Quick question, what do you use from 2000 years ago? You may be thinking that there is nothing that you use from 2000 years ago, but that’s not true. Did you know that there are some forms of mathematics that are around 3000 years old but still utilized? Most experts agree that math became an organized discipline around 2500 years ago in ancient Greece, and don’t even get me started on the wheel. We all know that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble invented the wheel back in the stone ages…and, I just revealed my age in that last statement. Here’s the deal, there are some really old things that we still use. Being old doesn’t make something irrelevant. I could argue the opposite, something that has been able to stand the test of time should be considered more relevant than something that is brand new. The truth is, you can’t trust something you haven’t tried, and by try, I mean put to the test.
While it is true that there are a bunch of old things that we no longer use because we found a better way to accomplish what the old thing was trying to accomplish. I hung up my Sony Walkman and all those cassette tapes years ago (again exposing my age). Something about needing to have a pencil handy for emergencies and having to rewind the tape to hear your favorite song seemed like a poor option when music went digital. But the Bible is different. The Bible is God revealing Himself to us and showing us His plan for us to have a relationship with Him, and the Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He doesn’t change! His desire to have a relationship with us hasn’t changed, and if none of that has changed, then the Bible is still relevant. It is most definitely for today!
When we ask the question, “Is the Bible for today?” or “Is the Bible still relevant?” what we are really asking is, “Is God for today?” When the world cries out against the words of Scripture, they are really crying out against God. But here’s the deal…God told us that this would happen. Jesus said the world hated Him so we can expect the world to hate us. Paul tells us that the Gospel is foolishness to those who don’t believe it is the power of God to those who do (1 Corinthians 1:18). When people cry out against God and against the Bible, they are not really saying the Bible is not for today or God is not for today, they are really saying God is not for me. I don’t like what He says about the way I’m living or the things I believe. What has happened here is people have placed their thoughts, opinions, values, and beliefs above the thoughts and words of God. We have made ourselves the ultimate authority on what is right or wrong, good or evil, and when God’s words don’t match our words, He is the problem, not us.
Have you ever raised a teenager? Every parent of a teenager has experienced what God experiences with humanity. I shouldn’t say every because there are always outliers, but most teenagers believe that they are the ultimate authority on everything, and the words of their older, more experienced parents are irrelevant at best. I think it’s natural to question things. We are immersed in a culture, in a world that is totally going against God, and we don’t have the privilege of seeing the whole, eternal picture like God does. The thing that will totally change your perspective is a change in the question. Change the question from, “Is God for today?” to “Is God for me?” and the answer to that is a resounding, YES!” God is so for you that He sent His only Son to die so He could be in a relationship with you. The Bible is His way of telling you, “This is how this relationship works,” and He puts His Holy Spirit inside of you to give you the power and guidance you need to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
So, here’s my challenge for you, find a way to identify and set aside the cultural-based biases you have towards the Bible and write them down. One that I carried for a long time was why would a good God allow bad things to happen. It shaped the way I read and interpreted Scripture. It wasn’t until I began to understand human free will, God’s holiness, and the consequences of sin that I really began to read the Bible without that bias. So, write them down and pray about them. Ask God to help you see His word the way He intended and ask His Holy Spirit to guide you in all truth. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.