Name any controversial issue, and Christians will debate it. Challenge their viewpoint, and they will defend it left and right.
Then, finally, they’ll get around to saying, “I believe it because it’s in the Bible.” They’ll pull out passages from here and there to prove their point. And when all’s said and done, they’ll have merely presented any given theory and found Bible passages to “back it up.”
How do I know? I’ve been there, done that. And from my observation, I am not alone.
It doesn’t sound so bad, really. What’s all the fuss?
Using passages of Scripture to prove your point doesn’t do more harm than good. It does harm rather than good. Why? Because God’s Word does not exist to prove your points. It has its own points.
Don’t get me wrong. You may discuss and debate and work all you like to defend your stance. That’s your call. Just don’t throw God into the equation. Don’t tag him on the end of your defense like a trump card. I win, because the Bible says so. Nope. The Bible wins regardless of what you say.
I don’t know about you, but I have a proud, sinful nature that, for all practical purposes, prefers to take the position of God when it has the chance. I tend to say all manner of things that are my own, then pretend that God was actually the one who said them.
Not okay. What to do?
Well, I won’t pretend it’s easy, but I have challenged myself to start with the Bible and simply say what it says. When God says it, I don’t have to prove a thing.
Then, if I want to add my own ideas, great. My concern is only that my listeners know when I’m speaking God’s Word and when I’m speaking my own. I pray the two never contradict. But then, I know myself better than that. So I pray even more that I will never presume to be God or to speak in his place.
I have challenged myself to use the Bible not as a crutch but as a firm foundation. Not as something to fall back on, but as solid footing for a wayward soul. Not as a rescue plan when I need someone to agree with me, but as a bold and steady guide which dictates the desires of my heart and the musings of my mind.
I want to run to the Bible before I need it. To know what it says before I make a decision or come to a conclusion. To believe it before I can even begin to formulate my beliefs.
That’s when I’ll find I no longer need to prove anything. The proving’s been done.
[image credit: flickr.com, journeyoftheword.com]