INERRANCY INSTALLMENT FOUR

Chapter 2 (Continued)

The committed Christian has an intimate understanding of this relationship between God and His Word in Scripture. The light of Christ that he shows inside his congregation at Church will extend out into the secular world as well. He is able to warn those to whom he has ties of the many falsehoods that exist within secular society. Some of these lies are connected with popularly-understood science, including evolution, the ages of various ages in earth’s history, the localization of Noah’s Flood, the source of geological formations. Other lies are connected with the massive social engineering that all the peoples of the world are currently being subjected to, including the necessity for government aid and interference in our everyday existence, the intolerance of intolerance, the rewriting of history, the introduction of socialist notions and other falsehoods introduced in our public school curricula, and the suppression of recent advances in science that expose evolution for the lie that it is. Armed with his knowledge and faith, the committed Christian is able to refute all such lies. Yet further, he is at peace with and reconciled to being in the world regardless of its state of decay, knowing that as the world darkens, the light of Christ in him and in his brothers and sister in Christ will shine ever more brightly.

Upon reflecting on the notion of faith, the believer is drawn to the Book of Hebrews, where in the eleventh chapter he encounters the people before him whose God, through their faith, had fashioned lives of heroic stature. These men and women defined the meaning of real faith, the selfless kind with substance behind it that gave them character, grit, and, above all, nobility.

After he recounts the faith of individuals from Adam to Moses and what that faith had wrought, the writer of Hebrews makes a magnificent summation of the subject:

“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edged of the sword; whose weakness was turned into strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put into prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

To the Christian, faith is the beginning of courage. Faith provides the ability to hold firm in the trials that God inevitably brings upon him. Some of these battles might be against the Christian’s desires that are common to man but out of the will of God; others may be danger which the Christian is called upon to confront. Yet others may be intellectual. Here, however, faith is a necessary requirement for a logical approach to understanding God, for to see God beyond a trivial understanding, the Holy Spirit must act as a companion to our gift of reason. To receive that Holy Companion, we must first accept the Word of God as inerrant and accessible to our hearts and minds.

The skeptic of Scriptural inerrancy enjoys none of the benefits belonging to the committed Christian. In the rather brief time that he might choose to read Scripture, he also will encounter a passage that appears to contradict another passage or some understanding he may have about the world around him. But the skeptic will not expend the energy to struggle with it. Maintaining a superficial approach to his understanding, he immediately concludes that the contradiction is real. His initial judgment in that direction may have addressed a relatively minor matter, so the skeptic may choose, for a while, to consider himself to be a Christian. But other apparent contradictions inevitably will crop up, and they will pose serious threats to his faith in God. The skeptic will automatically impose upon these more serious issues his earlier judgment with regard to Scriptural error. His continuing supposition of error reinforces itself, maintaining his understanding of God at a shallow level and paving the way for his skepticism to turn into unbelief. The unbeliever, bereft of the counsel of an indwelling Holy Spirit, is unable to understand either God or Scripture at even a superficial level. Cursing, he closes the Bible, never to open it again.

He departs the Church that he attended, convinced that it’s all hogwash. If he darkens the door of another church, it will be one of the many that teach God as a jolly Santa, or one that teaches a different religion, or one that represents a perpetual self-improvement seminar. Either that or he will embrace the secular belief system and, consumed with his self-adoration, reject the spiritual world and eagerly partake of the physical pleasures that society has to offer.

If he does join one of the churches that misrepresent Christianity, he’ll depart that one also if the perception of the world at large of Christians in general reaches his community. He’ll be unable to withstand the secular world’s opinion that faith is intolerable, being against the tolerance required for the understanding and acceptance of the variety of beliefs, both religious and secular, to which the majority of the world’s inhabitants adhere. To the secular mind, the religious individual is restricted by his faith to the most rigid, unrealistic and backward perception of the world, even amounting to intellectual cowardice, a need for a psychological crutch. Possessing in himself insufficient reason to maintain a Christian pose, the skeptic will flee from anything Christian, even a Santa-Claus church.

The unbeliever, whether he attends a false church or rejects religion altogether, has sold his soul to Satan. Having embraced the secular belief system, he warmly accepts its attempt to limit the domain of God to purely moral matters. Then, after having allowed the encroachment of the secular upon Christianity to that extent, he isn’t content to let it remain that way. Soon he will wish to remove the authority of Christianity with regard to moral matters as well. Ultimately, he will consider the notion of God to be irrelevant to the world, and will consider His continuing presence to be an offense against mankind.

It is in the will of God that the committed Christian must share his world with the unbelieving masses, both as a witness against sin and its effects and for the prospect of saving some. It is realistic to expect that the unbelievers eventually will outnumber the committed Christians. The resulting dominance of self-serving individuals will bring in a governmental system that will necessarily be repressive to maintain order. That is not an unhappy situation, for the Christian lives not for himself but for his savior, Jesus Christ. To him it will be a joy and an honor to show the light of Jesus to a dark world.

Noting the upward ascent of the committed Christian with regard to his respect of Scripture and the downward spiral of the skeptic, the Christian must realize that faith demands his full trust in Scripture. It is plain, then, that one must appreciate that there is no perceived error in Scripture that is incidental. Jesus Himself identified with Scripture, and He referred to Himself as representing truth. He told the world that Moses and the prophets had written of Him. He referred to Jonah and Daniel as well. He read the Book of Isaiah in the synagogue, claiming to have fulfilled a portion of what that prophet had written about him. He referred to Himself as the Son of David and quoted Psalms.

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