February 2, 2010

Slip sliding away

After hibernating for several dreary snow filled days I awoke to the invitation of the sun bidding me to come outside and capture a glimpse of the winter wonderland that a recent winter storm had left behind.

I quickly obliged, new camera in hand, of course. Rushing out the front door my husband stopped me before I'd descended from the porch. "Be careful, it's solid ice" he said, as I was looking out at the blanket of white snow and my anticipation for taking pictures began to heightened.

"I'll walk through the snow" I replied thinking he was talking about the driveway. "No, you need to come here to me and I'll take you down to the street. Go slow." Honestly I did not want to heed his call as I preferred walking through snow to sliding downhill. Afterall, the camera is new, what good is a broken lens?

He could see that I was not overly thrilled but I moved toward him. We've been married 25 years. He's a smart man. I trust him. Taking my hand we slipped down the driveway together. I won't lie. Despite the cold I was sweating by the time we reached the bottom. It's hard to be graceful with only one good leg to stand on. Needless to say I prayed under my breath the entire way down.

As we walked slowly around the corner he explained to me that the snow was not what it seemed. It was covered by a layer of ice because of the freezing rain from the night before. Our driveway was solid ice as well but the surface was flat. So was the street he walked me down. It was much safer to try to maintain our footing on a flat ice-covered surface then on the bumpy ice-covered snow. Still it was a challenge for me to stay upright.

Last night as I was laying in bed I thought about some comments left on a recent article I wrote. I'd meant for it to be factual but it stirred controversy regarding whether the Bible is a fiction or non-fiction book.

A question I asked on Twitter revealed that some believers feel that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. Others believe that it is not "free of error" and subject to personal interpretation. That led me to do some online reading. I discovered that there are several "camps" with opposing views on the subject. One group believes in both the inerrancy and infallibility of the Word. Another believes in the inerrancy of the Word but not the infallibility. Yet another group believes that neither are true.

The longer I live the more camps I see. It is disheartening to me. Even more discouraging is the fact that many people don't want to hear truth. Truth is whatever they choose to embrace as being real. At least that is what I've been told by some--although I'm not gullible enough to fully believe it.

Subjects like the inerrancy and infallibility of God's Word have become slippery slopes. The word of God is pure just like the winter white of freshly fallen snow. Yet over the years we've continually watered down the truth. Snow and water create ice. Many souls are slip slidding away down a slope that we, the Church, have created.

What we need is some trustable guidance. We need the Holy Spirit and spirit-led teachers to help safely lead people to their destination--heaven. Ice can be deceivingly beautiful but it's incapsulating. We need the Son to shine, melting the ice from our hearts, so that we are able to receive God's truth with purity of mind and spirit.

Otherwise more people will keep slip sliding away. I used to think of evangelism in terms of souls who'd never heard the Gospel message. People lost and in need of salvation. It was something that was done outside the four walls of the Church.

I've discovered that there is much outreach to be done among the camps. Evangelism is not just for the world it is also for the Church. It's about many who've heard some deluded diluted form of teaching for so long that they've never heard or embraced the truth of God's Word and their need for a Savior.

Someone once said that hell will be filled with people who had good intentions. Good deeds, the best of intentions, belonging to a cause will not get a person to heaven. There is only one way and His name is Jesus.

With each and every passing day less is said about Him. Personal accomplishments mean nothing, a personal relationship, with Jesus, means everything. There is no way to relate to Him properly without spending time in the Word.

People are spending time in part of the Word. What about the whole truth and nothing but the truth? What about the Word of God rightly divided? Do we pick and choose the parts we enjoy camping around that leave us feeling warm? Or are we willing to embrace His truth even when it's cold steel blade cuts like a knife?

Those are hard questions, I realize. But then again it seems the nearer our destination the more we're slip sliding away.

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. II Timothy 3:16

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

12 comments:

Julie Harvey said...

Amen! You know your statement slip sliding away also reminds me of a song...and even the song talks about a destination (cant quite remember the words though). Im pretty sure it is Paul Simon who sings it!
It is disheartening to me also, when Christians divide themselves in to camps. So much can be said on this subject also, food for thought as always Rev!
blessings,
Jules

Colleen Foshee said...

"The longer I live the more camps I see. It is disheartening to me. Even more discouraging is the fact that many people don't want to hear truth. Truth is whatever they choose to embrace as being real." These statements could have come straight out of Jesus' mouth too! Can you imagine being Him and confronting all the error, heresy, and apathy? I have to look at how He responded to this situation. I think it is summed up with "He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly." We're seed throwers. What happens to the seed is God's deal. Thankfully. Don't let it get you down cause it's not getting Him down.

Melinda Lancaster said...

Jules, I was actually humming the song as I wrote this post.

