We are compelled to ask a most pointed and pressing question these days, “What does it mean anymore to be a “Christian Believer?” A really volatile question today I tell you. One of the hottest issues going! What determines whether a person in the 21st century is a believer or an unbeliever? It is an issue that is theologically and morally up for grabs as never before in church history.
We must ask and answer this question because the lines of demarcation between who is a believer and who is not a believer have become very hazy to say the least. That is because semi-believers are now considered to be full-fledged believers, even though they have many reservations, qualifications and exceptions concerning the Bible in their customized belief systems. Just as perverts today are writing their own perverted Bible so as to be able to call and pass themselves off as “Christian Believers.”
THE AGE OF SORT-OF-BELIEVERS
I recall one Barna poll taken at the turn of the century of professed “Born Again Christians” only. Here is what was found. 49% believed that Satan is not a literal living demonic being, but only a symbol, a logo for evil. 39% believed that if a person lives a good enough life, he has earned himself a place in heaven. 30% believed that Jesus was a good teacher and that He did not come back to physical life after He had been crucified. 29% believed that when Jesus lived on earth in His humanity, He committed sins just like other people. 26% believed that they had no responsibility to tell others about their spiritual beliefs. They all called themselves “Christian Believers.”
It becomes very obvious that because the Bible doesn’t teach what they believe, they implied that the Bible is non-literal if not inaccurate in its teachings. 15% said exactly that – the Bible is inaccurate. What they come up with is a “Sort-of Bible” for “Sort-of Believers” who consider themselves to be bona fide, born again Christians.
Today the church world is being turned into a theological and exegetical circus out there by many self-professed enlightened ones who purport to have a spiritual illumination that apparently outshines the Word of God. It is all predicated upon the following:
“A SUPPOSED INNER, SUBJECTIVE ENLIGHTENMENT
THAT SUPERCEDES GOD’S OBJECTIVE,
These enlightened elitists look upon those who believe the Bible literally as antiquated ignoramuses – poor self-deluded souls who actually believe the Bible just as it as been written!
Back to “Sort-of Believers!” Of course that descriptive is a total contradiction in terms because there is no such thing as a “Sort-of Believer,” anymore than there is a “Sort-of Unbeliever.” Or that the Bible is “Sort-of the Word of God.” There is no “Sort-Of” in the Christian Faith. The Bible makes no room for unbelief in belief, nor any room for belief in unbelief. There are no such people as “Unbelieving Believers” or “Believing Unbelievers.” Anymore than there is a “Sort-of a Savior” and “Sort-of Being Saved.” You either believe or you don’t believe. Period!
The Bible’s description of true believers in Jesus Christ is summarized by John 2:22,
“…and they believed the Scripture, and the word which
Jesus had spoken.”
They believed the Scripture! Period! Not some of it! All of it! What part of that don’t we understand? Yet, one gets the strong sense that today you can qualify as a believer without believing many things in the Scriptures. This is indeed how believing is being diluted, for so much of the modern church is teaching its congregants to sip the Bible in controlled and very watered-down, non-literal doses. In the best case, the Bible is not the Word of God, but rather, it contains here and there the Word of God. Pick and choose!
THE BUSH DOCTRINE – THERE IS MORE TO IT
No, I am not talking about the democratization of all the nations of the world. I realize that this is what has come to be known as one defining part of “The Bush Doctrine.” President George W. Bush literally believes that every nation in the world should have a form of democratic government, including all the theocratic Muslim nations. They aren’t buying it and they never will.
