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Treasure map or terrible tale?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
We have all heard stories about treasures buried in far distant islands, especially by pirates; the fight about finding the maps, getting there first, and changing maps to frustrate treasure hunters. This is mainly fiction, though treasures, especially in the seas have been found.
In what way can the Bible, a map and a treasure be reconciled? The Bible points the way (the map) to a precious treasure (being with God for eternity). We can accept that as truth because there is so much fiddling with the map. It shows that the map is leading to a treasure. There would be no reason to falsify or change the map, if it was worthless. Look at all the attempts: ‘The history of Adam and Eve is a myth’, ‘Jesus Christ’s resurrection is false information’, ‘ The Bible is a product of man’, ‘The revelation of God in the Bible is man’s idea of God’, ‘The Bible contains historical errors’, ‘It is a terrible God who had all the inhabitants of Jericho killed’..... The list goes on and on. And this has been going on since the early ages of Christianity. Surely it must be a worthwhile treasure!
Let us look at one of the persons desperately trying to change the map: Bishop Shelby Spong. What we understand from a man who has such a title is that he is supposed to be an overseer in the church, a man supposed to be trustworthy, a man supposed to teach his flock the truths of God (1 Tim 3:1-10). As a theologian (all Christians should be theologians in a certain sense) he has the wonderful privilege of teaching what God has revealed in the Bible. He should also be known as a man who deeply loves God and Jesus, otherwise why would he be in God’s service? But what does he do? He writes books telling others that the Virginal Conception, the Resurrection, and miracles, are clearly not the truth (’Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism’; ‘Resurrection: Myth or Reality’; and others).
Why would a Christian destroy the foundation of his faith? His faith is built on the Bible and its teachings. Central to all of the Bible is the message of God: Through Jesus Christ’s Virginal Conception, His sinless life, His death on the Cross, and Resurrection, all people can have their sins pardoned and be accepted in God’s presence. A theologian, because of his great love and reverence for God and the Bible, has to teach people these unchangeable facts which make salvation possible.
The help of the Holy Spirit is imperative in understanding the Bible, and in having a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:26). Would the Holy Spirit for any reason whatsoever help anybody who is changing the clear teaching of the Bible? Not in your life! The Holy Spirit, who inspired the apostles and prophets to write down God’s words, would never change the teachings of the Bible. Without the Resurrection, there is no reason at all to take the message of the Bible to heart (1 Cor 15:17-20). Jesus must have had a very valid reason for warning His disciples to be careful of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt 16:12).
Without the Resurrection and the Virginal Conception, the message of the Bible has only to do with this life. If the Bible only had to do with this life why take it seriously? How stupid must a person to be to listen to the message of the Bible, read the Bible, pray and tithe, while it has no eternal value?
Our conclusion: Anybody who changes the clear teaching of the Bible, in contradiction to at least 3 admonitions not to do it (Deut 4:2; 12:32; Prov 30:6) is not spreading God’s message. We must concur with Paul that some people have a different agenda (2 Cor 11:1-13). Stay away from them, because by changing the map, they are robbing you of the greatest treasure of all times.
Related articles: Resurrection: Reality or Rubbish?, The Fishy tale of Jonah, God’s soldiers or prisoners of war?