Basic Bible Literacy

Krissa Lox

Active Member
I don't intend to post any commentary here about current events going on in political news, but going through a lot of commentary from other places, something keeps striking me as a recurrent problem that I think is more fair to attribute as a fault with contemporary churches than with politics.

Namely, that a lot of people from various political/philosophical/religious perspectives, not just one particular side or another, end up struggling with a lot of wonky ideas and risking themselves and others with ignorantly dangerous ventures, because they've somehow come to the 100% completely false belief that God's the one who needs them rather than the other way around.

And I know a lot of that is just normal human nature, why we need a Savior in the first place, and part of our daily cross to work on overcoming. But it seems like such a widespread problem now that I really wish the church as a whole would take more seriously the need to effectively reach people and take the time to have real relationships/mentorships/disciple programs that would prioritize the basic foundations of Christ first rather than leaving people on their own, or just asking them for money, trust, and blind obedience to the traditions of men to handle everything for them, or encouraging them to rush off into more complicated things without having a good solid foundation in place first.

Because no matter how great of a thing you might build, how much effort or resources or sincerity you might put into it, nothing will be able to stand over time without a good foundation underneath. And not only will it not stand and all you put into it go to waste, but the collapse will often cause a lot of hurt to other people and their works as well, and increase public skepticism toward the Lord you were trying to serve.

So, for all the emotions and opinions that might be going around out there, a lot that I see really seems to come down to a common denominator of people erroneously putting more faith in themselves than in God and then being shocked when it doesn't end up working out how they planned. And that's something that Christians as both individuals and as a collective probably need to be taking more responsibility for instead of offloading the results onto government institutions to deal with.

The government can't deal with it, even if it wanted to, because in Jesus' temptation in the desert (Matthew 4) He specifically left authority over the kingdoms of the world to Satan rather than taking that authority for Himself, and we as His disciples are not above our Master and need to be serving Christ through direct relationship with God to guide and provide for us, not through trying to use government power as an intermediary.

But what I'm trying to express here isn't about the government, but about faith that God is really the One in charge of the world no matter what illusions His enemies might try to spin to demoralize or disorganize or steal from us. And not only does He love us enough to have sent His only Son to sacrifice for our salvation, He also gave us a Bible and the Holy Spirit so that we're not left having to figure things out on our own or be helplessly victimized by others who try to lie or steal or dishonor us by misusing God's name.

And a large part of faith is having the humility to recognize that we are the ones dependent on God, not God dependent on us. And God loves us enough that we shouldn't fear that dependency, and He's powerful enough that He can make good on all that He's promised. No Christian needs to be doing morally questionable things with the idea that it's necessary to fight off some greater evil. Because our infinite God is more powerful than even the greatest evil the finite world can conjure up.

You can't rob people to build churches. You can't lie about real, objective truths just because a political adversary might gain some undesired benefit from your honesty. You can't overthrow the government just because it does things you don't like. The government's always going to be doing things we don't like, because it currently remains under Satan's authority rather than God's, which according to the Bible doesn't get remedied until Jesus comes back in the time of Revelation with a heavenly army (and notedly not using His human followers as part of that soldiery) to take over authority then.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't care or participate in things to try to wield our influence for better outcomes, but the basic foundations of knowledge and life in Christ have to come first for anything else to be effective, and if we're seriously contemplating sinful actions as something we feel necessary to serve God, then we've probably gone astray somewhere without realizing it and need to go back to revisiting and strengthening our foundational principles before proceeding further. Because God is NOT dependent on us, and the world's not going to fall apart if we slow down a bit to take some time to ensure we are really grounding ourselves in His will and Word, abiding in the vine, and remaining in right and loving relationship with Him.

And if there's something He really urgently needs us to do right now, He has the means of letting us know without a doubt and equipping us properly for it. The whole reason sheep need a shepherd and God has gifted us with a Great Shepherd to care for us is because we're not expected to be able to figure out what we should be doing or how to do it by our own faculties alone. We NEED godly guidance and support, whether or not we have the humility to admit it, because we often end up doing dumb things when relying solely on our own devices, no matter how great our motivating intentions might be.
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Looking forward to an updated post from ya.

Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately it's not looking likely I'll have much in the way of positive updates for a while. I think the extent of mass Biblical illiteracy has gotten to the point where the church itself may have become a modern illustration of the Tower of Babel, no longer having enough common understanding of its own foundational principles for meaningful communication to easily take place between its members.

While I can't speak for what other people's experience during this time might be since God can give differing situations and resources to His servants to work with in accomplishing His will, for me personally it's become more effective for now to focus on one-on-one ministry over public posting, to be able to give personalized Bible lessons where needed to facilitate understanding, and not get besieged by large groups of people with wildly unpredictable reactions and behavior because they have completely different ideas about what the Bible says than what it actually does.

It's not as easy to keep my bills paid with this approach, which I suspect is a large part of many people's preference to serve through mass publishing or broadcasting rather than engaging in personal relationships with struggling people, but this too is an area that requires trust in the Lord, because even if He asks for difficult things sometimes, He doesn't expect anyone to figure out how to do it on their own.