To Tell the Truth

truth“Welcome to our church. We are a Bible based church. Here we teach what the Bible says. Here we teach the truth.”

Most churches you visit will tell you that. The problem is they are all different. They all teach and believe different things. So which one is telling the truth?

Many in our world would say it’s impossible to know. They say the Bible can be understood in many ways. “Everybody has his or her own interpretation of the Bible.”

The thing is, the Bible isn’t vague. It says what it says. Sure, there are parts of the Bible which are more obscure and difficult to understand. Thankfully those passages are made clear and explained by other sections of Scripture. The Bible interprets itself. It says what it says.

The reason different churches teach different things is because as sinful human beings we try to make the Bible say what we want it to say. We add to it. We subtract from it. We twist it.

Some churches add to what the Bible says. “It is a sin to drink alcohol,” they say. “It is a sin to dance.” “It is a sin to use contraceptives.” Where does the Bible say that?

It doesn’t.

Others cut out parts of the Bible. I call that Salad Bar Christianity. They pick and choose what parts they want to believe, as if the Bible were a buffet. What the Bible says about human sexuality, for example, offends their societal sensibilities. So that part just doesn’t apply today.

Still others twist the Bible to make it say what they want it to say. The Bible is a big book. You can take verses, pull them out of their context and make them say just about anything you want. With a little elbow grease, you can cut, paste and twist the Bible to say just about anything.

But then how can you know who is telling the truth? In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul left the Greek city of Thessalonica and traveled to the nearby city of Berea. Luke tells us that “the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians.” Why? Because “they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

In other words, the Bereans didn’t trust the Apostle Paul. Every time he preached to them, they went back and checked in their Bibles to see if what he was saying was true. Therein lies the answer. If you want to know who is telling the truth about God’s Word, open your Bibles and see!

Don’t trust me. I’m a sinful human being. I make mistakes. Just because something in one of these articles sounds good or interesting or funny, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Open up your Bibles. See it for yourself.

God has given you a ginormous responsibility. It takes work to read, study and chew on God’s Word. It’s so much easier to just go to church and trust the preacher. It’s so much easier to shop for a church which tells you what you want to hear, but that’s not what God wants.

Be a Berean. Be of noble character. Don’t just blindly accept what you are taught. Open up your Bibles. See it for yourself.

 

  3 comments for “To Tell the Truth

  1. John J Flanagan
    May 4, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Reading the Bible is essential….and a Christian who fails to do so is remiss and vulnerable to false teachings. But I have met many devoted and faithful believers who truly love the Lord and struggle with understanding parts of scripture which are difficult to interpret. There are core foundational beliefs found in God’s word which should be universally acknowledged by all believers, including salvation through Christ alone, by faith alone, by the grace of God….not by works. The Creeds encapsulate our basic Christian beliefs, as do the “Solo’s”..,,,,Solo Scriptura….etc. However, even given the knowledge of the Bible, some churches are Arminian, others preach a prosperity gospel, a social activist gospel, still others reject what the Bible says is sin….and celebrate and endorse gay marriage, gay clergy, and suspend judgment on abortion….leaving it as a choice to be condoned.

  2. May 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I wish to be more Berean, may God help me to do so!

  3. May 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Amen, brother! Amen!

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