When Pastors Don’t Believe Their Bibles Pt 2
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.James 3:1
Few they be that stand behind their pulpits in fear of that condemnation warned of so earnestly by the Apostle. Few consider the very present reality of eternity and the effect that every word, even every idle word, would be accounted for on that day (Matt 12:36). There is a generation of viperswho injected poison in the hearts of their hearers during the days of our Lord (Matt 12:34), who had taken the pulpits of the world and done so even in our churches today, but this does not mean that every man who does not preach and teach from a King James Bible is evil or even a heretic.
Scripture makes clear that good men can be in bad error. We see it in the Old Testament often; in the New Testament the sick were laid under the shadow of a spirit filled Peter (Acts 5:15), Barnabas was written of that he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith(Acts 11:24), yet Paul had to confront Peter because he was to be blamed(Gal 2:11) and Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation(Gal 2:13). Good and Godly men can be wrong, and we must be very careful in the manner in which things are brought to their attention. I had not always held the position on the Bible that I do today, but my desire to know the truth and to be consistent with scripture received grace from the Lord. It is not ignorance, but willfulignorance that is the greatest concern today, as it was in the first century.
This is why James earnestly warns all that they ‘be not many masters’, the condemnation upon us is real, the judgment of us is certain, burned up will be all works without lasting value (1 Cor 3:11-15), and many there are likely to be that will have paid an infinite cost for the ‘masters’ teaching of error. That alone is something I cannot bear. As stated in Part 1, why would any Pastor take such a risk as to even preach from a book they do not believe? If I was not sure I could hold to the promises of God for his words, and believe I had them, why would I take a risk to be a ‘master’ (Teacher) of an errant book?
PROBLEM PROTECTION IN PASTORS?
It seems innocuous enough; a question here and a change there, but in the heart of the man, woman or child who believe they have the Bible, the questioning of Gods words begin to remove from them the very foundation of truth they may have once held. Their Rockbegins to crumble under their feet and they no longer find themselves comfortable standing on solid ground.
When Pastors don’t believe their Bibles, it does not take long before their congregation begins to question the footing they had once built their faith upon. Soon enough the structure in which they once found shelter for problems in life begins to crumble above them. What happens next is as natural in our spiritual walk as it is in our physical life, we flee to find shelter elsewhere.
Nobody likes standing out in the open in the midst of a storm, we hope to find shelter, but where? Having now abandoned the one sure place of refuge that has been for ever settled(Ps 119:89), we turn firstly to the man that hinted that our hiding placewas unsafe, we bring our problems to him who has claimed to be a better authority than the book from which he preaches. Ignorantly making a rod for his own back, this ‘master’now has with him a line of appointments that remove any opportunity to give himself continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word(Acts 6:4).
The covers of the Bible of most Christians today are rarely separated from the page during a sermon. Having been convinced he does not have ‘every word of God’(Prov 30:3), the Christian no longer has the confidence to search the scriptures daily, whether those things [the preacher teaches]were so(Acts 17:11). Finding no confidence in the answers of scripture, the Christian now takes all his problems to the Pastor. Doubt in scripture has that very logical and simple effect; our confidence has been displaced, the Pastor said the Bible cannot be trusted, so we believe him!
A number of years ago I sat in a Bible college class and the pastor teaching had us turn to Judges 11:31. After doing so, the pastor was confident to exchange the word “and” in the verse, for ‘or’. Then he replaced the words “it up for” in the same verse, for the word “him”. The pastor, not ashamed for his mutilation of the passage, continued his transformation to make this most disturbing of passages palatable; he changed the word “lament” in verse 40 to ‘rejoice’, the very opposite word. He then went on to expound the reformed passage. The famous ‘Rash vow of Jephthah’, now became honorable.
I was personally disgusted that a pastor, charged to ‘teach the Bible’ in a Bible college, could do such a thing, and literally tossed my Bible across the table and said, “if you can justly do that to this book, then the Bible is not worth the pages it’s written on”.
The passage in Judges 11 is one of the most disturbing passages in the Bible, but that does not justify reason to change what it plainly says. Doing so had the natural effect upon me to discard the Bible as a whole, that is, if I decided to believe the pastor rather than the Book.
This is what eventually happens to congregations when their Pastors don’t believe their Bibles. This is exactly what is happening today.
FIRM FOUNDATION IN FEELINGS?
But we all come to know that Pastors are merely men, we are well aware that no man is perfect, and if we spend enough time with any pastor we know they can get things wrong. What to do? If I can’t fully trust the Bible, and I can’t fully trust the pastor, what then is my final authority on which I can depend?
With all the confidence of an alley cat, emotion makes its presence felt. It has the weight of ether and the transparency of wind, it provides for us the same spiritual nourishment for the soul as ice-cream does for the body, yet we continually turn our spoon to it the moment we feelit is right.
Without a final authority anywhere else, we naturally turn to our feelings. If it feels right, it is right, if it feels true, it is true and who are you to say different?Reason has lost ground to that ever-movable emotional state of man. Truth is relative, absolutes are preferential, logic is arrogant, and reality is bigotry. Having long dismantled the truth one word at a time by the pastor, the Church has finally turned to the vanity of the world for its compass. ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and no rudder shall ever dull the course of our vessel’, they say!
Our feelings now being left without correction, tell us when we should be happy and when we should be sad, unguided by truth, our experience of ‘feeling lost’ does not subside. We try new Pastors, we try new Churches and we even try new partners to help us feel better, but there seems to be no more shelterfor us, no strong towerto defend against ourselves (Ps 61:3). The pains and struggles and problems of life do not subside, and our feelings seem to govern each day. We do what the world does, lock our problems into a box, turn up the music, go to a movie and try to forget our troubles and, come on, get happy!
MONOTONOUS MANTRAS FOR THE MIND?
Pastors, having now removed ‘the obstacle’ of the Bible from the confidence of their congregations, and telling all the fables they need to ensure they remain in the favour of their dyslexic throng, see well that their congregants are perplexed by problems, and governed by emotion. However, rather than turn them back to the word from whence comeththeir wisdom… and…the place of understanding (Job 28:20), they bring to them a double portion of emotion through music.
Music has supercharged their senses and has become the emotional placebo of the ages, it is the natural fall-back of a world without the comfort of the Word. Dull the mind, and we dull its discernment, dull its discernment and…well, Gender Reveal parties are put off until the child tells the parent what sex it is!
For the Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches that dominate the Laodicean age we are in, there is no hope. Jesus is on the outside knocking that some may invite him in (Rev 3:20). But our Independent Baptist Churches are slowly making the transition, many shall first either displace their Bibles or their hymns, the one will always eventually precede the other, then sounds the trumpet of James 3:1.
WHAT’S THE COST?
When Pastors don’t believe their Bibles, their churches eventually return to faith in self and the desire for the salvation of the souls of others takes a back seat. The cost of Pastors not believing their bibles has an infinite effect upon the lost, and leaves those who should be teaching others unweaned from milk (Heb 5:12), though some might prefer ice-cream.
It’s not until we accept the infinite value of words that we can appreciate the cost of altering them. International agreements between nations are determined by words, words that save or destroy the lives or livelihoods of many, words that need perfect equivalence in translationin order to hold agreeing parties to account, and every effort is made to ensure that happens. But when the words are diluted, or changed, deleted or added to, such contracts become void of profitable value and lives and livelihoods are consequentially destroyed.
How much more the very words of God? The cost of altering the words of men is temporal, but who is it that fully understands the cost of altering Gods words, and has He warned us?
Pr Edi Giudetti