It seems to be far safer to proclaim chance or cosmic fate than to proffer the truth held in Scripture to devotees of the post-modern, word of faith, pseudo-charismatic gospel. Apparently, Bible believing Christians who dare to quote truth from Scripture are misguided, self-centered, overly enthusiastic and arrogant Bibliolaters. Even worse, they are regarded as fantastical red fairies who place way too much emphasis on the Word of God. According to any number of variations of post-modern thinkers, the same God who provided us with His written Word, also made sure that the church had charismatic opponents who could operate from within and who have been armed with personal revelation to refute those who advocate adherence to sola Scriptura.
Additionally, what is being most recklessly proclaimed by these morally enthused opponents, is the belief that Scripture can be interpreted in many ways, and that understanding of Scripture is reliant on the private message which the individual receives from Bible text. Many pastors and elders in the post-modern church deceptively proclaim that the Bible is simply a collection of rough guidelines and historic illustrations, which may or may not be relevant to the individual Christian’s life.
This according to some, is what referring to Scripture portrays.
Often, the inferred seeker friendly message which proceeds from the microphone in the hands of the idolized preacher on the stage (I will refrain from calling it a pulpit), is that the “prospective” Christian need not spend much time in studying the Scriptures, as the truth will be supernaturally made available to them. Rather, they are to await some revelatory spiritual experience which will bring enlightenment or to be on the lookout for some extra-biblical sign which will provide guidance to the seeker. This much is clearly evident from the limited amount of time, and in certain instances there is none, which is dedicated to expository preaching during their shows (again, I feel compelled to not refer to these flamboyant fiascos as sermons).
Further to this, is the definition of what and who constitutes the Body of Christ, which has undergone a metamorphosis in the emergent and post-modern church. It is not a recent development that the definition of who has earned, or bought, the right to be identified as a Christian, has changed. Very soon after the Gospel had been taken to other regions by the apostles, heretical doctrine had begun to infiltrate the fledgling church (Gal 1:6-7). In seeker friendly and emergent circles it seems that the title of “Christian” is being reserved for moderates and ecumenicals tolerant of all manner of religious persuasions and for those who refrain from exposing heresies, false teachers and false doctrines.
It is a tragic indictment of these churches that it is not the unrepentant criminals, evil societal misfits, blasphemers and professing Christians who are the most distrusted of members among them, but rather those who endorse Scriptural truth and refuse to compromise on the fundamentals of God’s Word. Additionally, it seems that the church groups who regard biblical Christians as being “Bible Punchers”, have no regard whatsoever for those souls who are lost in sin and in real danger of eternal separation from God. They will be lost because they will not be presented with the truth. Faith comes solely from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17), and that Word is found only in the Bible. Therefore, if those who uphold the Word are simply “Bible Punchers”, by what means, if any, do their opponents suggest their commission be fulfilled (Matt 28:19, 20) of making disciples of all nations and teaching them to obey His Word?
Partial motivation for me having written this blog post was provided by a few mindless comments made recently by some old “friends” on one of the social media networks. I have personally found no use for any of the social networks, therefore I am not a member of any of them and the comments needed to pointed out to me by one of my children. Knowing that this sort of behaviour is commonly encountered in the social media, I was nevertheless convinced by the sheer foolishness of those commentators to respond as I have done here.
The comment in question concerned my wife (co-admin on this blog), and the sovereign authority of the Word of God. Typical of the adherents to the post-modern church, the commentators attempted to make the point that, due to the fact that my wife constantly refers to Scripture when answering questions related to the Christian walk and faith, she was by definition of that approach, a “Bible Puncher”. Now, a comment such as that, which is an attempt to humiliate the believer, begs the obvious question as to how the commentators themselves could claim to be Christians, and to simultaneously have held the Word of God in such low esteem? I suppose I might very well have been wrong in assuming that the commentators had regarded themselves as Christians. If that was the case, it would very well explain their indiscretion.
In and around the same thread, one of these commentators made the remark that he seemed surprised by the amount of Scripture which my wife had employed in support of her point. He/she asked the question as to where my wife had found “so much” Scripture. I suppose the commentator would have preferred her to express a personal opinion, which would have been easier to further attack than the boring old Bible texts. This presents us with three possibilities. 1) He had made a failed attempt at a joke. 2) He was being sarcastic in feigning surprise at the use of Scripture, because in that instance the correct application of that Scripture had completely refuted his argument. 3) He truly was an undiscerning and surprised unbeliever.
Let us very briefly investigate the commentators attitude. No Christian could ever fail to delight in reading or hearing the Word, it could never be “too much” Scripture for a believer. Therefore, in the instance of that commentator, all three the above possibilities become certainties. His/her comment was not even mildly amusing, his/her attempt at sarcasm was a dismal failure, his/her argument was fully refuted by the Scripture presented, his/her actions were not those of a Christian.
It never fails to amaze the believer – that is the regularity with which professing Christians present the misguided utterances of so-called charismatic pastors, or sometimes even their personal experiences, as being of higher authority than the Bible. But, when the sheep who follow Christ, in humility and service towards others, impart the smallest portion of His written truth, they are labeled “Bible Punchers” by those professing Christians. By those actions and attitudes those professing Christians (and those who simply deny Christ), certainly distinguish themselves as prize goats.
