A friend of mine asked a question on Facebook, largely directing it to his friends who, like him, reject the authority of Scripture. I read through several responses, most of which revealed varying degrees of animosity toward what they call “traditional Christianity.”
I thought about the question for 24 hours. That’s probably a good rule of thumb for engaging on social media anyway, and I would most likely do well to implement that rule a lot more frequently than I do. Anyway, as I mulled it over, I realized that the best answer to the question was to ask what the Bible says about the matter.
That’s always the best response.
Predictably, someone immediately challenged my comment by saying that the Bible is difficult to define, and therefore an unreliable source. I sensed from his tone that he wanted to shame me for standing on God’s Word.
So far, I haven’t replied to his disparaging remarks concerning Scripture. I’m not sure it’s necessary. But if more people on that thread decide to shame me for appealing to the Word of God, I’ve purposed in my heart to simply quote Romans 1:16.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (ESV)
Ladies, the world hates the Bible because it imposes God’s righteous standards on us. It exposes the sin that resides in all of us, and declares that God has every right to judge us for our sin. People simply don’t want to hear that part of the truth.
In fact, the thread on Facebook overwhelmingly suggested that Jesus wouldn’t adhere to much of Scripture’s teaching on sexual morality. Most of them portrayed Jesus as far more tolerant of sexual deviation than Bible believing Christians are. Clearly, the people on that thread fashion Jesus according to their personal preferences, not according to the Bible.
The Bible threatens human autonomy. People hate it, not because it’s implausible, difficult to understand or open to interpretation, but because it judges their sin.
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ~~Hebrews 4:12-13 (ESV)
They correctly view Jesus as merciful, but forget that the power of His mercy and grace can only be appreciated when we accept His authority to establish what is right and wrong. His Word judges all of us guilty, leading us to praise Him for assuming the penalty of sin for those who believe in Him. Furthermore, His Word assures believers that the Holy Spirit empowers us to turn from sin and walk in obedience to Him.
The Bible does say things that people committed to sinful behaviors don’t want to accept. I understand that point. But an unwillingness to submit to Scripture’s teaching doesn’t diminish it’s authority.
And their unwillingness to submit to Scripture’s authority shouldn’t cause Christians to cringe apologetically when people attempt to shame us for believing that it has authority. I, for one, refuse to be ashamed of the Gospel, nor of any part of God’s Word.