Personal truth questions the authority of the word of God
Christians, who make up a majority of U.S. adults (71%), are divided over how to interpret the Bible. While about four-in-ten Christians (39%) say the Bible’s text is the word of God and should be taken literally, 36% say it should not be interpreted literally or express another or no opinion. A separate 18% of Christians view the Bible as a book written by men, not God.
The above numbers by Pew research reflect an alarming trend showing American Christians do not believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God. When personal truth is the dominant message in the culture, then individuals, with little or no knowledge of the Bible, feel empowered to determine the authenticity of the word of God.
If people don’t believe that the Bible is the word of God, then they can give themselves the permission to pick and choose the verses they like and ignore the ones that don’t appeal to them. They still call themselves a “Christian” even though their lives are shaped by their own personal values. If anyone challenges their views, they are accused of being judgmental and unloving.
We see this trend at a larger scale in various churches as well. Some churches are focused on catering to people’s needs to the point that they do not want to say anything that may sound offensive or judgmental to the members. Some are so trendy that you may miss the fact that the church is all about Jesus and not about the people’s desires. Other churches focus on positive Biblical messages in the name of encouraging people, but they shy away from speaking on sin or God’s judgment. Some churches clearly defy the word of God by condoning sin and immorality when the scripture is very clear about sin and abominations.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
You see one of the main problems with personal truth is that erects a stronghold in a person’s life in which they think that they are right. People hide behind their own views and experiences, and they are not willing to be teachable. Some think that religious leaders are oppressive, therefore, they do not trust them. They assume because people have not walked in their shoes nor understand their background, they are not qualified to correct them or offer a different point of view. If anyone challenges their views, then those individuals are considered religious, oppressive, and dogmatic. Personal truth chokes the life of God and the love of God in people’s hearts, and it makes excuses to live a selfish, prideful, and self-preserved life.
The Bible teaches us that God’s word is a light to our path. The word of God also tells us that scriptures are beneficial in correcting and in helping us to become mature. If our own ideas were so great, then why in the world did we seek the Lord to begin with!? If we don’t take in the word of God on a regular basis, then how are we going to be corrected towards living a righteous life? How are we going to experience the freedom and the transformation that Jesus bought on the cross for us? How are we different than the rest of the world if we live our lives by the dictates of our emotions, thoughts, and experiences!?
If we are a Christian, we need to make the commitment that God’s word has supremacy in all areas of our lives and that we are willing to surrender our own truths, ideas, and opinions to its authority. We acknowledge the fact that God’s word has transformed us and that we will continue to need His word to teach, to exhort, and to correct us. As we approach the end of the age, it will be even more important to have the word of God as our anchor in the midst of all the confusion and the darkness around us.
The Lord continues to show me the insidious impact of personal truth in our culture, so I will continue on this subject in the next devotional.