What has happened to Christian churches in America? Christian churches and, perhaps, especially the mainline denominational churches, have been infected with the error of doubting the inspiration, inerrancy and authority of the Bible.
Though this error can be traced back to nineteenth-century Europe and from there into the colleges and seminaries of the United States, it is really nothing new. In the Garden of Eden, Satan brought doubt upon God’s Word when he said, “Has God indeed said …?” (Genesis 3:1). This same question is and has been asked in many colleges and seminaries concerning all or parts of the Bible: “Has God indeed said…?”
Doubting and challenging the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, many modern scholars have questioned the authorship and the accuracy of what is written in the Bible: “Did Jesus really say the words attributed to Him in the Bible?” “Could the miracles really have happened?” “Was Jesus really virgin born?” “Did He rise bodily from the dead on the third day?” “Could God have created the world in six days?” “Were Adam and Eve real people?” “Did a flood actually cover the whole earth?” On and on the questions go.
Instead of accepting all of the Scriptures and each and every word of the Scriptures as the inspired and unerring Word of God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; John 17:17; 10:35; Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5), many modern religious scholars and now many pastors and teachers have doubts as to whether or not all of the Bible really is God’s Word. Instead of saying that the Bible is the Word of God, you may hear them say that the Bible contains God’s Word. Instead of saying that all the Bible is historically true and accurate, you may hear them say that the stories in the Bible may not be literally true, but they teach and illustrate God’s truth. Instead of accepting and teaching all that the Bible says as God’s truth, you will find them trying to dissect the Scriptures into what is God’s truth and what was only a “cultural mandate.”
As a result, more and more ministers and teachers often ignore clear and plain statements of Scripture and attempt only to use the examples of Scripture to teach faith, love, kindness, and other social and moral issues. Think about it. How often do you hear ministers calling violations of God’s commandments sins deserving of God’s eternal wrath and punishment? And, how often do you hear ministers proclaiming forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, available only through the shed blood of Jesus? If all ministers accepted the whole Bible and each and every word of the Bible as God’s true and unerring Word, do you think there would be women in the pulpits, joint worship services and prayers with non-Christians and erring churches, or the acceptance of homosexual clergy?
The saddest part of this ever-growing problem is that the members of so many churches suffer grave danger and harm to their souls. They are lulled into feeling comfortable in their churches even though they hear little of God’s Word there anymore. Little is heard of sin and God’s judgment — in fact, all sorts of open sin is tolerated and accepted within the churches – and little is taught regarding genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Sunday school and Bible study materials are full of interesting stories and projects but are often devoid of the Bible itself. Sermons are full of interesting illustrations and religious words and concepts, but how much of it actually comes from the Bible?
What can you do? First of all, if you haven’t done it already, pick up that Bible from the shelf, blow the dust off, and start reading. You’ll be surprised at how much of it you’ve never heard taught or explained in sermons or Bible classes. Secondly, pray for your church and your pastor. Pray that they would read and study the Bible and accept it as God’s inspired and unerring Word and then proclaim it unashamedly. Thirdly, talk to your pastor and let him know that you want him to preach and teach the Bible in your church — nothing more and nothing less! Let him know in a kind way that, though his thoughts and orations may be interesting, you are coming to hear God’s Word and to learn of God and His ways.
And, finally, if your church won’t faithfully preach and teach the Bible, even after your prayers and urgings, find a church that does and go there. Don’t let the devil rob you of God’s Word and take from you the eternal blessings which God offers and gives through faith in Jesus Christ!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.