Tuesday. For some reason I really like Tuesdays. They are kind of the turning point for the week in my opinion. Usually Mondays are a day of non-stop catch up, but Tuesday is the day I take my daughter to gymnastics, which I think is probably more exciting for me (ex-gymnast mom) than her at this point, and then I come home to nap the kids and get ready for a Bible study that we host at our home each week. Our bible study is a sermon based discussion group and about ten of us meet up and go over what we learned on Sunday and dig deeper into study questions and analyze different verses and apply them to our own lives. Of course the typical Tuesday night will bring us on to other random topics as well and sometimes those nights are the best yet.
Anyways, in doing my preparation for tonight's study I came across a verse in 2 Timothy. Okay, now to back up just a tad. I think I have mentioned before that I fully believe in the Bible. I believe it is solely a God inspired book. I don't believe anything should be added to it and I don't believe anything should be taken away. In the words of one of my pastor's: "It is not man's opinion of God, nor is it a co-authored partnership with God, but it is God's inspired message divinely and mysteriously penetrating into our meager life on earth." With that said these are also some other truths I believe about the Bible. I believe it is our final authority. I believe it is used to confront our sin, especially our worship of self. I believe it disciplines us so we can change. It keeps us focused, with our eyes on Jesus, not on ourselves. I can go on and on about what else I believe about the Bible, but that was not the intention of this post so I'll move along.☺
Back to 2 Timothy. I came across this verse while doing a study on the words "sound teaching." It reads: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but have itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions." 2 Timothy 4:3. I found this verse very interesting. Sound teaching... when thinking about what that means to me I find it to be one of the most important factors in faith. How scary it can be to have faith in something that is not sound. That absolutely petrifies me. For me, if I am going to 100% put my trust in something I want to know it is 100% safe. Like, roller coasters for example. My husband and I both have no interest in riding any roller coasters that move around from state to state on a regular basis. (Sorry if any of you are carnies reading this! LOL.) I just don't trust equipment that is constantly being broken down and put back together! I want something solid. Never changing. It's funny that I even mention roller coasters because I can't even recall the last time I have been on one. The last time I was at Disneyland I was actually pregnant and snuck on to Indian Jones, yup, hid my belly under my sweatshirt. I'm sure some of you are thinking I was a horrible pregnant mother and that's ok. I also drank coffee from time to time and was known to miss a few prenatal pills! Yikes! There you go, maybe too much honesty. haha. So Indian Jones..that ride was quite jolty (is that a word?) and I decided I better keep it to It's A Small World after that. But I love that railroad roller coaster. I can't wait to go back now that there are no babies on board.☺
Okay, so back to sound doctrine! I hope that my analogy made some sense. I don't want to trust a book that man has written. Because I don't trust man. I trust God. I think it's interesting though how easy it can be to fall into that statement of "those with itching ears... looking for teachers to suit their own passions..." I can remember just about 6 years ago before the Lord brought me back to my knees that I was that person. I was the typical "buffet christian." If you haven't heard that term, it's one of my favorites. It's for those of us that pick and choose what we believe to be true and what we want to live by in the Bible. For example... maybe we strongly have a conviction against adultery, but fail to acknowledge the verse in Matthew 5:27-28 that states "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." To break it down, I imagine a buffet Christian with certain verses highlighted and other pages just blacked out. Or maybe they say, "that was not intended to be taken literal." Because let's face it, some things in the Bible are much easier to follow than others. It's easy to not "commit murder", but what about "loving and forgiving our enemies?" Now that's tough. That's why this buffet idea of picking and choosing what we want to live by sounds so much better. But it's not how we are intended to live.
I am fully aware that many will not agree with me on this and that's okay. That's why it's Heather's 365 Days Without Facebook. lol. All I can say to those that reject some or all of what I have to say on this subject is that I have been there. I am an incredibly skeptical person. But going back to my mindset several years ago, I also think that under the same topic of "buffet christian" is the type of person that can find certain verses in the Bible to support what they are doing no matter what. This is so dangerous. I have since learned that it is not all about a single verse out of context when looking for biblical wisdom. It's about what does the Bible say as a whole on that subject. I've also learned that wise counsel is the counsel of many.
I also find it necessary to be absolutely clear that although I believe 100% in what I believe I am not expecting everyone to agree with me and I am not calling you ignorant for not doing so. I encourage you to question what I have to say. Do your own research. I am telling you what I know to be truth and it's your decision to decide what to do with that information.
There is a man by the name of Lee Strobel. I'm not sure if any of you have heard of him, but he is the author of a book called The Case For Christ. His story fascinates me. He was a journalist at the Chicago Tribune for 14 years. Oh and let me also make mention that he was a full blown atheist. In an effort to prove Christianity wrong, he set out on a two year journey to investigate evidence for Jesus. Well, in his search to prove Christianity to be false, he found himself to be a believer. What fascinates me about Lee Strobel is his effort. He was not going to take anyone's word for it, he wanted to study and find out for himself. For some of us, this is not necessary, but for Lee what an amazing testimony.
I also know that sometimes people can get a bit off track and worry so much about doctrine and trying to explain their truths that they can then fall into another term. Legalistic. Living out the Bible is just as important as knowing it and believing in it. Sound teaching is extremely important, but if your lifestyle depicts that of something different what good is that knowledge? Sound teaching goes hand-in-hand with sound living. Of course this is a daily struggle. Not one of us is perfect, but that is not an excuse to not try in my opinion. All I can say is that I am incredibly thankful for a loving and forgiving God.
Well, I'll end on that note. Back to getting the house ready. Back to enjoying my Tuesday. Gotta plug in my new Scentsy warmers! I am so hooked on these things! Oh and I totally forgot to bring up the family pictures! Ugh. Okay I'll post a couple and more to come...Juneberry Photo deserves a post of her own! ♥