Wednesday, May 24, 2006

caring enough to be informed

“Can the Bible be Trusted?” This is the key question we are discussing. Many people (even Christians) have no idea of how we got the bible we have, where it came from, or how we know it is a reliable document of history.

Since we are called to participate in a cultural conversation with people who do not believe in the Bible, we must have a better argument than, “Well it is in the bible so it must be true.” That mind-set will not work for many unbelieving questioners.

As I have said, this is an opportune moment when our culture is asking key questions. We are equipping ourselves to be able to answer the very important questions being asked by pre-Christians. I want to encourage you to engage this conversation. Pay close attention to what our church is teaching. Pay close attention to what people are saying. Read your Bible for yourself. Take this opportunity to understand your faith at a new and deeper level. You will be excited to find out how true and historically verifiable Jesus and the Bible are.

1) If you are planning to engage non-believers or non-church members in a conversation, you need to have truth to share.
2) If you are going to be a part of this cultural conversation, you must be familiar with the arguments.
3) If you are unwilling to be informed and communicate with understanding and with intellect, and with respect for others, don’t participate in the conversation.One of the principle marketing schemes of “The Da Vinci Code” is the tagline, “Seek the Truth.” That is exactly what we want everyone to do. However, we must understand that in seeking truth we must seek the whole truth and not simply parts of the truth. Truth is everywhere in the world and all truth is God’s truth.The bible is filled with truth. Everything in the bible is true. But it is not true because it is in the bible; it is in the bible because it is true. All truth is God’s truth. And we can see God in all kinds of places. The entire earth is filled with His glory.Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, quoted pagan philosophers and authors in his letters. Those quotes ended up in our bible. Let me give you an example.Paul is writing to Titus who lives on the island of Crete. The people of Crete were dishonest, lazy and untrustworthy people. But, instead of Paul simply saying that about them, he says this: “Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.” Titus 1:12-14 (NIV) So, the writing of an atheistic, pagan philosopher ended up in scripture. Why? He knew they would understand and relate to it and because what was said was true and Paul claimed that truth to teach a spiritual lesson. It also points out that the apostle Paul was not a big fan of boycotting literature or art of his day that didn’t necessarily agree with his particular theology. But, he was discerning in his application of it.

We too are seeking to grab the “Da Vinci Code” and make use of it to advance the cause of Jesus. We are going to take “what the enemy has meant for evil” and let “God turn it around for good”. In order for us to do this we must engage the culture. We must meet people where they are. We must love them and understand their doubts and fears. I believe this is the heart of Jesus.

Join us this weekend for “Can the Bible Be Trusted?”

Seek the Truth Series.

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