However, we now come to find out that there is far more to “The Bush Doctrine” than we first thought. Even though he expects the peoples of the world to believe in and implement his democratizing doctrine literally, He does not believe in God’s Word literally. What holds for Bush doesn not hold for God! “The Bush Doctrine” seems to have much more literal punch than “Bible Doctrine.” This is so typical of man who wants to be taken seriously and literally while he takes God with several grains of salt. If you will, we are being led to believe that:
“WHILE MAN DEMANDS HONESTY AND FRANKNESS IN
HIS DEALINGS, GOD DEALS WITH US IN
VAGUENESS AND EVEN
At His best, you cannot take God for what he says, but only for what He means, and of course, there are a million different views as to what He means in His Word on issue after issue. The greatest share of these variances in interpreted meanings come from not taking God’s Word literally and factually. In other words, from not taking God at His Word. Everything from creation to women in ecclesiastical office to marriage and divorce to homosexuality to abortion to you name it. On and on it goes!
Recently President George W. Bush was interviewed on ABC’s Nightline. He indicated that he is not a literalist when it comes to reading and believing the Bible. By the way, let me be quick to point out that President George Bush is not the central issue here, but merely a very prominent and poignant illustration. What we are dealing with is a modern theological and spiritual malaise that is sickening the Christian church and weakening the authority of the Word of God. It is causing a dense haze to spread over people’s minds as to what the Bible really says about anything and everything anymore. If you will:
“THE NON-LITERALISM OF SCRIPTURE IS THE
SPREADING HAZE-MALAISE AND CORE
ISSUE OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY.”
However, according to the President, even though you can’t take the Bible literally, including the “Genesis Creation Account,” an individual can still learn much from the Bible. It should not surprise us therefore that because President George W.Bush is a non-literalist when it comes to Genesis 1, he also stated on ABC’s Nightline that he doesn’t believe that “Divine Creationism” and “Evolution” are incompatible. Surprise, surprise! Here we go! He believes that you can believe in both. A hybrid faith! A hybrid believer!
Well now, here we go again. Over the centuries Christian believers embraced the Genesis 1 creation account as Divine Creation ex nihilo – de novo. It was all done from nothing by God with His creative word power over a period of six creation days. He said and it was done. No questions asked. That was it, for that is what the Bible says!
Now believers embrace a “Theo-Evo-Credo.” Tracing the creation, or should we say the Crea-Evo to its first origination and infancy is now more of a who done it mystery novel than a confession of faith. In this “Theo-Evo-Credo” it is uncertain where God really does fit in along the way. Why? Because what we end up with again is a “Sort-of Creation” and a “Sort-of Evolution.”
You can’t tell definitively whether the “Ancient of Days” is speaking into existence the creation or Atoms are exploding it into existence. It is the marriage of Genesis and The Origin of the Species, Moses and Darwin. “CreEvo” authored by “MoseDar.”
At one point in the Nightline interview, President George W. Bush said, “I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life.” That does mean for him, and many other church people like him, that evolution does partially explain the mystery life. And by the same token his statement also implies that Divine Creationism doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life, just partially. If you will, neither the force of God or the force of matter can create and handle life on their own. God is partially impotent without Darwin, and Darwin is partially impotent without God.
Settle down now, take a deep breath, and let the truth set you straight and free in the midst of all of this madness. There is no room in the Christian Faith for the marriage or even civil union of Darwinism and Creationism. None! That is a marriage made in Hell and not in Heaven. Why? Because it is a lie! God tells us in Genesis 1:1,
“In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth.”
Boom! There it all was is – IN THE BEGINNING. Not IN A SUCCESSION OF EONS. No, this is where time, the world and all vegetable, animal and human history literally and fully began. God does not say, “IN THE BEGINNING GOD STARTED TO CREATE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.” Nor does it say, “IN THE BEGINNING GOD STARTED THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION.”
God then tells us in Genesis 1:1-31 that He not only literally created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, but that He literally created the entire world and all living creatures in a “Six Day Beginning.” Each time, in fact six times in a row, we read the following,
“And there was evening and there was morning , one day,
the second day etc., etc…”
We do not read that He evolved the world over undetermined periods of time (evolution) and then eventually aped man into existence (evolutionism) after millions of evolutionary years. He did it all in six days, not six million years. In short, it was all creative, quick, lively and complete. Genesis 1 allows no other theories or guesses or notions.
