Rejecting The Bible’s Authority And Inerrancy

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Although the Point Loma homosexuality controversy recently was a big story, I was afraid it would distract us from the fact that there is a bigger problem in the church, of which this is only one of the symptoms.  What has led many Christians to welcome and embrace the emerging church movement?  What has led our evangelical denominations to bring in mysticism, Roman Catholic and pagan practices?  What has led us to compromise the gospel message and create a new gospel of social justice mixed with environmentalism and ecumenicism?  What has led us to usher in secular music during worship, soaking prayer and word-faith phenomema?  What has led us to embrace the thinking that “it’s all about God’s love”, while losing sight of the fact that while He is a God of love, He is also a God of justice, and that the wrath of God will come down on all who walk in willful disobedience?  (Rom. 14:10-12) What has led so many, pastors included, to be blinded to the obvious heresies of Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo and others?  What has led Nazarene Theological Seminary to allow the teaching and practice of the occultic-based Celtic spirituality?  What has led us to be more concerned about membership rolls and financial health, than about preaching the gospel?

It is the rejection of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible word of God. It is the rejection of scripture as the only and sufficient authority for Christians.  It is the arrogance of some of our leaders in the church and our universities, to dare to tell us that they know better than what is written in God’s word.  It is the oft repeated belief that the common man who has no theology degree does not have the understanding to know what the Bible teaches, until the enlightened leaders tell us what it means.  These people forget that the power of God’s word is such that it does not need man’s help to reveal the sinner’s fallen nature, and bring him to his knees in repentance, and grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.

If the leadership in the church, and many of the professors at our Christian schools, actually held uncompromisingly to the inerrancy of scripture, we would not see heresies like open theism and process theology taught at some of the universities.  We would also not see the promotion of theistic evolution, which clearly contradicts scriptural revelation.  These teachings, when held up to scripture, fall like a deck of cards.  Yet why do so many fail to understand, and choose to reject what the Bible teaches, and instead invent their own explanations of what God’s word is really saying?

My recent post on Northwest Nazarene, which was published at Intermountain Christian News, was visited so much yesterday that it passed the previous high that was set when the Point Loma homosexuality story came out.  Many of these comments are never approved, because they repeat the same old accusations or imply facts that were not in the article.  Here is a sample:

“the author of this article is extraordinarily ill-informed”; “At best it is simply hearsay and unfortunately poor research; at worst, it is blatant fear-mongering.”

“an article like this one that lacks truth”

These folks rejected, but did not correct any facts that I wrote in the post.  And they apparently ignore the fact that there are NNU alums, parents and students alike, who share the same concerns I have.

Then:

“When it comes to the inerrant Word of God, you will not find a single professor in our religion department who will tell you that the Bible has errors when it comes to the Salvation story, but they will say that the Bible contains errors/contradictions on numbers (such as warriors for battle) or on timing issues (Jesus spoke to John and then Mark vs. Jesus spoke to Mark and then John) but I have never heard of an NNU professor saying that there are contradictions beyond these trivial things.”

There’s the problem.  And this person apparently is not familiar with Professor Tom Oord and his selective choosing of what is reliable.  Dr. Oord was the same professor who told me he disagreed about Adam as being the source of what brought on sin and death to man.  That is a rejection of what Romans 5:12 says, and what Jesus said also.  Professor Oord also is a big proponent of open theism and process theology, both heretical teachings.

What these people fail to do in their arguments with me and others, is to point out the specifics of the “errors” in our statements.  They cannot argue or reason from a biblical perspective, because they are rejecting that viewpoint.  They are probably arguing from a humanistic or ecumenical perspective, which says we should embrace or live happily with every kind of doctrine that comes down the pike!  If they could only believe the Bible completely, these problems would eventually go away.  But they choose to believe only what they want to believe, and only what tickles their ears.

And then there are the examples of what some students have come to believe:

“Love with no judgments, means….. not only can you not tell someone they are wrong in their faith, but to even believe it, is a judgment. Which is absolutely opposite of what Jesus taught.”

“Over the years it has become apparent to me that the fullness of God was expressed through Christ and not through the Bible.”

“Just because the bible is written whereas “god” is referred to as he, you can’t assume god is male.”

“No one has any divine revelation here. We decide either by reason or emotion.”

So to all who have posted recently amid the furor over Point Loma, and Northwest Nazarene, I am sorry, but your comments will not be accepted, unless you can actually correct the “errors” and refute what has been said about your school.  It’s all there right in front of you.  You just refuse to see it, because most likely, you do not respect the word of God.  You do not believe that God’s word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is completey trustworthy in all that it teaches.

