Know Your Bible “sows the seed” just like Jesus advocated – far and wide onto all kinds of soil. We seek to always “speak the truth in love” and trust some of our teaching takes root in good hearts. And it does. But there’s always some “rocky ground” out there.
A few weeks ago in a sermon I made the observation that sometimes people don’t want to know what God has to say. For any number of reasons, they have “made up their minds!” Recently we received a very interesting letter from a BCC student that illustrates that point pretty well.
This student had completed the first five lessons of the introductory course, but wrote to say he was stopping the course because he found lesson number six to be “offensive, arrogant, and condescending.” That got my attention. So, I read through lesson six. It is about Acceptable Worship, and discusses prayer, preaching, giving, the Lord’s Supper, and singing. Obviously, it advocates male preaching and a cappella singing.
Here’s the really interesting part. Unlike some criticisms we receive, this letter was very well written and very respectful. He stated that he had “a desire to learn more about the Bible and was reading it cover to cover.” He thanked us for the “value he found in our weekly broadcast,” and stated that the first five lessons were “appreciated and informative.” He even said that he chose to write because of our “generous service” he “owed us an explanation.” He also thanked us for offering the course. At this point you may be wondering, “How could such a nice fellow find a pretty straightforward explanation of Scripture so offensive?” Here’s a clue from his letter.
“I was looking for the purity of God’s word in the Bible. I was not looking for religious indoctrination into any particular religion. To me God is simple, God is Love. God is not religion and God does not need a man-made religion to speak for Him or make rules for Him.” I suppose everybody has some preconceived notion of God; that’s part of being human. But if you set out to study His Own revelation of Himself, there is more than one way to go about it. One is to read the Word and let it direct your thinking. Another is to read it and discount whatever doesn’t conform to your notions of God. When your rebuttal is “To me, God is…,” you probably won’t discover what God really did say.
I wrote the student a pleasant reply thanking him for all his kind words, and suggesting he consider reading through The Daily Bible. As long as he’s in the Word, he may yet discover it’s power.