This is a rather disturbing topic to even talk about. It strikes deep at the name of Christ, and brings reproach on His Word and His Name.
I do a lot of research on things that I don't understand. If a passage of scripture strikes me as confusing, I google around finding out what other people have said about that text, hoping to find extra insights to help me understand.
Doing this research, I stumbled upon a serious concern for Christians in general.
For every tough question out there about the Bible, there is two answers. A Christian one, and a atheistic one.
Wow, you say, big whoop. The atheists are ripping up the Bible as usual. Big deal.
It's not the fact they they are shredding the doctrine of the Bible (as they think) that is a cause for concern. It's the fact that the Christians are handing them the bullets to do it with.
Over and over again, a persistent theme ran through the atheistic threads online.
"Christians don't believe the very Bible they defend so staunchly."
Atheist after Atheist told stories of how they pulled up supposedly "hard" texts from the Bible, and instead of defending them, the Christians sorta explained it away, gave reasons, may have even shown other texts, to show how they didn't need to believe or apply that passage.
Folks, re-read that.
The CHRISTIANS said they didn't need to believe all of the Bible.
Folks, Christians are supposed to be the light of the world, bringing the Word of God to a lost and dying people.
How can we bring them God's Words if we make it very clear that we really don't believe it ourselves?
Here is a quote from Yahoo questions. The question was "Why do people who don't believe everything in the Bible still practice Christianity?"
This was the "best answer" chosen by the asker.
"I believe in Jesus, not some magical book. I mean, I do think that the Bible has shining moments of inspiration sprinkled liberally throughout, but I also believe that the Bible was written by men, and I've studied Higher Criticism extensively and a lot of the Bible just plain is not true. A lot of it is theologically messy, scientifically unsupported, historically inaccurate, things are included and excluded for political reasons, etc.
I don't feel that having faith in Jesus Christ means that I have to have faith that the entire Bible is inspired by God, and is a perfect and final revelation of God, because I don't believe that."
So, an avowed Christian, states that she really doesn't even believe all that the Bible says.
What kind of witness is that?
If a doctor was selling a medicine, that he says he wouldn't use himself, would you jump up, repent from your medicineless ways, and go buy it?
Well, I wouldn't, I hope you wouldn't either.
Tough texts about stoning witches, or chopping off hands, or sacrificial laws, over and over again are "explained away" by "Christians", and over and over again the Atheists use as ammo against the Christians about not believing the very book they claim is infallible.
The problem is, they're right.
The vast majority of "Christians", really don't believe the whole Bible, and say that it is incorrect, flawed, fallible, and written by man, so therefore, can't be trusted.
Pardon me, but if they claim that, can we even call them "Christians" anymore?
Half our problem is those out there who wear the Christian logo and really have had no change of heart from their sinful God-hating state, are just trying to justify their actions and beliefs.
The other half are the real Christians, who do believe the Bible, but when they are faced with tough questions and don't know the answer, tuck their tails and try to explain away the problem and hem and haw about till the person they are talking to is thoroughly convinced of two things. One, Christianity is a bunch of baloney, and two, the Christian really doesn't believe his own doctrinal book.
In this case boys, it's two strikes and you're out.
The Christian has lost his chance to witness for Christ, and an Atheist is out of the picture, smug in his victory over showing the neanderthal Christian how lame and stupid his faith was, and how smart and sophisticated his own belief is.
Folks, I'll say it here. I know the Bible has some sticky points, where honestly, I don't know what to make of them. The meaning is uncertain, and I don't know how to say what it means.
The real question is, when faced with such a text, do you still believe it and stand by it, or do you weasel out and try to cover your rear?
This is where faith is bred folks. The things that we don't understand but are forced to believe, because God said it, are put there for that purpose.
If life was so hunky dory, and everything made sense, why would we need to have faith if we understood it all perfectly anyway?
Who needs a fireproof suit in Antarctica?
In that case, it would be believing on and acting upon our wisdom, not God's.
Well folks, this is a good day. God has given us some finite minds which don't understand His text, so that way we are forced to believe things we don't quite understand.
If faith was easy, it wouldn't be such a virtue to have it. If everything in the Bible was perfectly understandable all the time, God wouldn't need to open our eyes to His truth, and help us make that leap of faith, even when we don't know exactly how it will all pan out, or what it means exactly.
Don't understand why we had to stone witches? Believe that God knew what he was talking about.
Don't know why God had hands chopped off occasionally? Believe that God knew what he was talking about.
Think God's punishments are a little cruel? Renew your mind, and embrace God's word.
We won't always understand everything. It's when we are faced with something we don't understand, and we have the choice to trust our own wisdom and disregard God's Word, or to believe what God said, embrace it, and defend it, despite our not knowing everything, that our faith can really grow when we choose rightly.
When an atheist throws God's Word in your face, eat it.
Hey, if God's Word is our spiritual food, I guess that counts as "Fast Food."
When you show him you believe despite your own doubts and uncertainties, you show him you really do believe all that you claim. You do believe you are depraved, you do believe that God is infinite, and you do believe His Word really is true, because He says so.
That is one of the biggest testimonies of faith I can think of.
God is God, I aint, cause he said so.
Know of some hard spots in your life you are having a hard time believing due to your own "wisdom"?
I'll share mine.
Never understood it. Ever.
God got a hold of me however, and changed my view a bit. It doesn't matter if I understand it. If he commanded it, I need to do it. My only problem is I keep forgetting to take that first step and obey it. : )
Share some of yours! (if you feel comfortable with it), and resolve with me to believe and obey, despite yourself.
Only then can we make a difference in the world.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.