It has to do with the self-professed "Bible-Believing" Christian, which I always thought was weird when people would go out of their way to identify themselves as such, because how can you be a Christian if you don't actually believe anything the Bible says?)
More to the point, it involves the Bible-Believing Christian who believes so many things that aren't actually found anywhere in the Bible.
So, I thought it was the perfect time to reference it here after the previous "Sola Scriptura" piece I just published earlier today.
If you believe it’s important to follow the Bible, wouldn’t you want to “test all things” by God’s Word? Shouldn't you be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who kept "examining the scriptures daily to see if these things are so?" Shouldn’t you at least see which ideas have more scriptural support than others? In light of that important idea, below are some questions for you:
In the Bible, which are there more of?
...Bible verses about feeling God's presence (so you can know He's real), or Bible verses about knowing, teaching and following correct doctrine? (This is a trick question; there are no verses about feeling, experiencing or “being intoxicated” by God’s presence. Also, capitalizing the letter “p” in presence comes from the New Age movement.)
...Bible verses that tell us to have a "personal, intimate and emotional encounter with God," or Bible verses that tell us we can know God through His Word and Sacraments? (This is a trick question-there are no verses telling us that we’re supposed to have a personal, intimate and emotional encounter with God.)
...Bible verses about how you need to follow along with the vision of your pastor, or Bible verses about the pastor being a servant and shepherd? (This is a trick question; there are no verses telling you to “follow the vision” of your “vision-casting pastor;” that idea comes from the business world.)
...Bible verses telling the church to conform to the pagan culture (in order to "win over" that culture), or Bible verses describing the church as separate and distinct from culture? (This is a trick question; there are no verses telling the church to conform to the pagan culture. The word “church” comes from the word “ekklesia” which means “gathering” or “called out ones.”)
...Bible verses that describe the church as a place for entertainment-style "worship" (so that lots of people will enjoy going there), or as a place where the Bible (and sound doctrine about Christ) is proclaimed, confessed and taught? (This is a trick question; there are no verses telling the church to attract non-believers with flashy and/or emotional music, stagecraft, sermons full of entertaining stories/jokes, etc.)
...Bible verses that teach pastors about effective leadership skills that allow them to direct and manage a large staff (and thus make a huge salary), or Bible verses that say no believer should follow worldly philosophies and pastors should not get rich from preaching? (This is a trick question; there are no verses that describe pastors as businessman CEOs that follow leadership practices borrowed from pagans who want to get rich.)
...Bible verses that describe the Holy Spirit as wanting to get more and more attention (because He's been so neglected), or Bible verses that say He is always pointing us to Christ? (This is a trick question; the real Holy Spirit of the Bible is always leading people to repentance and faith in Christ, He never sends people on bizarre wild goose chases.)
...Bible verses where the Holy Spirit wants to make us act drunk and out of control, or Bible verses where the Holy Spirit wants to lead us to repentance and faith in Christ? (This is a trick question; there are no verses saying that the Holy Spirit wants to make us act drunk and out of control.)
...Bible verses that command us to muster up intense fervor to show how serious we are about serving God (so that He will finally give us something more: more power, more miracles, more success, more influence...), or Bible verses that tell us to simply believe in the forgiveness of our sins through Christ? (This is a trick question; there are no verses telling us to muster up intense fervor so we can show God how serious we are. You can relax now!)
...Bible verses about a great end times revival that features new and better Apostles who will do great healings, signs and wonders, or Bible verses that tell us about an end times falling away, full of false teachers doing great healings, signs and wonders in the name of Jesus? (This is a trick question; there are no Bible verses that tell us to expect a great end-times revival that features new and better Apostles. All of the Bible verses are warning us about a great falling away with false teachers leading many astray by doing miraculous signs and wonders in the name of Jesus.)
...Bible verses that tell us to go to meetings and conferences in order to "get the anointing," or Bible verses that tell us we already have all that we need in Christ? (This is a trick question-there are no verses that tell Christians to go somewhere in order to "get the anointing." You can stop throwing away money on travel expenses and conference tickets now!)
...Bible verses that instruct Christians to "speak things into existence?"... never mind, that's so idiotic that we can just go to the next question (this is not an article about witchcraft and sorcery)...
...Bible verses that tell churches to unify regardless of doctrine (so that God can finally "show up"), or Bible verses that tell us to hold fast to correct doctrine? (This is a trick question-there are no Bible verses where God promises to "show up" once we all give up our doctrine and unite for the sake of being unified.)
...Bible verses that tell us it's "all about a relationship, not a religion," or Bible verses that tell us to repent, be baptized and become members of Christ's body-The Church? (This is a trick question-there are no verses that specifically tell us to "have a personal relationship with Jesus," instead, the Bible points to the establishment of the Church and it's specific doctrine. Christianity is, by definition, a religion. You can stop being ashamed of that now. It is the only true religion-and it offers us the only true Good News! And, yes, we can certainly claim to have a relationship with Jesus, but this article is about what the Bible actually says. Perhaps this video will help: Jesus Is My Friend)
It's absolutely incredible (though not terribly surprising given what the Word of God tells us to expect about these last days) how many "Bible-Believing" Christians believe in so many "truths" never even mentioned once in the entire Bible, isn't it? I hope that concerns you as much as it concerns me.
I'm willing to bet that every single one of us knows at least one person who could benefit from reading this. In fact, it might even be you yourself who has benefited from having your eyes and ears finally opened to the truth shared here today.
Either way, praise the Lord for faithful men and women like the individual who wrote that, because there willingness to confess the truth regardless of the personal cost to themselves is how to "love your neighbor" (and their soul), IMHO.
If it weren't for people who wrote similar things over the course of the past few years (and who felt obliged to contact me to share it), then I might have already caused "shipwreck" to my faith (1 Timothy 1:19) and wouldn't be here typing this right now.
There are quite a few loved ones in my life that need to read this for sure, but I know that just publishing a study like this here today on my blog will instantly make things even more difficult for me and my family.
We'll be attacked, marginalized, ridiculed and treated as though we're the "false teachers" who are always so "divisive" and "unloving" all the time.
As painful as it is to have to go through it, that's ok, because I know why Christians today are falling for these false doctrines.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
It's ok, because I know how we Christians are supposed to respond.
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Ephesians 4:15 (ESV) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Jude 1:23 (ESV) save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV) 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
It's alright, because I know the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and will continue to share it with those who need to hear it, trusting the Holy Spirit to work through the Word to convert them from such destructive doctrines of demons.
John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 6:44 (ESV) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV) 1 Now I would remind you, brothers,a of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
In a Lutheran layman's terms, if you're a so-called "Bible-Believing" Christian, then don't you think it's time you started believing what the Bible actually says, and stopped believing everything it doesn't say?
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!