It is now more than apparent that we must be alerted to the following principle:
“HOW WE VIEW GOD’S WORD WILL DETERMINE HOW
WE VIEW GOD’S WORKS.”
If we allegorize God’s Word, we will allegorize God’s work. That is not only true concerning the creation work of God, but concerning the redemptive work of Christ and the sanctifying, empowering, gifting work of the Holy Spirit. The non-literalizing of Genesis is a slippery slope into doubt and unbelief about all of the factuality and literalness of Scripture. Which is exactly where the church is being taken today! We as pastors must stand up and halt the slide into unbelief in the modern church!
IT ALL STARTS IN GENESIS
The Christian Faith is the simple belief in and the firm assent to the historical facts of Genesis 1-3, and if we break from the literal interpretation of Scripture here, we will break from it everywhere, and take multitudes of young and old people with us into the theological and moral haze-malaise of our day.
To extend ourselves a bit here into Genesis 3 and the fall of man into sin, I am reminded at this point of C. S. Lewis’ The Tales of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. A very entertaining must read and now a must see film for the whole family. But Lewis makes it very clear that he is telling tales and no more. Imaginative and imaginary narratives! Interwoven of course throughout one can discern strong Gospel elements. But tales nonetheless!
What’s my point? Simply this, that if we don’t have to take Genesis 1 literally, then we don’t have to take Genesis 3 literally either. That is fair and consistent exegesis, or should be say misexegesis. We will just call it something like The Tales of Eden – The Elohim, The Serpent and The Image Bearers. Of course, like The Tales of Narnia, it makes some very interesting points, but at best all wrapped up in a fanciful and dramatic tale for the mind’s eyes.
If I were to present to you The Tales of Eden as the interpretation of Genesis 3 that you should espouse, you then could be sure that the Devil is standing at my elbow as my own personal prompter. It would be nothing more or less than the “Liar From The Beginning” at work through me telling you “Tales From Hell.”
Or again, let’s go deeper still. If we non-literalize Genesis 3 as many do Genesis 1, this means that the first imperative prohibition given by God to the first parents of the human race is not necessarily literal or historical either. Even though the literal God literally said to the literal man about not eating from a literal tree in Genesis 3:17,
“But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
you shall not eat….”
But if we believe the non-literalist’s interpretation, all we have here is an allegory punctuated with a dietary moralism about not eating what is bad for you and eating only that which is good for you. This may sound like an oversimplification of things, but be sure of this and listen to it real good:
“WHERE THERE IS A NON-LITERALIZING OF OF
BIBLICAL FACT, THERE WILL ALWAYS
BE A TRIVIALIZING OF DIVINE FIAT.”
Wham! This is exactly what is happening in the church world. The non-literalizing of Scripture in Genesis 1-3 is what is leading people away from the moral musts of God’s Word to the immoral mush of the current secular humanistic culture and church. We have gone from hardwood Divine imperatives to softwood humanistic pulp, and it all starts in the allegorizing rather than the literal historicizing of Genesis 1-3.
This is where all literal and uncompromising Divine doctrine and dictum begin, and where Satanic deception and delusion end before they can get started – IN THE BEGINNING! Once you get under and fully submitted to the first chapters of the Bible, you will never get over them. However, if you get from under its literalness, the rest of the Bible will lose its factualness and become a hazy maze. Then all of God’s “Thou Shalt Nots” have lost all filial fear of God, and defused demands without dread of disobedience.
These principles are applicable throughout the entire Word of God. The Devil also knows that:
“IF HE CAN CAUSE MAN TO IN ANY WAY DOUBT HIS
LITERAL CREATION AND DEGENERATION IN THE
FIRST ADAM, HE CAN KEEPHIM FROM BEING A
NEW REGENERATED CREATION IN THE
Or we can put it another way:
“ONLY WHEN A MAN IS CONVINCED OF A LITERAL
PARADISE LOST THROUGH SIN, WILL HE
BE CONVICTED OF A LITERAL PARADISE
TO BE GAINED THROUGH CHRIST.”
