OK I tried to write this formally but I am not in a position to do so yet, so I would like to put some thoughts out that I have recently been rolling around my head:
I have been Christian for over 10 years now, which is not a long time in the grand scheme of things, and I do my best to destroy my pride as I look into things that greater men than me have struggled with for decades.
I said I do not believe the Bible to be the word of God and I meant it based on the fact that I do not treat it with the respect it is due as such. I don’t read it, when I do I tend to lord over it in authority as opposed to kneeling beneath it allowing it to have authority over me. I have been in church for 10 years and I think it is safe to say most Christians don’t open their Bible between Sundays; in fact the methods used by most churches almost make it shocking that you would need your Bible in church. I was once at a conference where a Youth Pastor told all of the students “I have never read the whole Bible and I don’t think it matters.” I really wanted to shut him up but I didn’t. Can you imagine that someone called to be a leader in the Body of Christ doesn’t feel that all of what we proclaim to be the word of God is important? But I am not much better, I for many reasons (none good) have not read or prayed like I ought to do. I think we may need to start up the Bible reading forum again….
I have also recently begun to think about how I look at the Bible as the word of God.
I know a guy from Bible College who accidentally preached something like “This is your Bible you can make it say what you want” he quickly corrected himself but I believe that this thought has spread like the Borg through the minds of evangelical Christians. Just because the bible uses the word you want to talk about does not mean you are teaching the word of God, in my opinion you are using the word, lording over it if you will to make the point you desire.
I have seen this done numerous times with Prov 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people perish. If you notice what is wrong already award your self 5 bonus points. I have heard this used to talk about the vision or mission of a church, a mission statement of a business, but is that what God means? Not at all, in fact you can’t even use the entire verse if that is your point the whole verse actually says, Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he(KJ21). This is an older word that has a different meaning today a newer and better translation is this: Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law (CEV).
You may say Jason that is just a bad translation and it is still true either way so what is the harm? The harm is it diminishes the authority of the Word of God to simply the opinion of man. Did God just inspire the words to be used as we see fit or did he have a meaning to express when he inspired me to pen those words? If he had a meaning should we not look for that meaning and not try to find a more ‘secret revelation?’