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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When In Doubt, Err On The Side Of Scripture

A while ago I was involved in an on-line exchange with a few Christians who were debating the role of women in the church. It wasn't a spirited debate, you know the kind, each side is threatening the other with hellfire and brimstone for the misinterpretation of a particular syllable or vowel, Instead it was more resigned, like the participants had all agreed on a point and no one was happy about it. They agreed that there is no male or female in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28) so female preachers were inevitable and maybe even should be encouraged. I don't think that's what Paul and God's Holy Spirit meant by Galatians 3:28 because both Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 describes how a church elder must be a man who is blameless and faithful to his wife. Personally I don't think these verses qualifies a woman to be considered for the position of an elder in a church, 

I may be mistaken on this because I'm not a Greek scholar, nor have I spoken at any length on this subject with Paul. In the military when you're stuck in a predicament and not sure what action to take the rule of thumb is "When in doubt, err on the side of victory" (AKA When in doubt win the war). However when discussing doctrine and theology and you come to a point of debate the only solution is "When in doubt, err on the side of scripture" How can you possibly go wrong? We dig up lots and lots of verses from the new and old testaments that tell about the veracity of scripture but why dig that far? It's right there in the Gospels, it's exactly what Jesus wanted us to know. Jesus taught us that scripture was God-breathed, and when He was confronted with Satan Jesus firmly said:
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" (Matthew 4:4) 
What more do we need? Right there Jesus said that the scriptures are all we need. We are to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. "Every word" means that bit of scripture, every "jot and tittle" was important to Jesus. 
17 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. " (Matthew 5:17-18)
And Jesus told us that the Bible is the truth:
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17)
Who are we to argue with Jesus? I certainly am not going to argue with my King, so I adopt the "When In Doubt Err On The Side of Scripture" plan. Jesus loved scripture and quoted from it quite often, in fact he quoted from 24 different books of the Old Testament. He even read it in Synagog: (This works great when you emphasize certain words)
16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.” 20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:16-21)
So where am I going with all this?  First of all It's plainly obvious that to follow Jesus we should want to emulate Him, and follow His teachings. One very important part of His teaching was the inerrancy of scripture and the fact that scripture is God-breathed. Or to put it in less churchy language: Jesus told us that the word of God is The Word Of God. How can this not make reading the Bible more exciting? Just knowing that the words on that page come from God Himself! Wow.

Secondly - knowing that Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh, our Lord and Master told us this about scripture if we have any doubt on what Jesus wants us to do it's plainly clear: Err On The Side Of Scripture.

Lastly - what should we do if someone tells us that maybe the bible isn't the word of God? Personally I say "pray for them, and keep your distance" Yes, this is a cheesy way of hyping this years 2nd Annual False Teacher of the Year award, which will be coming out soon, but when I hear someone say "Did God really that?" I hear the hiss of a serpent. (Genesis 3:1). We are under attack from all sides, but the cruelest attack is when Satan puts the doubt of God's word in our heads. It's the oldest trick in Satan's book. John MacArthur says this is "the basic false doctrine that satan propagates. He always denies the authority of scripture"

To be honest I sometimes hear that voice, occasionally doubt about scripture sneaks unbidden into the back of my mind, and one thought dispels those thoughts: "Jesus had no doubts about scripture, why should I?" My heart goes out to those that can't discern between the word of God and the twisted parody of scripture that people like Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Eugene Peterson, Pope Francis, and Oprah Winfrey spew. I pray that they can pick up a bible and read for themselves and find out what God is really all about.


  1. Yes I agree with what you say here, but isn't it true that there were no titles for the chapters before? It seems like the more we go on in years the more titles and notes and other marks seem to appear in each updated Bible or study Bibles.

    1. Yes, you're right, there were no titles for chapters before (just as there were no verse numbers either) And you will notice that different translations have different chapter and subchapter titles