If “Paradise Lost” is merely allegorical, “Paradise Gained” is a crock!
In fact, when the literal historicity of Bible passages is discarded, the Bible then loses all of its authority! And not only that, it also undermines all exegesis and interpretation as well. Exegesis becomes totally arbitrary, for we then are dealing with abstractions rather than reality, and symbols rather than fact.
WHAT IS LITERAL AND WHAT ISN’T?
President Bush, as we have seen earlier, stated on Nightline that while he is a proponent of a “Non-Literal Bible,” He also stated that you still can learn a great deal from it, including the fact that God sent His only Son into the world. I am thankful that he believes that God became man in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
But all of this of course begs the question as to why he would take the incarnation of the last Adam literally but the creation of the first Adam non-literally? Why would “Six-Day Divine Creationism” call for non-literalism, and the no less astonishing “Son-Of-God Incarnationism” call for literalism?
I mean, after all, yes, Adam the man was astonishingly created from dust, but God the Son was no less astonishingly conceived in and birthed from one of earth’s virgin women. Is a literal Mary the Virgin Mother easier to believe than a literal Rib Originated Eve? Come now! Why would “The Holy Spirit’s Moving Upon The Face Of The Waters” be non-literalized, and “The Holy Spirit’s Moving Upon A Virgin” be literalized?
We are now living in an interpretive and exegetical zoo. I am afraid that “The Bush Doctrine” is as sick as “The Bush Economics.” Either way it gets us into a mess.
Or again, why would President Bush read Genesis 1:1-5 etc. non-literally and John 1:1-5 literally? Which of those two Scriptures is less mysterious, less challenging and therefore more believable as literally true? Which one cries out for dispute and lengthy debate, while the other cries out for immediate acceptance and belief as is? Which miracle are we to take literally and the other miracle merely symbolically – God created man without a mold or God became man without a sperm? Come now, which is it? To help us out of this needless dilemma, ask yourself this question:
“WHY IN HEAVEN’S NAME WOULD YOU DOUBT THAT
BOTH ARE LITERALLY TRUE WHEN THE LITERAL
GOD SAYS THAT HE LITERALLY DID
BOTH OF THEM?”
Read on, and it will become obvious why?
THE ORIGIN OF NON-LITERALISM
Oh yes, I know that this non-literalness of the Word of God did not begin with President George W. Bush, though it is a shame that He’s gotten caught up in it. On the Nightline program, he was also queried as to whether he thought God chose him to be the President of the United States. His answer to that was, “I just can’t go there, I’m not confident in knowing, you know, the Almighty, to be able to say, ‘Yeah, God wanted me to be president.’” He may not be able to go there, but the Bible does go there. Literally! We read in Daniel 2:21,
“He (God) removes kings and establishes kings.”
And again in Daniel 4:17,
“…that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind,
and bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over
it the lowliest of men.”
And so for the President and thousands of religious folks like him, the literal truths of the Bible are being immersed in the modern haze-malaise of non-literal Bible interpretation.
It all began with a literal Satan in the literal Garden of Eden when he asked a literal Eve, as recorded in Genesis 3:1, a literal question:
“Indeed, has God said?”
If you will, he was asking and thereby stating, “Is that what God really meant to say? No, no, rather let me tell you what He really meant to say!” That is how Satan does it, and thereby messes with our thoughts and opens an approved door to our sinful desires. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
It was a literal question of insinuated non-literalism that Satan has not stopped asking man throughout the ages! It wasn’t just a literal question, but it was also a literal seed of non-literalism that he planted in the heart and mind of the human race. It was Satan who put the non-literal notion in the human race to begin with. It was and is his trump card. It was and is still is his coupe de’tat. It was and is how he gains the advantage over us. Frankly, it was and still is the devilish war machine by which Satan batters down our belief in the literal word of the literal God Who says what He means and means what He says.
