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The State of Faith
A Study on Holiness

The State of Faith
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Renewing Your Mind


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God or Man?

Psalm 93:1
The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.

In the late 1600s and early 1700s a new movement started at the outer fringes of the church. This movement, now called higher criticism, attacks not the doctrines of the church, but its very foundation, the authority of Scripture. Starting as a brief study on the opening chapters of Genesis, the movement suggests men "created" the Bible. One of these men preferred to call God "Elohim."  Another preferred to call Him "Yahweh." Later, man compiled the priestly codes of Judaism. Other historical notes were eventually added, and then a fifth man sat down and gathered it altogether as the Bible. 

Higher criticism, as such, died under its own weight, but it opened the door for more liberal ideas and criticism. The Bible slowly became "myths" and "stories." It became only authoritative when it "spoke" to you. So, a given verse could be inspired for one Christian but not for another.

Consider where this could, and did, lead. If the Bible is not completely God's Word, then standards of truth commence to dissolve. Somewhere around 1100 - 1050 BC, the author of Judges (Samuel?) wrote:

Judges 21:25 (NIV)
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

Doesn't this describe modern society? Everyman does that which is right in his own eyes. You can believe whatever you want, so long as you do not impose it upon me.

The early liberal movement also died under its own weight. This was the movement of the early 1900s.  But, its general teachings live on in seminaries and Bible colleges.  As a result, much of the clergy fails to appreciate the full weight and authority of the Bible. A watered-down Gospel is preached and Jesus is not Lord and Savior and King.

What has happened is a form of man imposing his own views, desires, and teachings upon the Bible.  A new type of tradition has arisen. The more sophisticated, educated preacher emerges who understands logic, philosophy, society, and culture.  He goes out and attempts to mix all of these elements into a reasonable sounding package to appeal to the masses. He forgets that God&s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.)!

In the process, parts of the Bible are ignored. Other books are viewed as having the same weight and authority as Scripture. Traditions prevail - and not just in the Roman Catholic Church. Man is continuously bringing God down to man&s level. The majesty and glory of God are forgotten or ignored. God becomes more like man.




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July 22, 2024

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