Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Authority of Scripture

Progressives deny the full authority of Scripture, particularly about sex and personal conduct. It restricts their style. They characterize a love for Scripture as “bibliolatry.” 

This is a short article in a four-part series. It does not cover all the subtopics on why the Bible should be considered authoritative, but it reviews the main points.

These verses are about the Old Testament and the reason it must be respected:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Next, Paul says we are not to go beyond what is written:

Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. (1 Cor. 4:6)

What is written may refer to the OT, or it may refer to what Paul was writing then and there, authoritatively.

In the context of communion, Paul writes:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you … (1 Cor. 11:23)

Paul got all of his ideas either by revelation or handed-down traditions–all by the inspiration of the Spirit.

This verse says we must handle Scripture correctly:

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  (2 Tim. 2:15)

Apostolic teaching is authoritative:

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teaching we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (2 Thess. 2:15)

Next, let’s show humility about Scripture and not stand in judgment over it:

… When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. (Jas. 4:11b-12a)

Scripture is still infallible and authoritative. You cannot pick and choose by your own tastes. “I like this verse, but not that one!”

‘Total’ Inerrancy and Infallibility or Just Infallibility? (my view of Scripture is discussed)

Application

If you could time-travel back to the life of Jesus and then the apostles and tell them you were throwing out the OT, they would be aghast at your act. Your arrogance in doing so is deep and wide. No one can barge into the kingdom and the church and rewrite the rules. This is God’s Son’s kingdom and church, not yours.

Drop the arrogance, please.

Don’t accept the equation that honoring the infallible and authoritative Scripture = Bibliolatry. Don’t “improve on” the apostolic view of Scripture.

Love without truth is deficient and deceptive, and truth without love is off-putting and harsh. Here’s the balance:

Love + Truth = Balanced Message and Messenger

The messenger is you, the church leaders and pastors, and your message must encompass the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Preachers are (wrongly) famous for preaching one message. Here’s a partial list of their pet doctrines: the Word of Faith, the Word of Grace, the Word of Hopes and Dreams, the Word of Prosperity, the Word of Purpose, the Word of Deny and Die (deny yourself and die to self), or the Word of End-Times Bible prophecy. These teachers fish around for support for their own pet doctrine, and as a result they twist some Scriptures and ignore many, many others. Teach all of Scripture, even the uncomfortable verses.

Teach through Ephesians, for example. Teach through one of the Gospels. Be balanced and all-encompassing of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.

Sorry, but you are not God’s special celebrity pastor. You are replaceable.

OTHER ARTICLES IN THE FOUR-PART SERIES

Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Marriage and Sex

Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Danger Signs

Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Judgment Is Coming

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