept) and in many other things.

I’ve even seen it here on Kehila News Israel, for instance in a series of blogs that ran for awhile with the theme of “Jesus was a feminist.”

I don’t want to argue the thesis or any of the points made in this series of blogs. I would imagine that anyone who read them already came to their own conclusions. But I do want to zero in on one thing the authors of those blogs said, to wit; the Bible was “written by males largely for males interpreted by more males for hundreds of years.”

This phrase, which is commonly repeated by feminists (and many other people who like to think of themselves as socially and politically “Progressive”) reminded me of something a Catholic Bishop in the US said many years ago in response to criticism that his positions on many social issues were drifting far from a Biblical worldview, that “The Church wrote the Bible and the Church can re-write the Bible.”

Both of these phrases are a manifestation of the idea that “God” is not a person at all but merely an idea created by human beings which can and should evolve over time. Human Beings, according to this view, are not obligated to respect any higher authority than themselves because there isn’t any higher authority.

Simply put, if the god you worship didn’t write the Bible, than he isn’t God, and any god who isn’t God is probably a figment of the imagination of a human being and thus, an idol.

In ancient times, humans made statues of wood or stone to give tangible substance to the figments of their imagination which they had taken upon themselves to deify. In the 21st century, people skip that step, but they still deify ideas they’ve come up with themselves, and it’s still idolatry.

So no, the Bible wasn’t written by males for males, and it wasn’t written by the Catholic church to be used as an instrument for controlling the masses in a certain time and place. It was written by God for the purpose of letting the entire human race, men, women and children, know of His love for them, His plans for them and His expectations of them.

To sum up, in order to be “salt and light” in this world (Matthew 5:13-16) we need to be familiar with Scripture and we need to respect the Authority of Scripture, even or perhaps especially when it says something we don’t want to hear and/or which are radically out of step with the prevailing normative values in the culture we live in.

Those of us who live in the Land of the Bible have an added responsibility in this regard, for self-explanatory reasons. May we all have the strength and discipline to be obedient to this calling.