The Devil, right now as you read this, is laying down his train tracks in your church and steaming his train loaded with passengers to knock down the spiritual building of faith that the Holy Spirit has raised up in your people by asking them, “That really isn’t the way it happened is it? That is not really what God is saying is He? Is that what God really meant, or did He mean something else altogether? You just can’t be too sure about so many things in the Bible. They could mean this and then again they could mean that. You should learn not to be so dogmatic, definitive and decisive when it comes to the Bible, for so much in the Bible was written for the ancient culture of that day, and really has no literal relevance for us now.”
On and on it goes. In my brief lifetime, I have never heard and seen so much of Satan’s surreptitiousness, even in historically reputable Christian churches, that I could spit. What we have coming out of them now is CreEvo, HeteroHomo and SpirituoMaterio.
The results of “The Devil’s Non-Literal Doctrine” are catastrophic! What we end up with and what it has come down to is this:
“WE CANNOT ANY LONGER TAKE THE BIBLE AT
Nothing is what it seems to be. If you will:
“THE BIBLE DOES NOT MEAN WHAT IT SAYS, NOR
DOES IT SAY WHAT IT MEANS.”
Our Godly ancestors believed the Bible word for word, but now we no longer can take the Bible’s word for it, so we are told. Our forefathers and foremothers believed and knew the Bible stories of “David And Goliath” and “Elijah’s Chariot Of Fire” and many others literally word for word, and they could speak those stories and verses perfectly verbatim before the preacher could finish reading them. And when they read those stories at the supper table or before tucking us in at night, they did so like their very lives depended upon the factualness and literalness of Scripture. They read those stories to us at home as if they were eyewitnesses to the very events. Now they are laughed at as those who were naïve and the victims of an uneducated and unenlightened faith.
We now live in the “I-Know-Better Generation,” and the Bible no longer has the last word, man does. So much of the Bible has become little more than fodder for higher criticism and the conundrums of alleged Bible Scholars to hassle over. How pathetic! How devastating!
We all are in danger of getting caught in the coils of this masterpiece of Satan’s strategies – the allegorizing, symbolizing and non-literalizing of the Word of God. So much so that 49% of “Born Again Christians” questioned in a poll indicated they do not believe in a literal Satan who to them was nothing more than a serpentine logo for evil in the world.
Listen! Bible events and people are literal, concrete facts and occurrences, unless the Lord tells us otherwise as in His parables. Man’s opinions by themselves about these actual events are often allegorical quicksand. We must build our faith on Biblical fact, not on human ideas. So many modern theologians are like today’s TV and radio commentators who are more interested in transmitting their spin on the event rather than the event itself. The majority of them are so far left of center that the event becomes totally lost in their bias. The same thing is happening in contemporary theology.
God is not only the Pioneer of creation, but He is the Perfecter of creation too. He is not only the “God Of What’s First,” but the “God Of What’s Final.” God began us, and those who believe in Christ as their Savior and Lord He is going to complete us. We were created with His signature of ownership inscribed upon us – His image. He is coming back for what is rightfully and now redemptively His. Only those who believe Him at the beginning of all things will have their bags packed for the end of all things as we know them. I have never met a “Sort-of Believer” who non-literalizes Genesis 1 and has his bags packed for the literal rapture.
First things first Mr. President – BELIEVE EXACTLY, LITERALLY AND COMPLETELY WHAT GENESIS 1-3 SAYS. Now you are on your way safely no longer in BUSH DOCTRINE but in BIBLE DOCTRINE. Blessings to you and Laura for the rest of your literal earthly lives in the literal crucified, risen and ascended Christ, and your literal eternal lives with Christ in His literal Heaven forever! Amen!