The Constitution of the United States gives order to our nation under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court. The Court’s job is to interpret the Constitution not create laws. Justices, appointed for life, sometimes see that appointment, however, as an opportunity to create a government they view as best. That often creates division, and citizens challenge authority.
Divisions have also been created by those who choose to believe the Bible the way they’d like it to be rather the one God wrote. How did this come about? It began with the sale of indulgences (payments for sin) in the Catholic Church, a practice that was challenged by Martin Luther. His challenge, while absolutely biblical, began a reform movement in the church and led to denominational divisions. Sinful men (as we all are) started making decisions for the church, and every denomination had a different man in charge. God has often, then, taken second place to those men. Are denominations God’s plan?
The night before Jesus was crucified, he prayed these words: “My prayer is not for them (the disciples) alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me, through (the disciples) message, that all of them may be one” (John 17:20-21). Have Christians lived this prayer of Jesus?
Denominations arose and their doctrine separated people. Some seminaries were built without requiring their pastoral candidates to read the entire Bible. As a result, society has changed. It has moved away from God, and the devil is rejoicing as biblical requirements are replaced by socially-acceptable behavior. Many churches have become part of the world rather than a body within the world—exactly what God warned against. Why is this happening? Because many pastors/priests don’t know and, thus, don’t preach the entire Bible, parishioners believe good people go to heaven no matter how they choose to live their lives simply because God is love. It is said there are 320,000 churches in America but only 15 to 20 thousand believe in taking the Bible literally.
How does God see all this? II Timothy 3:16 says, “ALL Scripture is God breathed.” II Peter 1:21 says, “Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” I Thessalonians 2:13 says, “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God.” So, God wrote the Bible. Don’t you think He expects us, then, to read it all and accept what it says? Where does the Bible say we can live as we choose and ignore God’s Word, his rules, and his requirements? It doesn’t say that. We can’t listen to pastors who don’t know the Word and, thus, can’t share that Word accurately with us. Be careful in choosing a church. Choose one that stands on the Word alone—where the pastor has read the entire Bible—so your faith will grow. Then trust God in all things and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. It’ll be your favorite team!