Evangelism: the excuse for every shortcoming

I heard a radio DJ, on Way FM (88.1) on Monday around lunch time asking his co-hosts, “Do you know all 10 commandments.”  His response was that he could “come up with them if he had some time to think about it.”  The, he went on to say, “Do you know what this means?  Nothing!  Because no one ever gets saved because Christians have Bible knowledge.”  It is my opinion that this response represents a tragic thinking error made by evangelical Christianity.  He is justifying his lack of bible knowledge because the Holy Spirit can use him to reach “the lost.”  Juxtaposing these two positions is like comparing “apples to pick-up trucks” . (as my friend Patrick is fond of saying).

Christians don’t study the bible to save the lost.  Christians don’t study the bible to feed the hungry, cloth the poor, or preform any act of loving kindness.  We do these things because it is our new nature to be loving and serving regardless of our biblical knowledge.  It is not Father, Son, and Holy Bible.  It is Holy Spirit.  So, I can appreciate the sentiment behind his comments; but, lets not throw out the bible with the evangelical bath water. Christians study the bible because we believe it is inspired by God.  We believe that its teachings are relevant today.  In a word, we read it for our Sanctification (the process of becoming holy).  We read it to edify ourselves, to edify each other, and to keep us from being deceived by a devil who knows scripture better than we and would dare to even twist those words to tempt God Himself.  We read it as the “canon” of scripture.  Simply, it is “the standard.”

So, if you don’t know the bible, it doesn’t matter.  The Holy Spirit is the agent of sanctification not the bible.  It’s alright if you can’t quote it or regurgitate it for some on-line survey.  Christianity is about relationship with God, not about the study of scripture.  I can say this because I have read over 15 different translation in their entirety.  I’ve studied Hebrew, Greek, and Latin just to be able to get a different feel for it.  And, after all this study I can say this:  Jesus gave us life, not original autographs.  But, here is my problem with my DJ brother:  Don’t use evangelism as a cover up for a perceived religious inadequacy.  Just admit that you either don’t want to read it, don’t like to read it, or you just haven’t memorized all that stuff.  Just don’t use the fact that “the Holy Spirit added to their numbers” ie: evangelsim, as an excuse to not know scripture.  Just say, “I don’t know it.”  And, that’s ok.

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