Is The Bible Relevant Today?
Today, we talk about several arguments agains the relevancy of the Bible. As Christians, God has called us to defend His truth. In order to do that, we must believe that His word is relevant today. Most of the people who argue against the relevancy of the Bible are people in the church.
We cannot say we believe God if we only believe in part of His word and excuse the rest. But, how do we know how to defend the relevancy of the Bible? What do we need to know in order to stand up against those who think they have all the answers?
Today, we’ll talk about:
*Three big arguments against the relevancy of the Bible:
- The Bible is not relevant to today’s culture.
- It was written by men so it can’t be infallible.
- The Bible contradicts itself.
*Three arguments for the relevancy of the Bible:
*The Bible is relevant because it is constant.
*The Bible is infallible because it is inspired by God. That does not mean man gives the revelation but that God gave the revelation to man.
*Differences in the OT and NT does not mean contradiction.
“If you are a Christian, the Bible is your authority.”
“We should never speak so nonchalantly about the word of God as if it should blend in with another book on the shelf.”
“God has always used imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.”
“We are either conforming to the world or being transformed into His image. Which are you?”
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Daniel Hensen and the Dossier of Reason: http://meercat9.com/reason/getheaders2.py
Voddie Baucham, Why I Believe the Bible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15EoR6O-rUA
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Welcome back, my friend. You are listening to episode 4 and today we are talking about God’s unchanging word in an ever changing culture. How do we stay true to His word and How do we stand up to a culture that finds His word irrelevant and out of date?
Oh my goodness! This is a heavy topic with so much depth. One episode may or may not be long enough. We shall see.
I am going to give you several arguments that people in our culture have against God’s word and then we are going to use God’s word to dispel those arguments.
So, let’s get to the heavy lifting.
Argument 1) The Bible is not relevant to today’s culture.
In 2015, a former pastor by the name of Rob Bell was being interviewed by Oprah and he said this, “We’re moments away. I think the culture is already there. And the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense,” he told Winfrey when asked about the Church embracing gay marriage.
Argument 2) The Bible was written by men so it cannot be infallible.
Alexander Brown, a licensed minister with the Missionary Baptist Church said on Huff Post in 2016, “I believe in the saving of souls from the clutches of dark forces. I believe that God is all-loving and all-powerful, and that his son, Jesus of Nazareth, was the son of God, who has given us a way to live life fully and abundantly. Yet, I do not believe the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God.”
He went on to say, “The Holy Bible is a collection of Christian texts that is the result of refinement by men who thought they were led by God to discern his teachings.”
Argument 3) The Bible contradicts itself.
Daniel Henson, a former pastor, wrote The Dossier Of Reason. An A-Z list (multiple lists, mind you) about how the Bible is a book of contradictions. His reasons for writing the list? Because he says, “Why you must approach your faith of choice with objectivity and skepticism and not confirmation bias.”
Before we dive into this, I want you to take note of who we are defending the Bible against. Religious people!!! People who teach other people about what God says.
*If you are a Christian, the Bible is your authority. That is the reason I will take verses from the Bible to validate the argument that the Bible is in fact relevant, infallible and does not contradict itself.
So, let this be a warning to you: know and understand God’s word for yourself. Be careful what you repeat and what you latch onto as truth. And, just so you know, I will be recording an episode where we discuss how not to be deceived and how to know God’s word for yourself.
Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. We are going to talk about the first reason people give in disputing the relevancy of the Bible and why it IS relevant to today’s culture.
- The Bible is relevant because it is constant. So, my first argument is how can you trust in a culture that is constantly changing? When we think of constants in our lives, you can be sure God’s word is one of them. It will not change and God have mercy on the soul of the man who tries to change it, twist it or make it fit our desires.
*Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”
*We must understand that culture changes. The times we live in today are different than just 10 years ago. And because culture changes and ideologies change, does that mean we are wrong when we don’t change with them?
*No. Absolutely not. Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men (culture), according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
*I’m going to go a little further here and say this … if you can be easily persuaded to conform to the ideas of culture, God’s word was never your truth in the first place. Why? Well, when God’s word is your truth, it means you’ve found relevancy in it. You’ve applied it to your life and it has changed you.
2) Which brings me to point #2: relevancy is found in the application of God’s word. God’s word is meant to be lived. Anyone can read it. But who applies it?
*Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.”