In how much contempt are the truly new born children of God held by these unbelieving professors of Christ? True believers, who do not simply offer personal opinion but uphold Scripture as the truth, are dismissed as antinomian odd-balls or Bible Punchers. They are regarded as holders of high doctrine who have departed from the popular practice of pulling down God’s Word to agree with the fancies of men. They are seen as narrow-minded bigots intent on forcing hard to understand, dry and severe biblical truth onto professing Christians. The very truths held in the Bible for which our church fathers were martyred, are now regarded as infamous tools in the hands of Bible Punchers.
The salt of the earth have become outcasts from the so-called “anointed” and “new spiritual” churches, churches who prefer to bow down before Baal and Mammon and to follow deceived preachers of another gospel and another Jesus. Professing Christians have become careless about what they believe and equally careless about where they receive instruction. Misguided magazines and books, deceived and demonic ministries, false faith healers, preachers of the prosperity and social gospel, have replaced the Bible. As commonly encountered as are discarded cans, have become those who offer useless “gems” of wisdom which they have gleaned from the humanistic and social gospel of preachers such as the likes of Angus Buchan, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes and Rick Warren, to name but a few.
Charles Spurgeon pointed out most aptly that the sin of this age is impurity of doctrine and laxity of faith. The blame for having let the doctrines of demons and men invade the church must be laid squarely on the shoulders of those who do not search for the truth themselves (Act 17:11, 2 Cor 13:5, 1 Thes 5:21). Rather, they allow themselves to be emotionally overwhelmed and convinced by eloquent preachers who are passionate about proclaiming the social gospel of tolerance toward all things which seem moral and acceptable to man. Yes, I know three verses is a lot of Scripture for the unbeliever to cope with, but I make no apologies for that. I am not ashamed of the Truth.
The social gospel creates a marriage between fire and water, forges a union between salvation by works and salvation through faith alone, preaches a non-judgmental attitude toward false doctrine, allows alliances to be formed between heaven and hell, and encourages adherents to not spend time in studying the Word of God. This same gospel teaches that man can motivate God to bring about his salvation by following an admirable lifestyle. That gospel tells us that God has a will and desire for all men to be healthy and rich. That gospel teaches that God longs for us to be His friends and that He is waiting in the hope that we accept His friendship request. That gospel calls for Bible believing Christians to be titled Bible Punchers.
The social gospel promotes the understanding that all men are brethren regardless of what they regard as the truth and that truth is relative to the interpretation of the individual. That gospel preaches that God is simply a God of love, even when challenged by the truth that He clearly hates some men (Rom 9:13). Different truths now hold sway for different folks, different forms of the Gospel can apply to people of different cultures and belief systems.
To assist the goats who follow the social gospel, the one which promotes an abstinence from Bible reading, I include the following. We should read the Bible because it is the only form of God’s Word to us. It answers all questions which pertain to life everlasting. It is reliable and without error, even though the emergent church sees the canon and prophecy as being a work in progress, (but then again, they also see Bible believers as Bible Punchers J). We should read the Bible because we have the ability to test it, to check it against history, science and against itself. We should read the Bible because there is no other way to recognize false teaching.
The Bible gives us a measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error… and to distinguish Bible believers from Bible Punchers. The Bible equips us with the knowledge of how to serve God and how to be saved. Reading the Bible enables us to identify sin and to find ways of dealing with it. We should not merely read the Bible, but we should study it so that we can apply it, otherwise it is like swallowing food without chewing it and then spitting it out. It then offers no nutritional value.
The Bible is God’s Word and as such is as binding as the law of gravity. You can choose to ignore it to your own detriment, but you cannot escape the truths held in it. Contrary to what the social gospel teaches, the Bible is not about us, it is about Jesus. We should take our eyes off ourselves and look at Jesus in the Bible. Despite all that the social gospel would have us believe, the Bible is not a book given to dole out moral lessons, it is a book given to us to teach us about Christ. If you are not interested in learning from the only source at our disposal from which we can learn about our Lord and Saviour, don’t read the Bible and don’t criticize those who do. It is a simple choice you are free to make. But don’t be a goat by uttering mindless, idiotic, waste of time, divisive and ridiculing comments about those who are drawn to the Holy Scriptures, by calling them Bible Punchers.
One of the commentators whose anti-biblical retorts moved me to write the short article above, publicly stated that he was glad that he had no red fairies at the bottom of his garden. That may well be something to be pleased about, as I would presume that red fairies could be intimidating creatures to a strong middle aged man of above average physical stature. What I am more certain about, is that red fairies would certainly appear to be truly fearsome in gardens where the Word is not the sole authority and therefore where the Spirit of God is unwelcome.
If what I have written in this article has unduly offended any true brother or sister, I most humbly ask for your forgiveness for my fallible indiscretion. If, however, it is my referral to the truth in Scripture which has caused the offense, I offer no apology whatsoever, for of that I was not the author and Scripture was written with the intent of causing offense to those who deny its absolute authority.
I recently took a look at my wife’s hands. What struck me was the fact that her knuckles are soft and her dainty fingers do not resemble those of a boxer. Somehow one would have expected them to look a little different after years of Bible Punching.
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