Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Here's why people won't listen to Jesus.

I had some trouble falling asleep last night, and got up to read my Bible without the noise of the ‘terrible two’, since those two rather adorable mischief-makers were asleep in bed.

Perhaps it was due to the silence of the hour; the stillness of the house; or perhaps due to the fact I didn’t have to hurry off to work, but I spent more time than usual meditating on the various passages. And I was struck by Jesus remarks at the close of John 5.

If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Increasingly I am convinced that the key reason people do not listen to Jesus Christ, nor accept his authority (contrasted with two generations ago) is because people don’t believe what Moses wrote. Moses is generally attributed to writing the first five books of the Bible (although I suspect he was only the editor of Genesis, not the actual human author).

And its clear that most people today don’t believe Genesis to be true - in other words, they don't believe Moses. Consequently they are unable to believe any of the Bible. Such a position is logically consistent. The Bible is either all true, or it's not true at all. Either it’s historically accurate about the existence of Adam and Eve, or it isn’t. And if it be wrong about Adam and Eve, then why couldn’t it be wrong about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus too?

Jesus Christ tells us plainly, if people won’t believe in Moses’ words, they won’t believe in him. If we don’t believe God rescued the Jews from Egypt, we won’t think Christ is our Passover lamb. If we don’t believe God promised David a descendent who would rule on his throne forever, then we won’t look for such a descendent from the little town of Bethlehem.

What amazes me is how many people accept Darwin’s account of the world’s origins ‘in faith.’ Most people haven’t read any of Darwin's works. I haven’t (because, as a rule I never try to drink water from broken cisterns). But it’s the constant repetition (brain-washing?) that the world is millions of years old, that natural selection is the same as evolution that makes people doubt God’s word. Did ‘God really say’?

I see this as we run Christianity Explored at the church I work for. One participant clearly said she believes in God, but she has trouble believing in Jesus. Why the difficulty? Because she’s not sure the Bible can be trusted. Her conscience and the glory of creation convince her that God exists, but can the Bible be trusted? What about what the scientists are saying?

I’ve mentioned before that it was the booklet ‘What really happened to the dinosaurs?’ (click here to read it) which helped me to find complete confidence in God’s word. If there be any reader of this blog today who has doubts about the reliability and authority of Jesus’ words, can I urge you to get this point cleared up in your mind. Your creator has the right to tell you how to live, because he created you. He tells us that Jesus is his Son – and we must listen to him. But do you believe the creator? Do you believe his words are recorded in Scripture? It's a question of authority. Who has the right to tell us how to live? God alone, since he created us. But if we have doubts about his existence, or whether he speaks clearly, then we will have difficulty hearing his voice.

If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Some of the links below may prove helpful to you, as you…

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (Psa. 34:8)

For questions on dinosaurs, Noah’s flood, life in outer space and others, click here.

For the internal evidence for the Bible, try here.

Thanks for stopping by.

---

Today's Bible Readings

Exodus 26;

Proverbs 2;

John 5;

Galatians 1

5 comments:

  1. "because, as a rule I never try to drink water from broken cisterns"

    In other words, you've deliberatly choosen to ignore why poeple read Darwin's 'Origins of Species' to understand what they see in it and to stick with the Bible because you're afraid of being challenged.

    If 'Species' is a broken cistern as you put it, then whatever is within it's slim pages shouldn't be a challenge for your and your faith.

    If you think it's a cake walk, then walk the walk.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ian

    You say, "Such a position is logically consistent. The Bible is either all true, or it's not true at all. Either it’s historically accurate about the existence of Adam and Eve, or it isn’t."

    If The Bible were a history, or rather, if the various authors of the books that comprise the Bible set out to write a history, then you might be right. (Though even in an explicit history, I don't have to accept it all; for example, all that Alan Bulloch wrote about Hitler).

    But the Bible isn't a "Complete History of..." It's quite possible to accept some parts and not others as poetry, propaganda, myth, moral fable etc etc.

    You also say,

    "she’s not sure the Bible can be trusted. Her conscience and the glory of creation convince her that God exists, but can the Bible be trusted?"

    Faith can lead you to believe in God, without the intercession of man. But to believe in the Bible, you have to accept that every one of the men who wrote it were God-inspired. Now, I'm not doubting that the men who wrote the Bible believed that they were, but it does not follow that they must have been.

    Thanks

    Splod

    ReplyDelete
  3. Splod,

    Thanks for coming over from the DT to read my post. I quite agree with you that:
    a) the Bible isn’t a complete history of the world (there’s nothing about 1066 for example), and;
    b) it is comprised of different types of literature.

    But my point is that wherever the Bible speaks of an historical event or an historical person, it is accurate in what it reports. So Adam and Eve were real people, so were Cain and Abel, there really was a world-wide flood in the time of Noah etcetera.

    Yes, the literature needs to be understood in the context and style of which it was written. Ie the Psalms are poetry and should be understood as such, and when Jesus says we are the light of the world he does not mean we are light bulbs etc. But that doesn’t mean the Bible is inaccurate or unreliable, just that it must be correctly understood.

    The Bible makes it clear that all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17). It is necessary to have faith in what God has revealed if we are to understand Him and obey Him. Hence the common trick of the devil is to constantly whisper in our ears ‘did God really say…’

    You write ‘Faith can lead you to believe in God, without the intercession of man. But to believe in the Bible, you have to accept that every one of the men who wrote it were God-inspired. Now, I'm not doubting that the men who wrote the Bible believed that they were, but it does not follow that they must have been.’

    Ok, but what makes you think they weren’t inspired by God (which is what you imply)? What makes you doubt the truthfulness of God’s revelation? You will see from my blog that I am from New Zealand. If you were to later find I wasn’t from New Zealand, you would have difficulty in trusting other things I write. What is it in the Bible that causes you to lose confidence and trust in God Almighty? Have you found something to be unreliable? Who told you it was unreliable?

    Having been a Christian for over 25 years now, I can certainly affirm that ‘yes, God really did inspire the men who recorded His word. Yes, He can be trusted. He is good, He gives good commands, He gives good gifts etc…’

    Thanks for stopping by,
    God speed,
    Ian

    ReplyDelete
  4. "what makes you think they weren’t inspired by God (which is what you imply)?"

    Thinking that they weren't, and doubting that they were are two different positions. This is not a "yes or no", but on a scale of certainty, with degrees of possibility and probability.

    "What makes you doubt the truthfulness of God’s revelation?"

    Two things to begin with: the weight of acceptable evidence (acceptable to me, that is) that the world was not created according to the Bible story, but by other means, not yet wholly explained; and the "problem" that the Bible is, as you agree, a mixture of genres which requires sifting so that "fact" can be separated from "metaphor".

    "Who told you it was unreliable?"

    No one TOLD me - not in the sense that a single person imparted a specific piece of information which I accepted wholly uncritically. My own life experience, my education, my profession (teacher), my reading (from CS Lewis to Richard Dawkins, from Herman Hesse to Douglas Adams)- these have all given me the opportunity to study the pros and cons and I've arrived at my current position of doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Splod,

    it's good of you to take the time to reply. As you will have gathered from my comments and my blog in general, that I am no longer doubtful about the reliability of the Bible. You're welcome to have a look around the site and read anything which catches your eye, if you like. Some people prefer to 'sit on the fence', others may actually want to arrive at a position of certainty. I don't know which category you're in, but if there's anything I've written which is helpful, I hope you can discover it through one of the links. As the man said to Jesus 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.'

    With very best wishes,
    Ian

    PS I used to be a teacher too!

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.