Leaving Your Bible?

My father and mother used to carry a Bible to church with them every Sunday. My brothers and sisters and I, when we were old enough to read, were given aopen bible 2 Bible so we could do the same. We didn’t leave the house without our Bible because my father would surely tell us to go back and get it.

Many people, however, have stopped carrying their Bibles to worship and Bible study. This is a mistake because it is impossible to study the Bible without one!

While it was a long, long time ago, I remember that in school the best students always took their books home and studied their lessons. The ones that didn’t care never did homework and never took their books home. You could see them throwing their books into the locker at the end of the school day.

As a preacher, I have been curious as to why someone coming to Bible study would enter the building without carrying a Bible. It seemed to me to be a bit strange. When I asked about it, one person said, “I guess I just didn’t think to pick it up.”

Now, I don’t know if this is the most common reason why many folks leave their Bibles at home, but I expect it may be. If so, it is a terrible reason. Why? It is terrible for several reasons.

  • Leaving the Bible at home means we will not know if preachers and teachers are telling us the truth. How could we know if we are being told the truth when we don’t have a Bible to see if what they’re saying is the truth ourselves?
  • How could anyone claim to be a student of the Bible if we leave the most important book ever written at home?
  • Could it be that many people just don’t care anything about the Bible? There has been a trend over the last few years of people attending worship and skipping Bible study. Those who do so usually don’t carry a Bible to worship. If they don’t care to study the Bible on Sunday and Wednesday night, isn’t that indicative of a person that lacks the proper care to “study to show thyself approved unto God? (1 Timothy 2:15 KJV).
  • It may be the case that many people have a disjointed idea about the Bible having anything do to with worship or Bible study. If that is true, then how could that be? Who would have told them the Bible should never be read or studied?
  • Is it just carelessness? Perhaps it is carelessness linked to habitual behavior. We leave the Bible home and go to church and before we know it, we’re constantly, habitually leaving it at home and going to church.

What do these possible reasons say about those who leave their Bibles at home when they attend worship and/or Bible study? Well, it doesn’t say anything good, does it?

This Sunday, don’t forget to take your Bible to church with you.

Political Correctness in a Cookie Cutter World?

The latest kerfuffle about the Confederate flag shows how people can become ridiculously involved in proving something that isn’t true.

The Confederate States of America ended with the surrender of the armies of that now extinct nation in 1865. This means that for 155 years, the CSA has not existed. Yet, there are people willing to go to argument and/or war over a flag that represents a nation that hasn’t existed for 250 years.

In my opinion, that’s just a little weird.

All of this brouhaha started when the news media linked the terrible shootings in South Carolina to a photograph of the alleged shooter holding a Confederate flag. Almost immediately, the shouts came loud and long for the flag flying in South Carolina’s capital to come down. Why? Well, at the time it was because it wasn’t flying at half-staff as the other flags were. Suddenly people like Mitt Romney called for the flag (which was not even flying atop the capital building, but at a site yards away) to come down.

Now, we’re still talking about a flag that hasn’t represented any government (that’s what flags do) for 155 years.

We need to be careful that we do not place so much importance upon symbols. Of course, I know the world loves to do that. The world loves to do any number of things that are ridiculous and unnecessary.

People say there are those who are offended by the Confederate flag. As far as I can tell, a piece of cloth cannot offend anyone. It is simply a piece of cloth. Well, some say, that Confederate flag stands for racism. And this is according to whom? Isn’t this a judgment that has been rendered by the news media? On what basis is it true?

I am reminded of people who every Sunday kneel in front of a brass or bronze cross. The cross has become a powerful symbol of Christianity to some, but should a symbol have that kind of power? Or is it a violation against the commandment, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them,” (Exodus 20:4-5 NASB).

“But, people are offended by that flag.” People are so easily offended by just about anything. Does this mean that we are all supposed to give up our freedom of expression for political correctness? Have we arrived at a place in this country where we are all supposed to fit into someone’s idea of a cookie cutter world?

Faith and Knowing

What do you think about faith?

There are some who think that faith is accepting without knowing, or that faith has nothing to do with knowledge and certitude.

What does the Bible teach?

