I had a call recently from a lady who was very complimentary of one of my programs. It seemed what she appreciated most was my honesty with the scriptures. Now, I was flattered by that, but I couldn’t help wondering if honesty with the scriptures was all that unusual. I don’t want to sit in judgment of anyone, but if there is any cause to be less than honest with the Bible, it probably grows out of church or denominational affiliation.
I don’t intend any criticism of any church membership or affiliation, but when a church publishes a creed—a statement of beliefs, a doctrinal statement—there is a serious need to defend that creed. And since these creeds are not word-for-word from the Bible, there is almost certainly going to be a problem with some passages of scripture that, at first blush, don’t seem to fit. They may not fit at second blush either, and there may be no small amount of explaining to do which some unsophisticated soul may declare to be less than honest with the scriptures.
This was, I think, the problem the lady had who called me. When she had asked about a given passage, she was given the denomination’s pat answer. What she heard on my program was, to her thinking, more honest. What I think it really was, though, was more independent. I don’t work for or head up a denomination, church, or organization, so I have no brief to explain the Bible according to this or that creedal confession.
I know I am not always right, because I can look back over my path and see mistakes there and things I’ve needed to correct. But because I don’t insist that you see things my way, I don’t think I am doing a lot of harm in teaching the way I do. What I want to do is to present the evidence, and see if I can find a way to get you to take a fresh look at it and consider what you think about the scripture.
You have to let the Bible say what it says…even when you don’t like what it says. (And if you are honest, there are going to be times when you really don’t like what it says.) You also have to be honest about your own response to it. At a crisis in his own life, King David came painfully to understand this:
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.