*Did you catch that word in there? The word convinced. It means I am sure that God’s word is relevant today just as it was the day He inspired the men who wrote it. Not just because someone told me it’s relevant but because I have applied it to my life and I see it’s power at work.
*What does God promise us when it comes to His word? That it is active and living and sharper than any double edged sword. It is effective and it works in our lives to transform and change us. He says when it goes forth it fulfills His purpose and will never return void.
*We should never speak so nonchalantly about the word of God as if it should blend in with another book on the shelf.
*Here’s something we need to think about: 75% of Americans claim Christianity as their religion yet most of America is Bible illiterate. The call of the Christian is to be the light and to show the world the power of God working in us and through us. How can we do that if we do not sit at His feet and learn from Him?
*Are we mere church attendees or are our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel as it says in Ephesians 6? Do you know what that means? It’s the part of the armor that pertains to the word of God. We stand on the word and we walk with the word written on our hearts.
*Billy Graham said something that is needed today and SO TRUE: “We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is heeding; We are the sermons the world is needing.”
*To sum up this point … the Bible is relevant because it never changes. In reality, culture is irrelevant because it’s inconsistent and constantly changing.
2) Second argument: The Bible was written by men so it must be infallible.
*Before I get into actual scripture, I just want to ask a question: What book hasn’t been written by men? Every book we read has an author. But which one of those books claims to be inspired by God as men wrote it?
*The ever popular scripture in 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
*2 Tim 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
*We have the Holy Spirit and He is the one who inspired the writing of the word of God. The bible tells us how God used man to write it, but man thinks because God did not actually pick up a pen and write it Himself, it cannot possibly be without error.
*There are two things wrong with this:
1) It shows a limited amount of faith on their part. There is a discrepancy in their belief in God and His word because they are hung up on the fact that men are imperfect.
*What they must remember is that man does not give the revelation just because he wrote it. Only God can do that. How many people have read the Bible and still come back and say, “I don’t believe it.”? I can tell you there are many. Why? Because only God can reveal His truth to us. That’s why we must ask Him to help us understand it.
2) God uses fallible man for a great purpose every day out of the week. And thank God He does. God has always used imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.
3) and the most important fact about the Bible is that it is several things: history documented with dates, geographic locations, and people. It is prophecy .. some of which has been fulfilled and some we are waiting to be fulfilled. It is also written by people who saw Jesus, as in 1 John 1:1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”
*And, if you have time, go look up Voddie Baucham and watch his video: why I believe the Bible is real. He says this: “I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin.”
*Men wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The claim is great, but the proof is greater.
3) And finally, the Bible contradicts itself.
1) What we have to understand about this is that there is a difference between contradiction and difference.
2) There is also a difference between the Old Testament law and the New Testament. Bill Mahr constantly has Christians on his show and wants to berate them with the difference between the old and new testament.
3) For example, there are foods that were declared unclean in the OT. In the NT, Jesus told Peter in Acts that He has declared all food clean. Peter had a hard time with this at first because Jesus was showing him it was OK to sit and eat with a Gentile. Is that a contradiction or is there a difference the between OT and NT?
Now that we’ve briefly covered those and barely scratched the surface, I want to bring this to what I believe the problem is: Ignorance.
*Ignorance isn’t a bad word and really shouldn’t be offensive. It just means we don’t know. But what you don’t know can hurt you in this case.
*The other problem is that man has wanted to go his own way since the garden. The enemy came in and sold us a lie that God’s word restricts us from living the life we were meant to live. He got Eve to question God’s word by saying, “Did God really say you can’t eat …”
*And since then, if the word does not align to our desires, we toss it out and pick a word that does.
*And lastly, the Bible tells us this will happen. 2 Tim 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
*So, basically, this topic today is prophecy fulfilled. More proof that the Bible is what it claims to be.
*What are my suggestions for you? Know God’s word!! You have to or you will be deceived and you will conform to culture. Romans 12:2 says this, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
*In reality, we are only doing one of two things: conforming to culture or transforming into His image. Which are you?
*If you need help with getting into God’s word and recognizing truth and lies, stick around. I have some episodes coming up that will definitely help you, arm you and get your life to be the Bible the world is reading, the creed the world is heeding and the sermon the world is needing.
*That’s it for today’s episode. If you have any questions and want to email them to me, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer back and I may even make one of them a show topic and dedicate it to you.
*I’ll see you next week with a brand new episode.