The Bible is being blasted in our culture today. More and more people call the Bible “a book written by mid-Eastern cave men,” or say, “the Bible is a book of myths,” or “the Bible is not really true, it’s full of allegory.”
Recently a teacher in New Jersey was fired for giving a student, (who initiated and asked for one), a Bible. When you attack the Bible, you attack the foundation of Christianity. So I would tell you that Christianity is under attack in America. It now seems even our government officials are afraid of almost every religious group, particularly Muslims and yet they capitulate to them. But when it comes to Christians and the Bible, well they are completely intolerant.
May I illustrate the point even further? Some of you may know that I send out a daily devotion during the week. You can sign-up here if you’d like to receive them. Well, in a devotion earlier this week I discussed a passage from Philippians 3:1-2. Paul was describing to the Philippians about those who wanted to make Christians go through the “door of Judaism” to become a Christian. These people were called Judaizers and Paul had stiff words for them.
Philippians 3:1-2 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
Just like the Judaizers of Paul’s day, there are those who want to shut up Christians. There are those who want to push Christians into the closet and keep them confined to staying inside the church walls. Throughout the Bible we see those who come against the people of God. From Cain (killing his righteous brother Abel), to the Egyptians, to the Philistines, to the New Testament days and the pious righteousness of the Pharisees…we know those who oppose God will always be present with us.
In the devotion I used the example of what happened earlier this week to ESPN commentator, Chris Broussard was blasted for supporting the Bible and Christian principles.
He said that marriage should be between a man and a woman and an NBA player, Jason Collins… …who said he was gay was “living contrary to the laws of God.” Collins professes to be a Christian and says, “Jesus was tolerant.” Well, this ESPN commentator has now been absolutely nailed to the wall by those who oppose the Bible and Christian principles, because he said Jesus said that you would know his true followers “by the fruit they bear.” Groups are now calling for Broussard’s resignation and ESPN to fire him for his beliefs as being “insensitive and out of main stream.”
Ok…what should a Christian do? Do we wilt and cower down and crawl into our churches and button our lips? If we do, how can we be salt and light? Don’t we have to open our mouths and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and His truth and His principles to the world? I most wholeheartedly answer, Yes! We must not allow ourselves to be intimidated and pushed into the “closet of silence.” We must give an answer and a reason for our hope and faith with gentleness and respect, but give an answer WE MUST!
As I was reading some of the comments online, I saw this individual who was blasting the ESPN commentator for using the Bible to defend marriage between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is described in the Bible as a sin:
Wow! He calls the writers of the Bible “cave dwelling men.” He calls the Bible “folktales.” Another person said…
In the course of this online conversation this individual spoke up (and there were only a few who did):
Well said, wouldn’t you say? Respectful, yet forthright and honest. So to “Bake59,” whoever you are…GOOD JOB!
Dear reader, do you see that the Bible is under attack? So, what do we say to folks who say that the Bible was written by “bronze-aged cave-dwelling men who wrote down the middle-eastern folktales?” Can we really trust the Bible?
Please understand that one of our greatest defenses of Scripture, the Word of God/Bible is fulfilled prophecy. Take for instance the New Testament gospel account of Jesus’ life. There are numerous Old Testament prophecies (given centuries before the events they described) in the book. Matthew 1:22 states a common theme in the book, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet.”1 Matthew used this phrasing in at least a dozen passages. He knew it was important to point out to his readers that many of the events he described fulfilled specific prophecies.
You see, despite what many believe today, the religions and religious leaders of the world are not the same. There are no prophecies foretelling details about the birth of other religious leaders. No prophecies alerted the world to the coming of Muhammad (Islam), Joseph Smith (Mormonism), David Koresh (Branch Davidians), Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Siddhartha Gautama (Buddhism), or any other founder of the world’s religions.
Yet the Old Testament pinpointed numerous details about the life of the Son of God and Savior of the world. So what do these prophecies tell us about Jesus? In just the first two chapters of Matthew, we see that God foretold the virginal conception of the Messiah, who would be born in Bethlehem, yet in some way would come out of Egypt and be called a Nazarene. We also see that bitter agony would grip the mothers in that area. In the genealogy recorded in Matthew’s first chapter, we discover the fulfillment of several other Old Testament prophecies. Jesus was from the line of Abraham (Genesis 12:3), Isaac (Genesis 26:4), Jacob (Genesis 28:14), Judah (Genesis 49:8–12), Jesse (Isaiah 11:1), and David (Isaiah 9:7).
