Thursday, June 27, 2013

Christian Credibility

If you believe in the creation of the universe in 6 days, you are an idiot, and there’s no point in having a conversation. And if you believe that marriage should be reserved only for men and women, shutting out loving same-sex couples, you are a hater, and you ought to be silenced. If you hold either of these positions, you have no credibility in modern society. You are an old fool who should be ignored or quarantined.

That is fast becoming the attitude toward Christians in our society. Now, not all who profess to be Christians hold to 6-day creation or a traditional definition of marriage, but I want to make a point about Christian credibility. It is not established in the court of public opinion, but depends on a consistent reliance on a firm foundation.

Biblical authority is our firm foundation. Christians are credible when they consistently form their positions from what God’s Word, the Scriptures, say. Our consciences and our conduct must be shaped by what God has said. We must face every issue with the question, “What does the Bible say?”, and then act accordingly. 

But we must face the fact that, regardless of a stiff headwind from secular society, we have created our own Christian credibility crisis. We have done so by failing to be consistent in our appeal to the Biblical witness. Pastors and churches have entertained all kinds of theories about creation, often opting for renditions that feel a little less rigid, and many have placed solid exegesis of Scripture in a secondary position. Also, Pastors and churches have not honored and protected marriage between a man and a woman, and most have ceded spiritual oversight in the area of marriage preparation and practice and also in the area of dealing with the threat and fact of divorce.

The world around us can then rightly say, “If you don’t take your own Book seriously, why should we take you seriously?” And so the issue is, if we are to have credibility, do we stand firmly on a Scriptural foundation.

Yes, there are differences in Biblical interpretation. But not so many as you may think. Most of the differences have to do with ignoring or abandoning what the Bible clearly says. 

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