Warning, this post may contain language that is not suitable for those with sensitive ears. I’m going to be brutally honest in this blog post and share a burden with you that I have been carrying. I hope you will be able to see the heart behind these words.
In January of this past year, I posted an article to this blog that sought to address a major problem within evangelicalism. The article received a tremendous amount of attention and has since became one of the most widely read articles that I have written to date. Many have let me know that the problem I addressed in that article was something they also recognized, and something that has negatively affected them as well. The problem that I exposed in that article had to do with the epidemic of bible worship that occurs in much of evangelicalism.
In that article, I explain how many have unbiblically elevated the scriptures above the person of Jesus Christ Himself. Obviously, this is nothing new as this was also a problem in Jesus’ day as well (John 5:39-40). While I do not wish to rehash the specifics of that article, you can read the article I wrote back in January by clicking here. (Note: the article is not really about grammar as the title suggests.)
While the vast majority of people who read that article understood what I was communicating, unfortunately, a few completely missed the point I was trying to make. Some have falsely accused me of devaluing the scriptures, and have also made the assertion that I believe the original scriptures are not inspired or inerrant. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, this could not be further from the truth.
For the record, I’d like to state that I believe exactly what the scriptures say about themselves. I believe that all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). With that said, in today’s post, I would like to address a much deeper problem.
Behaving Like A Total Ass
I’m not sure if ‘assery’ is a real word. If it wasn’t, however, it is now. I am defining ‘assery’ this way:
Assery- The act of behaving like a total ass.
As you may know, I left the institutional religious system a few years ago. I did this precisely because I have a high view of the scriptures. I recognized that the religious system I had been a part of had very little in common with the ekklesia (church) described in the New Testament. As I began speaking out regarding what I was discovering about Christ & His bride, it obviously did not sit well with many of my brothers and sisters who did not share my concerns. Disagreement is a part of life, however, and I am used to it. I have learned that I do not have to agree with a brother or sister in order to love them, accept them, or have relationship with them. Unfortunately, many of my brothers and sisters in the religious system do not share that sentiment. Ironically, they claim that it is I who have not taken the scriptures seriously.
I have been around some rough environments in my life. I graduated from a pretty tough High School and encountered some difficult situations there. I was also employed as a corrections officer for several years in a state penitentiary in my home state. I was not always treated nicely there to say the least. None of those experiences, however, hold a candle to the level of hostility & personal rejection that I have faced at the hands of those who claim to cherish and defend the authority and inerrancy of the scriptures. I have observed a trend over the years. The same people who have consistently treated my family the worst, and who have acted like total ‘asses’ toward me over the years have been the same people who have been preoccupied with the authority of the scriptures.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that the belief that the scriptures are inerrant & authoritative are the reason why these people have treated me so badly, but I am saying it is not an accident that so many of the people who have behaved like total ‘asses’ toward me and my family are also the same people who seem to continually talk about the authority and inspiration of the scriptures.
Like I said, I have a high view of the scriptures. While I firmly believe the scriptures to be inerrant and inspired, I am more concerned with what the scriptures reveal, than the ink and pages themselves. My message and focus in life is a real, living person. This person (Jesus Christ) is revealed through the scriptures, but He is much more than a book. In my opinion, the consistent ‘assery’ of the folks who talk more about the ‘book’ than they do the person revealed through the book only proves the point that I was making in the article I wrote back in January. The point of the scriptures is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is literally the personification of love, but my experience with those who seem to be
concerned with proving that the scriptures are inerrant and authoritative have been anything but loving.
Nevertheless, I have some good news today for those who may be reading this article who feel called to defend the authority and inerrancy of the scriptures. I have two suggestions for you that may help you be more effective in your quest to defend and honor the scriptures.
Let your love (not your ‘assery’) speak of the validity of the scriptures you claim to love.
I am your brother in Christ. Many of you reading this may have known me in the past, yet out of your stated concern for the ‘truth’ of the scriptures, you have chosen to act as if I no longer exist, or as if I am the worst form of scum to be avoided at all costs. Because we were once close, your silence is a loud form of hatred. Did you know that your rejection of me as your brother is the same as rejecting Christ Himself? Do you think this kind of hateful behavior reflects well on the very book of love that you are so concerned with defending?
There are others reading this who regularly ‘stalk’ this blog and send me threatening and insulting emails in an attempt to intimidate me. You know exactly who you are. Did you know I have kept those emails in my possession? To be completely honest, I have been tempted to post the threatening emails that you have privately sent to me to this blog (with your name) so others can see the demonic hate and rage you are operating in. Don’t worry, I have decided not to do that. I do not want to engage in the ‘witch’ hunt you are intoxicated with. I do want you to think about something, however.
If you truly think that I have committed the error of devaluing the scriptures, do you really think your private threatening emails, your personal insults, and your public attacks on my character represent the book of love that you claim to be defending? Do you think there is a better way to defend the book you claim is so important? If I was indeed wavering in regards to my belief regarding the sufficiency of the scriptures, wouldn’t His love in and through you defend the scriptures much better than your present ‘assery’?
Let your freedom, not your bondage, speak of the authority and power of the scriptures you claim to love.
I do not intend this to be a judgmental statement, but simply an observation. I have noticed a trend among those (whom I have known) who have attacked me with this accusation. I have seen the fruit of their lives, and in all honesty, it is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, etc… The same people who accuse me of deviating from the authority of scripture are themselves in bondage to patterns of destructive, angry behavior. They simply are not free.
In the name of humility, many of these same people continually talk about how sinful and depraved they are (old nature), but they never talk about who they are now in Christ (new nature). Even though they continually talk about the importance of scripture, they do not see that their bondage is rooted in very unbiblical thinking about themselves and others. Because they do not see themselves or other believers as being in Christ, they have no problem engaging in spreading character assassination of others.
If they had the love of God oozing out of their pores, if they carried the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that organically flows from the life of Christ within, they would make a strong case for the very scriptures that talk about such a reality. Instead, with their asinine behavior, they deny their own message. Obviously, their preoccupation with the idea of the scriptures has not helped them live free. Do they want the rest of us to behave like them? God forbid.
For all those who feel strongly about promoting truth & love, I’d like to remind you that love and truth are really a person. I’d like to leave you to ponder a very important question found in this video posted below. I don’t ask this question of the world (as they do in the video). The world cannot answer this question. I ask you this question. Think about it before you continue your ‘assery.’