Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bethany Bullet - September 21, 2010

Back To School

Once we know who our teacher is…it is time to get our text book.

Last week in the news there was plenty of talk about book burning; specifically the burning of a “sacred text.” From the outset, let me make it clear that I believe the threat, let alone such an act, is totally foolish and immature. Certainly this event, or non-event, received far too much attention in public discourse; however, it has not received sufficient thought on our parts. Not on the appropriateness or lack of appropriateness of said event; but on the term “sacred text.”

We Christians, of course, would affirm that the Bible is sacred. The Bible is undeniably an amazing book. It was written…

+ Over a period of 1600 years
+ By over 40 authors
+ In 3 different languages
+ And on 3 different continents

Think about that for a minute…
If you were to start writing a book today, and 3 dozen people, most of whom you would never meet and were not related to, also contributed their own independent chapters, written in their own independent languages, from within the conditions of their individual circumstances and their own individual perspectives, and the whole project wouldn’t be completed until 3600 AD…

-> What kind of read do you think that would be?
-> How much sense would it make?
-> How reliable could it possibly be?

Yet, the Bible records ONE unified story. It truly flows, and has ONE core climactic event that pulls it all together in beautiful harmony. While such stats may make the Bible stupendous, they do not make it sacred. The Bible is sacred not because of its stats but because of its Source.

I would offer that the sacredness of a text is…
  • Not determined by the reader but the Writer
  • Not the hearer but the Speaker
  • Not the audience but the Author

Hence, there is only ONE sacred text and we didn’t determine that to be the case when we became people of the book (Christians); rather, God determined it when He inspired and directed its writing.

“Scripture, every passage of it, was breathed out by God.” -II Tim. 3:16

The term “breathed out” gives rise to the word inspiration. Scripture is inspired and breathed out by God. It is why it is true, authoritative, and inerrant.

a. Inspiration is the way some versions of the Bible translate “breathed out”. What does inspiration mean? God, through His Spirit, moved the authors of scripture to record His very words. While using their skills, experiences, languages, and styles God authored the Scripture through its various authors. II Peter 1:21 – “above all you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

b. As the inspired Word of God it is the inerrant Word of God - without mistake!

A text is sacred, not because it is ours, but precisely because it is HIS; His self-revelation and self-communication with us. The truth of all truth is that in the sacred Scripture God reveals His love for us. Interestingly enough that love is seen most clearly in the destruction of a Sacred Text.

+ Not a text of paper and ink, but one of flesh and blood
+ Not words written on a page, but Word made flesh among us
+ Not in a parking lot, but on a hill outside Jerusalem,

…when the INCARNATE WORD OF GOD, Jesus Christ, suffered and died in our place to release us from sin’s prison, to open our eyes to the grace, love, and truth of God, and to DECLARE US sacred!

Which leads us back to the beginning…
So I ask you, how ought we, people declared to be sacred through faith in Christ and called to live sacred lives by the guidance of His Spirit, testify to the sacred truth of the Scripture? By destroying someone else’s text or by breathing ours in so that we might breathe it out to others?

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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