I understand, without offense to any, and good will to all, that if having been a Christian for many years, at a certain age we climb into our box and nail the lid shut. You know what I mean. (This far I shall go and no farther; this I believe and will do all necessary to make it be so; I will talk but not listen, instruct but not learn; I will ignore and not notice, propagate and not investigate. I will seek out ways, honest or no, to maintain my investment. I will, I will, I will.) Old Christians make excellent flag keepers. Youthful exuberance searches, happy when shown error and correction. “Bring the books…especially the parchments.” (a young at heart Paul at life’s end in 2 Timothy 4:13.) Recitation of verse theology may showcase Bible knowledge and may in fact be true, but may also broadcast unawareness before those quiet enough to know better. What are the ramifications of this belief or that? What does believing this or that say about God? Is error possible? “Let God be true and every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4.) May I affirm here a particular pet peeve; that being of single verses or stanzas that beg critique but generate dogma. I shan’t here critique such. Tis better I think to expose the game and leave the reader to think, rethink, ignore, or turn away. Sometimes it is okay to shake bushes or rattle cages. Always it is okay to lay the axe to hubris trees. Pride (the fiend) lurks at our door and we must be vigilant, watching for signs.
“It is appointed unto man to die and after that the judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27.) Comes a mini-doctrine of death followed immediately by arrival at heaven’s gate or hell’s. The process of Judgement is ignored and believed concluded pre-immortality. Fear of god is set aside as ‘awe’ (word change, word change) even though “…we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ that each one may receive the things done in the body… whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade…” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11.) Did it say ‘terror’? Poor wobbly John Apostle. (Revelation: chapter 1.) Judgement - a cakewalk? How to stay between the lines? “Woe is me, I am undone.” (Isaiah 6:5.) Out of context is irritating, no?
Word inerrancy is claimed from the jot and title verse (Matthew 5:18.) Yea, word worship abides even though commentaries, translations, concordances, the Amplified Bible, and dare I say one’s philosophy, may become valuable when needed to make a point, or to stay between the lines. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16.) The twelve apostles were handpicked by our Lord to be His witnesses, evangelists, and martyrs, and that establishes for some the pernicious belief of the vanity of will.
“Now we know that God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him,” (John 9:31.) This is from the mouth of an outcast and accused sinner just healed of congenital blindness by Jesus, here accused Himself as being a sinner. A very ironic mini-doctrine of the futility of prayer for a host of petitioners is born. “…if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues…and if anyone takes away from the words of the book…God shall take away His part from the Book…and…” (Revelation 22:18, 19.) Enter the condemnation of anyone who has ever commented awry on any jot or tittle of Holy Scripture. You might want to study that one.