[forthright] Why Violate Scripture?

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 13:39:30 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Why Violate Scripture?
by Richard Mansel

We are faced with the dilemma of whether to listen
to God's Word or ignore it. Some feel they can
place feet in both fields and be found righteous.
Why would we refuse to listen to Scripture? An
illustration is helpful in answering this
question.    

Ben's father owns a business with an old friend,
Theodore. Ben is told, "Take these tax papers
straight over to Theodore's house and come right
back home."

Will Ben do exactly as his father has commanded?
Or will he choose to go to his girlfriend's house
on the way there and to Sonic on his way home? He
chooses to make the two additional stops and later
when he returns home, his father is furious that
it has taken him so long.

As Ben faces his father's anger, what are his
options? First, he can apologize and admit his
disobedience. Second, he can lie and say that
traffic hindered him. Third, he can rationalize
and justify his actions. He chooses the latter.

 From Ben's perspective why did he choose the third
option? He knew his father felt he had overstepped
his bounds. Yet Ben had convinced himself that he
had actually carried out his Dad's wishes. His
father did not say he could not go to his
girlfriend's house or to Sonic. But which came
first in Ben's mind, his desire to do as he
pleased or the rationalization? Of course, the
desire came first. He knew what his father had
told him to do. However, that contrasted with what
he wanted to do. Therefore, he rationalized,
hoping he could get what he wanted and his
father's approval.

The fundamental question is, "was Ben deciding
what to do based on his father's word or his own
desires?" The latter won out. Ben loved his
desires more than he loved the approval of his
father.

Paul writes simply, "do not think beyond what is
written" (1 Corinthians 4:6; cf. 2 John 9-11,
NKJV).  Therefore, we should have a hands off
approach to its Words (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32;
Proverbs 30:6; Jeremiah 26:2; Revelation
22:18,19).

Our attitudes about Scripture should be
exemplified by the attitude of the Son and Spirit.
In John 14:10 and John 16:13 we learn that Jesus
and the Holy Spirit will not speak on their own
authority. What right then do we have to act on
our own initiative? The Psalmist writes, "Forever,
O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven" (Psalm
119:89).  To even contemplate altering the words
of God is futile.

In Jude 3 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17 we discover that
the Bible is complete, and we have all we need.
Peter assures us Scripture is sufficient (2 Peter
1:2-4). Since we have been given "all things that
pertain to life and godliness," we have enough to
"escape the corruption of the world" and "partake
in His divine nature." Why do we need to wander in
silence? If God has spoken, why do we need to go
where his voice is not heard? If his Word is
sufficient, why do we need to look elsewhere? The
answer can only be that we feel the Bible is
insufficient.

We read in 1 Corinthians 4:6 that the reason
someone would want to "think beyond that which is
written" is vanity. If we remember our
illustration, Ben went outside of his father's
command because it did not include the things he
wanted to do. So we ask, is the thing that we
desire worth more than our soul?

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