Summary: Looking at the myth of scriptural errancy.
Myths of the Modern Church
#1 Scripture is True if I believe it.
Rev. Charles Worth
True Word Christian Church
2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Introduction: One of the most interesting myths of the modern church is that scripture is only truth as long as long as we agree with it.
Illustration: Subjective truths… The following story actually happened to me in 2005 at a state wide meeting. We had a wonderful time of fellowship the first night, a time of worship and a great message. My spirit was soaring until breakfast on the second day. As I came into the hotel dining room several of my fellow pastors were at a table and invited me to join them. I got a plate of food and cup of coffee and had a seat. It was then that the statement that would change my soul from soaring to troubled was made. Two of the gentlemen at the table were having a heated discussion about scripture when one looked at me and said; “Chuck, you were in the service and seem quite sensible. You understand the concept of ‘Subjective truths’ in scripture don’t you?” Since I was just starting my first cup of coffee of the day I was a little slow of mind, I took a moment and gulped down half that first cup, then I stated; “Well, I guess if you mean the parables that Jesus told, they could be considered subjective in that we do not know for sure that they are historical or stories Jesus made up to teach a particular point.” The gentleman seemed shocked at my answer and said to me, “Come on, please don’t tell me that your one of those people that believe God created this universe and all that is in it in seven literal days; are you?” I took a bite of food, another swig of coffee and thought about my answer carefully. “No, you’re right; I do not believe God created everything in seven days.” To which my breakfast companion seemed relieved, but continuing on I said, “It only took six days on the seventh He rested.”
This was the first of many instances where I found that even the people in leadership of the church try to make scripture fit their beliefs instead of allowing scripture to form their beliefs. Just as this gentleman had tried to make scripture fit the boundaries of evolutionary science many people, including my fellow pastors of all denominations attempt to make scripture fit the beliefs they want it to have.
Illustration: God Said, I believe it, that ends it: One of my pet peeves is a bumper sticker. It reads; “God said it, I believe it and that ends it.” Now many of you may think that is a reasonable statement. I, on the other hand, have a problem with it, you see once God says it that ends it. That makes it truth. Whether or not I believe it is of no consequence. My belief has no bearing in the truth of the matter. Truth is truth and it is promulgated by the will and testimony of God not by the beliefs of those that choose whether or not to follow Him. It is this attitude about scripture that is the problem. We have come to think that our belief is what makes something true or not.
Today however it has become fashionable to preach only about the love and compassion of a loving God not the righteousness and retribution of a just God. We are all so worried about offending someone that we offend God by ignoring or at times even changing the meaning of scripture. Let’s take a look at some other ways the church has changed or ignored scripture.
One hotly contended point for the modern church is the role of homosexuality in the church today. The news of the day is one of confusion for most in the church. It broke the headlines of the liberal media with the election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson as the first “Gay” bishop of the Episcopal Church. There has been much to follow. The problem as I see it started when we began to refer to scripture we did not like as being a cultural issue. We have done this in many circumstances; women deacons and pastors, dress, premarital sex and homosexuality. The modern church movement claims that all of these things are only forbidden by God due to cultural taboos of the day. I would rather submit that God in His wisdom and righteousness forbade these items because He knew the harm that would be brought to the world if they were “normalized.” Now just to be fair I am going to admit that there are items that are cultural in scripture. While they rode camels and donkeys we ride cars and trucks. They wore sandals and a flowing robe, we wear pants and shoes. Those are cultural issues of scripture. Let’s look at scripture references to some of the items we said are claimed to be cultural.