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth,” (John 8:32 NASB). But, after this was written, many have said, “You can’t really know anything about the truth.” Or, “you can’t really be sure about what you think you know.” I sometimes wonder if the people who say such things are sure they are certain of that.

So, what some people have is a faith that is completely divorced from faith, reason and knowledge.

Yet, the law of rationality states, “We must accept only those conclusions that are proven by the evidence.” Truth is propositional and true things can be proven true. If the Bible is true, it is true because there is evidence that it is true. If God exists, then his existence is true because it can be proven true. Believing in a god that cannot be proven is to say, “I like being irrational.”

To think that faith is divorced from rationality or evidence is to think that Jesus had no real idea concerning what he said in John 8:32.

Then, there are those who closely mimic the idea that faith is devoid of reason by saying that faith is completely removed from certitude. Therefore, when Jesus said, “You shall know the truth,” he was wrong because belief and faith lie outside the purview of certitude.

When Jesus asked his disciples if they were going away with the others, Peter said, “To whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God,” (John 6:68-69 NET). Peter’s faith was not one that lacked certitude. He said, “We have come to believe and to know.” He didn’t say, “We’ve got a pretty good guess.”

Sometimes, folks forget that when they sometimes think that “knowledge only takes you so far, then you’ve got to have a ‘leap of faith.’” The “leap of faith” is characteristically known as “a leap into the dark.” This mistake here is believing that knowledge only comes through sense experience. People who put faith into the same category as “things I don’t know and of which I can’t be sure,” don’t understand how the BIBLE teaches faith.

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor

Southern Standard

McMinnville, Tennessee

An ordinance currently considered by the McMinnville City Council would remove the 300 ft. boundary between churches and schools and stores selling alcohol. Such a government passing such a measure is guilty of feigning an interest in protecting its citizens, and demonstrating a flagrant, careless attitude.

If city leaders decide to approve removing the boundary even more space would be created for even more or larger alcohol stores thus creating more and more drunk drivers on the roads and more people hopelessly addicted to alcohol.

Approving the ordinance would mean the government is willing to expose citizens to an increased danger of death or disability to collect more tax money or to increase the amount of fines for drunk driving. Any government that increases the availability of alcohol by removing the boundaries and then arrests people for drunk driving is governing by a logical contradiction. On one hand, they applaud and approve the consumption of alcohol while penalizing those who drink it.The role of government should be to protect citizens, not place them in jeopardy.

The approval of this ordinance to remove the boundary would be inappropriate and harmful to the people of McMinnville and Warren County.

John Henson

Dibrell Church of Christ

95 Gills Rd.

McMinnville, TN 37110

Rowling attacks religious body

Members of the lesbian and gay community and their supporters rejoiced Wednesday when J.K. Rowling, the writer of the “Harry Potter” books took on a Baptist church in the U.S. because of its opposition to homosexuality and accused it of bigotry and “hate speech.”

On May 26, Rowling “tweeted” in response to the church’s opposition to homosexuality that the opposition to homosexuality by Westboro Baptist Church was the produce of their “tiny bigoted minds” and “your thick sloping skulls.”

“Huffington Post” reported, “This isn’t the first time she’s used her Twitter handle to pass out wisdom and shut down the bigoted.”

The following day, Rowling tweeted, “I don’t care about WBC. I think it’s important that scared gay kids who aren’t out yet see hate speech challenged.”

Rowling’s first tweet was designed as an “ad hominem” attack, labeling the church’s members as having “bigoted minds” and “thick sloping skulls.” Her second tweet attacked the church in an only slightly veiled accusation of the church pushing “hate speech.”

It is clear that Rowling as well as others who defend the sinful act of homosexuality as condemned in the Bible intend to level their attacks at religious bodies by accusing them of bigotry and “hate speech.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a likely Republican candidate for president, warned Wednesday that the homosexual community and its supporters are likely to use the “hate speech” label to condemn churches and their members.

“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech. Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” Rubio said.

Rubio said that after the homosexual community was through attacking members of churches it would begin launching an attack of the “mainstream teachings of Christianity” as hate speech. From Rowling’s inconsiderate attack, it would appear Rubio is correct.