“(5) Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
(6) Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”
This was part of my Bible reading this morning, and verse five was such a comfort to me that I shared it on my Facebook page. I got to pondering how awesome it is that God has given us His Word, and what a refuge I have found it to be throughout my life. When I’m discouraged as I have found myself to be recently, I know to turn to God’s Word and to prayer and to dig in and pursue Christ - even when I don’t feel like it, especially when I don’t feel like it. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am that my salvation and sanctification are not dependent upon how I feel at any given moment. My salvation and sanctification are grounded, firmly rooted, in who Jesus is and what He has done to grant my salvation and sanctification. It is not how much faith I have, it is WHO my faith is placed in, and He will never, ever fail. He came to save whoever believes in Him. Our memory verse for this week’s Bible study lesson in my women’s group at church as we are working through the book of Titus this year was Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age”, and as we looked at Titus 2:11-14 this week, we also discussed our blessed hope in Christ, and we looked at passages in the Bible that encouraged us that Christ will present us who belong to Him holy and blameless to God.
So, as I thought about Proverbs 30:5 this morning and read on to verse 6, I realized the thought isn’t complete without that verse, too, so I shared it as well. What immediately came to mind for me was that this is just one of the many things that I believe are wrong with certain books that have become popular in Christian circles, specifically books like The Shack and Jesus Calling. In a sense they are adding to God’s Word in a way we really ought not to do. The Shack in that it has God presenting Himself in a way He does not in the Bible, which He gave to us specifically so we would know Him as He wants to be known. We have no right to misrepresent God. I am so tired of hearing the argument that that book helps people to understand God better. Not if what you’re coming to understand is contrary to what He has said in His word, you aren’t. Remember, our feelings are NOT the judge of what is true and right. God’s Word is. And Jesus Calling, well, it’s claiming to be the words of Jesus. I don’t need Jesus Calling when I have the actual, you know, Bible. Tim Challies had some great posts about both of those books here and here, by the way, and another good post about why he doesn’t plan on seeing the movie version of one of them, either.
I think the reason I’m rambling on about this is that I’ve seen some discussion floating around about the upcoming movie, and what bothers me a lot is how quick people are to defend very strongly these books, but we who are concerned about holding a high view of God’s Word are called legalists and told we’re putting God in a box (um, no). I’d rather be vigorous about defending and sharing God’s revealed Word than some fictional book that has a lot of problems with it. Read it or not as your conscience allows, but turning a blind eye to the concerns people are voicing and claiming these books help you to know God better is flat out dangerous. A friend of mine posted something and got some push back and I private messaged her and encouraged her, but, frankly, I find it exhausting to get into Facebook comment thread arguments over these books. No, I DON’T have to read them so I can be better informed. I just don’t. My dad and I were talking once about how frustrating it is when people spend so much energy defending popular books that have bad theology and tell us to 'eat the meat and spit out the bones,' and who spend more time reading that stuff or fluffy devotional books and not as much in studying the actual Bible, and he said, “Why is God’s Word never enough for these people?” I agree. We Christians belong to God. We need to be discerning in what we allow to shape our thinking about God. There are many examples in Scripture that show us how seriously God takes this. Shouldn’t we take it seriously, too?
My pastor preached a great sermon about the Holy Spirit and the Scripture this past Sunday and he discussed the reformation point of Sola Scriptura. I’m sharing a link to it below. I am so thankful for my church and my pastor and elders who hold a high view of God and His Word and are serious about equipping us to be faithful followers of Christ. They stay on message and encourage us every week.