Thus, as our attitude towards God’s Holy word goes, so goes the church.

Additional Resources on Scriptural Authority and Inerrancy:

Inerrancy and Wesleyanism (Pastor Joe Staniforth)
Do Not Reject God’s Infallible Word (Grant Swank)
Biblical Inerrancy (Dr. Darryl McArthy)

[1: Sign the Petition, Nazarene Desiring a Return to Solid Biblical Publications of NPH, Barefoot and The House Studio]

[2: Support and pray for publishers like Dr. Anthony Harper and Lawrence Lepore, who do not compromise their biblical principles for money]

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14 responses to “Rejecting The Bible’s Authority And Inerrancy

  1. Manny,

    Thank you for what you’re doing here. We joined a Nazarene church that has thankfully not yet had to deal with any “emergence”.

    I wanted to share this exchange with you to show just how crazy things have gotten. If you don’t wish to approve it, I understand.

    I posted 2 Timothy 4:3-4 as a Facebook status and received this exchange from a pastor friend (Full disclosure — he did his MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary):

    I’m leaving names out.
    *********************************************
    **Pastor**:
    Yes, I think the question though is this…Do we use these verses to justify our condemnation of those whose teachings we disagree with or is this a mirror that we hold up to ourselves and realize that we could be the ones who have listened to wrong teachings? It’s easy to condemn. It’s much harder to say that it’s a mirror.

    **Me**:
    One can condemn false teaching without condemning the person. I leave the judging of people to the Lord (who sees fit to wait until they’ve lived their entire life). But I have a responsibility to confront false teaching. As do all Christians.

    **Pastor**:
    So, your saying that it is obvious that you are on the side of right teachings and therefore use this verse to condemn wrong teachings. What you’re saying is that these verses don’t judge your teachings but others.

    **Interjection from a Mormon friend**:
    Silly Pastor, that’s what Scriptures are for.

    **Me**:
    That’s not what I said at all. I can say for certain that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. To deny that would be to call the Lord a liar. As far as teachers, the only way to validate what is being taught is to compare it with what Scripture says. Since Jesus is not physically here, we can only go off of what Scripture says. And I am open to correction, provided there is Scripture to back it up.

    **Pastor**:
    Even Satan used the scriptures to try and trick Jesus. What happens when people use the scriptures to teach against orthodoxy? We can argue the scriptures, but that does not mean that they adhere to what the historic faith confesses.

    Going back to my previous point. We should have some epistemological humility and not be so quick to judge others eg. Piper condemnation of Bell, Driscolls or Silva’s condemnation of the emergening movement. Their version of Christianity does not have this epistemological humility. It’s their version or you’re a heretic.

    So, is it really Piper, Driscoll. and Silva with the itching ears? or the people that they condemn?
    *********************************************

    There’s no way to argue with someone like this. In the past, you could point to Scripture as the final word. But now we have an entire generation of “pastors” who are being taught that anyone who takes a stand regarding the authority of Scripture “does not have epistemological humility”.

    It’s heart-breaking and maddening all at once.

    God bless you and yours as you continue your work of rescuing our denomination.

    -Yemi

  2. Thank you Yemi. The fact that he’s from Fuller explains a lot. I pray that your church stands against the apostasy firmly- as does the one I am a member of now.

  3. Wow. Yemi, thank you for posting this. There is nothing new under the sun, is there? Over and over and over again that “pastor” was basically asking, “did God really say?”

    No logic or reason will make any sense to those who argue like that. Jesus, in the desert, when God’s words and scriptures were (attempted to be) used to trick and make Jesus stumble, his only responses were with straight scripture “It is written…”. No logic, no reason, just saying the Words of the Lord relevant to the “argument” until Satan could no longer stand it and left him (until another opportune time). He tried to get Jesus to reason just as he did with Eve, even over the subtle twist of using God’s own words, “Did God really say __[fill in the blank]___?”

    How very, very important it is to write the Word of God on our hearts!

  4. Ok, so basically, what you are saying at the end of this post is that you will no longer post comments that refute what you are saying if they do not meet a certain criteria? Interesting. That says to me that you have completely chosen to ignore anything that does not fit with your viewpoint. Control issues??

    I see the same exact 6-8 people agree with you on her and that is it. It does not look like you are reaching very many people with your methods.

  5. You are correct, they should meet BIBLICAL standards. I no longer allow rambling on and on with opinions not based on scripture.
    This is my blog, and that is how I set the rules here. It is not a place to allow others to come in and possibly deceive or confuse Christians with their post-modern lingo or ideas not grounded in scripture.

