Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My beliefs ONLY

My Beliefs ONLY

I got quite a response from the facebook post I placed yesterday about the bumper sticker I read on the back of a guys car "King James Version is ONLY Bible".

We all have opinions on the issue and we have a right to our own personal opinions or preferences, but that's exactly what they are preferences, opinions. The problem is when people like this guy choose to make their choice law, or the ONLY way. When you begin using words like ONLY when it comes to certian issues you are crossing a very thin line by doing things in the name of Jesus. We do not have any authority from God on matters of opion, only God decides what is ONLY.

The King James Version of the bible is just that a version, it's not the only version, and it's not the only right version or only one christians or people can read, study, or use. Do some research on the subject. Some well-meaning, but un-educated christians or churches, or even some not-so-well-meaning people who are ignorant, arrogrant, or misled or misinformed try to push, bully, or demand others share their same belief's. This is not biblical or Christ-like.

What if we took that approach to everything, the ONLY attitude. Then you could say you have to be Baptist ONLY or Church of Christ ONLY. Or you have to sing out of hymn books ONLY or we can sing new songs ONLY. Or we Sunday School ONLY and not small groups or elective classes, or we have to have church on Sunday mornings, nights, and wednesday's ONLY and we can't deviate from that schedule. You have to be Charistmatic ONLY, or you have to believe in eternal security(once saved always saved) ONLY, or you have to belive in the rapture ONLY.

Do you see my point? There are many issues that for whatever reason, God has chose to remain silent and give us us FREEDOM as christians or christian bodies(church) to do things as we see fit. He did not give us FREEDOM to bind on others our preferences or opinions, but gave us FREEDOM to exercise our faith, study His word, and develop our own personal walk with Him.

There are things in the Bible that are black and white spelled out for us. There is ONLY one God! There is ONLY one way to Salvation through Jesus Christ. ONLY God through Jesus can forgive our sins. The bible is God's ONLY word. Jesus is ONLY Messiah. Those are essentials and there are others as well, but not many of the issues that we demand are ONLY.

What version of the bible we use, when our church has services, what style of music we prefer, or other issues are just that issues. They are opinions, preferences, choices, styles, and areas where God has chosen to give us FREEDOM. Let God's word speak where it's clear and let God's spirit move freely where there is room for freedom. We must be careful not to use or abuse God's word, our faith, or our beliefs. We are walking on shaky ground when we start binding our views on other people, simply because of the way we were raised or taught or even feel.

I feel sorry for the guy with the bumper sticker, because He is missing out on the FREEDOM God gives us and He's missing opportunities to share the joy and love God has to offer. I pray that all of us that call ourselves Christians and as church leaders and members we will be careful to label something ONLY when ONLY God can label it essential or preference.

"Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." I Peter 2:16(NIV)

"As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." I Peter 2:16(KJV)

"For you are free, yet are God's slaves, so don't use your freedom as an excuse to do evil." I Peter 2:16(NLT)

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