Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm Skeptical About Skeptics

While researching a blog entry I stumbled across the Skeptics Annotated Bible. I really wasn't paying attention to the site title or side bars and was just flash reading the content and honestly I thought it was a joke site. Verses taken out of context, verses misunderstood, statements of "fact" made on partial verses. I think my favorite was the attempted argument that salvation is not based on faith but by works by using Old Testament verses as references.

They confuse Jehovah's Witnesses with mainstream Christianity, they claim that an item in the bible is wrong simply because they disagree with it or don't like it, they use the King James version to show highschoolers, that can't even spell Shakespeare let alone read it, how silly the bible is. I just read a screed where they thought it was funny that someone would try to eat a holy offering. I'm pretty sure that if the author actually read Leviticus rather than cherry pick partial verses for humorous effect he may have noticed that offerings made by the Jews were edible, and intended to be eaten. 

So in reviewing just a small portion of the web site I've identified the main issues that Skeptics have with the bible:

1. It's really thick, a person can't be expected to read all those words, can they? - I am guessing this is why these skeptics took so many references out of context. If they had read the entire verse they're lampooning, plus the verse before and the verse after much of their confusion would be resolved.

2. Reading is hard! Some of those words are really really big! - most readers are not taught to look up something they don't understand any more. I know that Websters Dictionary, or a good bible concordance doesn't contain nearly half the yuks that a good bible has, but if one of those was available many entries on the skeptics website would be gone.

3. They're applying their "sensibilities" to events that happened thousands of years ago - I can't actually blame the author of the website as this is a sin committed by many, many modern school teachers. Children are taught that today's society is the epitome of wonderful and history must be viewed through this skewed lens. The young soul that was authoring the web site has been programmed to ignore the era that the bible was written in and trained to inject their own personal opinions into a historical record completely improperly.

The Bible isn't a book of imaginary creatures and mythological feats of daring-do. And it is not a book of holy virtuous people showing us all by their good example how best to please God. Quite conversely the bible is a gritty down-and-dirty book of how to really tic God off without trying all that hard. Exodus could be renamed "People Just Don't Listen". Kings and Chronicles could be renamed "Ancients Acting Badly".  And one must keep in mind that the Bible is grounded in history and geography, if you ignore either then much of the bible in meaningless. Many times the bible mentions going up to Jerusalem, to modern people that generally means traveling north to Jerusalem, because when we look at a map north is up and south is down. Not in the Bible, Jerusalem is on top of a mountain so going to Jerusalem from any compass point is going "up", and inversely leaving Jerusalem is always going down. 

But those are symptoms of the real problem. I really think the main problem with bible skeptics is that God is not going to reveal the bible to them because spiritually they are dead. The bible must not only be read on a historical and geographic and literary level, it absolutely must be read on a spiritual level which an unbeliever cannot do because of their spiritual state of decay and death:
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (1Cor2:14)
A natural man is someone who has rejected the Spirit of God and believes they can survive just fine in this world without God's saving grace. To him the words of God are utter foolishness and he mocks those that do believe in God and God's word from a self destructive false sense of superiority. They've turned their back on God, and in return he holds back the meaning of his words until they are ready to accept them.
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,(Eph 1:17-18)
This is the doctrine of illumination in action. God's Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and revelation concerning Jesus Christ and opens our eyes so we can understand God's purposes in our lives. 
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1Cor2:10-13)
The Spirit of God always points to the word of God for our instruction. As Jesus told His disciples the Spirit repeats what the Father and the Son have already said, this repetition helps us remember and fully hear what God has told us. Sometimes we need to hear something several times to understand a concept, here is God's love in action. He knows we are a flawed imperfect creature, and in His wisdom and love He's given us a helper to guide us and teach us and all we have to do is ask for His helper.

A skeptic does not have this divine help, all they have is their own, poor, attempts at understanding and in that they fall so far short. These poor sad folk are not to be humiliated but to be pitied, for they're dead, they've just not stopped breathing yet. They can save their own lives, and it's our job to help them, but as we come roaring to the end of times we don't have much time left to complete the Great Commission.

No comments:

Post a Comment