But that’s not all. A search through the rest of Scripture would reveal dozens of other details prophesied about the Messiah, including the following facts:
- He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (Matthew 21:4–10; Zechariah 9:9).
- He would be betrayed by a friend (John 13:18; Psalm 41:9).
- The betrayal would be for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14–16; Zechariah 11:12).
- The money would be used to purchase the potter’s field (Matthew 27:3–10; Zechariah 11:13).
- The Messiah would die a sacrificial death for us (Matthew 27:50; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53:8).
- He would die with criminals but His burial would be with the wealthy (Matthew 27:57–60; Luke 23:33; Isaiah 53:9).
- He would rise from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Psalm 16:8–11; Isaiah 53:10).
- He would say certain words on the Cross. He would be mocked, and people would gamble for His clothes (Psalm 22:1, 8, 18).
Many other prophecies could be listed that were perfectly fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. These were not lucky guesses made by “bronze-age, cave dwelling men.” No, they were precise predictions made by the all-knowing God of the Bible who repeatedly demonstrated that He has perfect knowledge of all past, present, and future events. So, dear friend, we can be completely confident that He will always make good on His promises and that those future events that He has foretold in Scripture will certainly come to pass as well.
According to Barna Research (www.barna.org), 80% of Americans still believe the Bible is sacred or holy and 88% of Americans own one. In Thankfully, most Americans still believe society needs the Bible. In Barna’s research, they note millions of people also believe the Bible’s moral teachings will help the next generation. Nearly half (46%) of adults believe the Bible doesn’t have much impact on American youth. Perhaps that explains why two-thirds (66%) think public schools should teach values found in the Bible. The main reason for holding that viewpoint? Three-quarters (75%) of those supporting this believe “the Bible teaches moral principles that are badly needed in society.”
Yet, Barna notes an increasing antagonism or negative attitudes toward the Bible are becoming more commonplace. Although the 61% of American adults who want to read the Bible represents a majority of Americans, it’s a step down from the 67% of adults who said the same in 2011. Furthermore, the percentage of adults who believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to live a meaningful life has declined substantially from 75% to 66% in the last two years. Overall, there has been a decrease in people who are friendly or neutral toward the Bible—those people in the “middle” who are neither engaged with Scripture nor who actively dislike the Bible. The number of American adults who believe the Bible to be inspired and infallible, but don’t read the Bible as often—has gone down (from 45% to 39%). The biggest jump of any group are those American adults who are antagonistic to the Bible, meaning they believe the Bible to just be a book of stories and teachings written by men, and they rarely or never read the Bible. That group stood at one in ten adults (10%) in 2011. In 2013, their ranks have grown to 17% of all U.S. adults. David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, pointed to these conclusions from the study:
- Most Americans esteem the Bible and have access to it. However, even if there’s a baseline of respect, people aren’t sure how to apply the lessons of Scripture to public life or society, particularly in an increasingly pluralistic nation.
- The middle ground related to the Bible seems to be disappearing. The decrease of Bible-neutral and Bible-friendly people and the increase of Bible-antagonists suggest that more people are picking a side. It echoes the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans—these changes are perhaps less about the decline in belief and more about there being less cultural baggage to identifying as skeptical or disbelieving.
Folks, it doesn’t matter if someone can “believe” in the Bible or not. Truth is truth whether it is believed or not. Just because someone says the Bible is not truth and is “a book of fairy tales” should not cause us alarm. We can stand on the Word of God because it is a book of fulfilled prophecies and it is like NO other holy book. It has been tested through the centuries and has faced more scrutiny than any other book in history and yet, not one place, date, name or event has ever been disproved (and might I add…never will be). So, don’t be afraid! You can trust the Bible! You can espouse the truths of the Bible. Will you be persecuted? Oh yes! You certainly will!
Yet Mr. Broussard said this earlier today: “Even though I’m getting a lot of hate God is being glorified.” Read more here. Amen dear Brother and well done! And well done to you too, “Bake59!” Keep contending for the faith and we will too! Why, because we are standing on the truth of God’s Word because we CAN trust it!