    Stick to biblical refutation please. Sorry you and others might no like that, feel free to start your own blog in that case.
    I don’t mean to be rude about it, if it seems that way.
    manny

  6. And by the way, the people I am trying to reach- my target audience- is mainly those who have recognized all this false teaching, or who do not know about it but are Bible-believing Christians.

    Again, it is not NazNet or some other forum where wild and wacky ideas are all accepted or allowed to be written.

  7. ONUGrad

    For me it all comes down in the end, as to who you believe, God or man (?). I will always put my trust in God. Why? Because my Bible teaches me that “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said and will He not do?”

    God does not lie as some must think He does by their contempt for His word. God will not repent over the judgment of mankind because it is He who judges and not in the reverse.

    When people begin to seek unbiblical teaching as a substitute means of worship as we are seeing in our church and schools today, I am reminded of the story of Samuel. A lesson can be learned here for all of us.

    When the children of Israel rejected Samuel as judge over them, and wanted something different than what God wanted for them. Samuel thought they had rejected him because he was geting old, but God set the record straight. In fact God said that they had rejected Him.

  8. Please sign me up to your monthly newsletter.

    And your e-mail address is not working. I’m using the address on your website but its coming back as undeliverable.

    Keep preaching the truth!

  9. Pastor Graham,

    You’ve got some kickn’ Creation links on your website.

    This is a great quote, “What you believe about Origins determines your entire worldview”.

    God Bless you for your bold stand for God’s word.

  10. Pam, I noticed this, too. I wish there was a Nazarene Church in our town (of several) that took such a bold stand as Pastor Graham.

    Pastor Graham, how do you handle General budgets? I am certain you prayerfully consider – I am only curious because this has me personally struggling with what is being funded and truthfully wondering what to do. Our church is not taking a stand and is actually fostering emergent ideas. And doing further research shows the General church, clearly us as well, back at square one. I firmly believe in faithful tithing but wondered what you feel as a Pastor who IS preaching Truth?

  11. That’s a great question Betty! My answer concerning the budgets is, I give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. (And to the Nazarene budget what is the Naz. budget). I pay my taxes, I give to the church what God wants me to give and I have my church pay our budgets in full. Everything belongs to God including our budgets. God has ultimate authority over everything including our budgets, so I trust God to use it as He sees fit even if it supports godless heresy. I personally will never support godless heresy, but much like my taxes goes towards things I’d rather not know about, I know God is in charge of all things and He’ll use it for His purposes and judgment and glory. I pick my battles. I’m sure if our budgets were clearly going to support vulgar sin I would quickly change my position and engage my church in the battle. I praise God for my church. They have a good sense of what’s holy and what is not. They seem to have a high regard for Scripture. The battle I must fight the most is Jude 3-4, and Jude 20-23. “To contend earnestly for the faith…b/c men have crept in unnoticed….who turn the grace of our God into immorality and deny the only Lord…and save others with fear pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” People are going to hell, and people are being deceived. So my calling is to preach the true gospel faithfully. Obvious money is important, but what will really change people, our churches, and our culture is the gospel. And then a church that is saved, grounded in truth, holy, evangelistic, and Spirit-filled, they won’t put up with the silly religious show we see going on in most liberal churches. That’s my take.

  12. I know I’ve brought this up before, but for those unfamiliar with church history, this was an issue addressed by Baptist Pastor Charles Spurgeon in the 19th century, and he and his associate, Robert Shindler, came to the same conclusion that you did: the first step in any denomination’s departure from orthodox Christianity was a lack of faith in the whole of Scripture as the word of God (see http://www.spurgeon.org/downgrd.htm for more details).

    One thing that would honestly make a difference is that Nazarene pastors could take a cue from their Calvinist bretheren and concentrate on preaching more about doctrine from the pulpit and less about good works. That’s the problem with the church I attend now: it’s very solid in charity and outreach, but if you were to ask the members of the church about basic Bible doctrines, I’m not so sure that many of them could give good, solid responses (and this is a VERY large Nazarene church!).

    I realize Nazarenes and other Arminians like to concentrate on holiness, but at times it results in an overload of preaching about works and worrying about altar call responses. Maybe it’s time to change that thinking.

  13. I couldn’t agree more! We shouldn’t fear or fight our Calvinist bretheren. It’s others that give false doctrine, and heretical teaching. I’m concerned about those who distort the truth. We should focus more on doctrine and the gospel and that will cause our good works to be more effective. I too see a lot of focus on good works and very shallow teaching on doctrine. I also see a lack of expository preachng these days. The church doesn’t save, Christ does, the Word does! We should make more of His work and less of our works!

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