How much does the Bible get in the way of what you believe? If you're like most Christians, you believe in Jesus, but you've compartmentalized your faith so that your Bible beliefs have only a little influence over other areas of your life. For many, the Bible doesn't influence what they believe one iota! As long as they claim to believe on Jesus, they think they can believe whatever they want about issues in life and society. That is absolutely wrong! All that this means is they have not been taught to observe all things Jesus commanded:
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20a] teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
Matthew 28:19-20a, New King James Version
You see, a disciple is a person who observes all things Jesus commanded. By and large, the church has not been making disciples. Their goal has basically been "Let's just get people born again and make sure they're headed to heaven. Everything else will work out." This has caused problems. Because the church isn't teaching people to observe all things Jesus commanded, there's a void in society where Christians ought to be taking a stand. When it comes to social, moral issues, a lot of Christians are silent or they oppose what the Bible says. They've professed faith in the Lord, but they aren't disciples. That might sound shocking to you, but look at how Jesus responded to people who only put faith in Him:
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
It's not enough just to get saved so you won't go to hell. It's not about an insurance policy. You have to continue in Jesus' words if you're going to be His disciple. This ought to be the goal of every single Christian! Yet it's amazing how many don't get this. They think the Bible shouldn't influence what they think about economics, racial issues, marriage, or health. When it comes to hot topics like homosexuality, abortion, and evolution, the church is divided. Most would say, "See, now you've gone to meddling. You just need to stick to preaching the Word and stop getting into politics and social issues." But I am preaching the Word! It's not me who is invading the social, political arena; these things are encroaching on what the Bible has to say. The Word of God has instruction for every one of these areas.
The Word of God has a lot to say about the issues we're facing in society today. If we stay silent, the unbelievers - who don't have a biblical worldview - are going to be the ones establishing all of the policies, determining what we can and can't say, and what we can do and can't do. This is already happening, and many Christians have just accepted this. They've moved away from the words of Jesus. They don't know what the Word of God has to say on all of these things.
There was a woman in our Bible college who came to me and told me that every time I'd mention anything about economics, abortion, homosexuality, or creationism versus evolution, she would cringe and say, "O God, get him back on the Bible." But after being in the school for a year and a half, she said, "I've changed. And my position on nearly all of these issues has changed."
When she said that, I pulled her aside and said, "I'm not trying to criticize you; I just honestly want to know how a committed Christian could have these viewpoints that are completely contrary to the Bible."
She said, "I loved Jesus and I really had committed my life to Him. But I really didn't love the Word. When I came to Bible college and started hearing the Word, I fell in love with it. I let the Word dominate me, and I couldn't hold on to my positions any longer."
You can love God and be liberal in your social views, but you can't love the Word and be that way.
You could be just like this lady: You truly are born again, love God, and you're headed to heaven, but you still hold viewpoints that are completely opposite of what the Word says. The reason for this is that, like this lady, you don't love the Word. You haven't been taught "to observe all things" (Matt. 28:20) Jesus commanded. If you're going to be a disciple of Jesus, you can't observe only the parts that you like. If your attitude, your doctrine, or your worldview doesn't line up with the Word of God, you need to change it, not change the Word of God. That's big!
Some of you reading this hold views that are completely contrary to the Word of God, yet you call yourselves committed Christians. I'm telling you that you cannot continue to do this and then call yourselves disciples.
I was recently visiting with a minister who, from the pulpit, was intentionally silent on the issue of homosexuality. He said, "I want to love these people. I don't want to condemn anybody or turn them away."
I agree that we aren't supposed to condemn people and we should love them, but I told him, "What about the kids who are growing up in your church? The secular world is very aggressive in promoting their agenda. If the church doesn't stand up and say what is right and preach the Word, then the views of the world will be forced upon our young people. In the vacuum caused by the godly being silent, they'll believe these lies and adopt views that are completely contrary to the Word of God. It's wonderful to be inclusive and to make people feel welcome to come to your church, but you're not doing them any favors by not speaking the truth."
He said, "I never thought of that."
It's because the church has basically retreated to where all that ministers will defend and stand on is the born-again experience - whether people are going to heaven or not. While this is happening, the world is preaching their doctrine. Sadly, a lot of Christians are buying into this because there isn't an opposing voice, or anyone standing up for the truth. Well, I'm taking a stand against things that undermine the Word of God! You need to take that same stand. You might take offense at this because that was not the way you were raised, you weren't educated this way, or you've believed things for so long that you don't know if you can change. But, like I started off asking, how much do you let the Word of God get in the way of what you believe? Are you willing to take a stand? Are you willing to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus, instead of just a convert? These are all good questions to ask yourself.