Christian, you are not your own.

So, how about the great weather we’ve been having?

That’s kinda how I wanted to start this post.

Or how ’bout them Saints?

Just so you know, I’m really ready for something lighter on my blog. It’s been kinda heavy around here lately.

But this question has been weighing on my mind…

“Can I be a Christian and not believe that the Bible is inerrant?”

In other words, can I still be a Christian and believe that the Bible has flaws and error? *(see note)

The doctrine of inerrancy is simply this, “the doctrine that the Bible is fully truthful in all its teaching.” Scripture does not contradict itself. It does not misrepresent or manipulate the truth.

The attack on the doctrine of inerrancy is ages old. Wars have been fought on this issue alone.

The question is not, “does the Bible have a mistake?” but “does God make mistakes?”.

If we do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, then on what do we base our beliefs? The Bible itself claims to be inspired. If it claims to be inspired, but it isn’t, then God is a liar. If God is a liar…

So, what does the Bible claim about itself?

Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Isaiah 40:6 “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God stands forever.”

Psalms 119:105 “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

I Thessalonians 2:13  “When you received from us the Word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God breathed…”

John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth.”

I heard someone say this week, “I believe in the overall message of the Bible, but I don’t believe that it’s inerrant.” Why would someone believe in the overall message of a book that lies about being ultimate truth, perfect, infallible, eternal, God-breathed and without error?

I wouldn’t.

You know how much I like to over-simplify…

May I suggest that someone who holds to the view, “I am a Christian, but I don’t believe the Bible is without error.” is someone struggling with being told what to do?

Ahhh. That’s a big problem isn’t it? Who likes to be told, “You are not your own.” or “Submit your will to the Lord.” or “You are a living sacrifice.”?

Don’t I have rights?

How many times this week did you hear someone say, “It’s my body!”?

Christian, you are not your own.

This problem is as old as mankind. It is a problem that waged war ages ago. It is a problem that continues to wage war in the human soul. Mine and yours.

I fear this “self-sovereignty” is invading the Church.

The question of authority is the crux of the issue.
Absolute truth infringes on our authority over ourselves. It wages war on our autonomy. It is a direct attack on our rights.

Many times the Christian tries to “fix” Scripture. We try to make it fit into our choices, our perspective. We try to fit it into our idea of how we think things should be.

In Eugene Peterson’s, Eat This Book, he says, “We are fond of saying that the Bible has all the answers, and that is certainly correct…But the Bible also has all the questions, many of them that we would just as soon were never asked of us, and some of which we will spend the rest of our lives doing our best to dodge. You can’t reduce this book to what you can handle; you can’t domesticate this book to what you are comfortable with…This book has generative power; things happen to us as we let the text call forth, stimulate, rebuke, prune us. We don’t end up the same.”

Christian, you are not your own.

So, let’s say, I’m a Christian and I believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. What does that mean for my life?

Let me give a big shout out to Eugene ’cause he answers this question in his book too!

“[The Bible] is given to us in the form of a story that is intended to shape our entire lives into the story of following Jesus, a life lived to the glory of God.”

The Christian submits to the text. Ouch.

It hurts. We feel its impact. We conform to it. We become transformed by it.

John Calvin said, “All right knowledge of God is born of obedience.”

The Christian must not only ask, “What does the Bible say?” but also, “How can I obey what it says?”

And what does the Bible say? Yes, that’s where the Christian must go and stay and live.

Live there.

1 Corinthians 6:20  “You were bought at a price. Do not become enslaved by the world.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone the new has come.”

Acts 5:29 “We must obey God rather than men.”

2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Christian, you are not your own.

Okay, so glad we got all that worked out! {wink}

Next week something lighter like nuclear fusion or why eating dirt is a totally acceptable way to get in your trace minerals or how to keep Ava from putting peas in baby Matthew’s ears or why I can’t discipline my son like I discipline my daughters or why I’m thankful for spell-check. Something like that. Ish.

*I’m not addressing the issue of translation. Some translations are not as accurate as others. A good student of the Word will utilize available study helps to be sure of what God really is saying to us from the earliest documents. It’s well worth the effort.