C, I do often think about that. He did not retaliate but I do believe it hurt. I also believe that God is grieved by some of the things that are being taught as TRUTH these days.
Yes, we are seed throwers. I'm just checking my seeds to make sure that they aren't rotten. So many are throwing nonsense around and it grows like weeds.
I pray that the seeds I sow will be good and that He'll be glorified by the crops they produce.

KevinCole509 said...

Put me in the "inerrant and infallible - but suspicious of what a lot of people who trumpet those words often try to manipulate it to mean" camp. :) SO many pull those terms out just before they start wielding the pickaxe of their judgment of others, rather than letting the word speak for itself and God judge for himself. Just in case God doesn't whack you hard enough, they get a few good ones in - to kind of help him out...

The word? Inerrant. Infallible.

My understanding? (probably yours too) Could use some work. For which Jesus left us the Holy Spirit.

Melinda Lancaster said...

Excellent points, Kevin.
When I created the "Just Give Me Jesus Without the Junk" website about 8-9 years ago people emailed me all the time because of the "disclaimer" I have on the front page.
I wanted to avoid all of the religious jargon that we so often use to slap people around. Many of the readers would ask me if I was saved. LOL!
Yet over the past decade or so I've found that people are now camping around other words.
I won't go into them in this comment but we've got so many "movements" among Christians that it sounds like we need an gasterologist.
Meanwhile the basic tenants of the faith are not being taught. We are keeping it warm, fuzzy, and nice.
Jesus was not warm, fuzzy or nice but He was Love, Truth, Righteousness, Holiness, etc. We're supposed to become more like Him every day.
When we start refusing to use any of those words because we want to keep everyone happy then there is a problem. The Word watered down continually makes for a very slippery slope.
The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. I'm so thankful that I have the same teacher as you, the Holy Spirit, as we walk through this classroom called "life."
Thanks for the comment!

jasonS said...

I believe we hold on to the pet doctrines and warm and fuzzy feelings until we are pushed out of that comfort. We can choose it, but rarely if ever do. That's why the Holy Spirit within us helps us to cry out, "Lord, whatever it takes I want to be closer to you." When we experience the reality of His truth, we are changed forever. Thanks Melinda.

Anonymous said...

It sure is easy to observe a few apparent consistencies from a limited viewpoint with flawed vision and retarded understanding over a short period of time and build a falsely comforting picture of this illimitable, unexplainable, infinitely creative God. There is no real comfort in the idea that we have figured him out - because we haven't; but there's a great deal of comfort in knowing that as uncontrollable as he is, he is good, he is loving and he loves us. He is no tame God. But he is our loving Father.

Melinda Lancaster said...

Jason: My heart is crying out. I need more of Him, less of others, even less of me.

Anynomous: "There is no real comfort in the idea that we have figured him out - because we haven't; but there's a great deal of comfort in knowing that as uncontrollable as he is, he is good, he is loving and he loves us. He is no tame God. But he is our loving Father." WELL SAID!

One of the greatest things about "romance" is the pursuit. When people in a "love relationship" begin to feel they've learned everything they can about each other it turns into a routine or ritual.

Wonderful comment. Thank you for stopping by & sharing.

Cheryle Touchton said...

Great post

Scotty said...

Nice post, good job!

A couple thoughts: while Jesus wasn't retaliatory, He was by no means passive. To the contrary, He directly, boldly, and assertively addressed those who abused the teaching of God. While doing that, He was busy teaching pure truth. That's a couple examples we need to continue in.

Scotty said...

Nice post, good job!

A couple thoughts: while Jesus wasn't retaliatory, He was by no means passive. To the contrary, He directly, boldly, and assertively addressed those who abused the teaching of God. While doing that, He was busy teaching pure truth. That's a couple examples we need to continue in.

Melinda Lancaster said...

Excellent points, Kevin.
When I created the "Just Give Me Jesus Without the Junk" website about 8-9 years ago people emailed me all the time because of the "disclaimer" I have on the front page.
I wanted to avoid all of the religious jargon that we so often use to slap people around. Many of the readers would ask me if I was saved. LOL!
Yet over the past decade or so I've found that people are now camping around other words.
I won't go into them in this comment but we've got so many "movements" among Christians that it sounds like we need an gasterologist.
Meanwhile the basic tenants of the faith are not being taught. We are keeping it warm, fuzzy, and nice.
Jesus was not warm, fuzzy or nice but He was Love, Truth, Righteousness, Holiness, etc. We're supposed to become more like Him every day.
When we start refusing to use any of those words because we want to keep everyone happy then there is a problem. The Word watered down continually makes for a very slippery slope.
The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. I'm so thankful that I have the same teacher as you, the Holy Spirit, as we walk through this classroom called "life."
Thanks for the comment!

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