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I was taken aback a couple of weeks ago when I saw a video of a well-known Southern Baptist Pastor who stated that we shouldn’t be preaching about the infallibility or authority of the Bible because that might be offensive to non-believers and that we ought to just focus on the resurrection and the love of God. This same pastor was soft-pedaling the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality and essentially said that sexual deviancy wasn’t that big a deal and we should give our attention to other sins. But frankly, I got the impression he didn’t give very much attention to any sin of any kind. More that we ought to just tell everyone how much God loved them like they were and not to be concerned about a change of behavior. I’d really like to believe that what he was saying is that any sin separates us from the Father and that a sin against nature itself is not worse than any other sin. But the overt push to say that the veracity of the Bible was not that important is where I choked on his words. After all, by what authority do we even have for the story of the resurrection? I’m pretty sure that the source for the essential doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus is in fact the scriptures. If the Word isn’t all that important and we can dismiss the parts of it that make us uncomfortable and in direct conflict with modern culture, then we’ve undermined the historical assurance of Jesus having overcome death and sin by dying on the cross and achieving the ultimate victory for our eternal life by his physical resurrection.
I admit, I’m a pretty simple guy. I believe the Bible as adamantly now as I did when I was 18 and a college freshman. I don’t have any other source that I really trust to present God’s pattern for life or give me the template for living life other than Holy Scripture. So when I hear someone smugly telling me not to get that wrapped up by what the Bible says and just go with my feelings of love for everyone, I put my engine in reverse and look for another spiritual road to travel.
The Bible has always been in direct conflict with the culture of the day. Whether it’s the subject of greed, unforgiveness, anger, adultery, theft, or violence toward others, the Biblical message provides a stark contrast to the worldly admonition to “just do it if it feels good.”
I absolutely believe in the actual death, the burial, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. The whole of my faith depends on it. Without the blood of the Messiah to cover my sins and his resurrection to empower us to conquer death, the Christian faith is nothing more than a nice benevolent philosophy of “do-goodism,” presented by a really nice, mild-mannered carpenter turned teacher.
I’m celebrating Easter weekend not because of bunnies, painted eggs, and a lot of one-time a year people showing up for church. I celebrate that the inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word of God tells me the historically true story of God becoming a human and living without sin to become my substitute and sacrifice. I celebrate that He carried my sins and your sins to the cross where He died a brutal, but voluntary death. And I celebrate that not even death could stop Him, and that because He lives, I will live for all eternity—not by virtue of my having done something for God, but because He did something for me.
I’ve got no problems with some of the traditions surrounding Easter, whether it’s the hiding of some eggs, or chocolate bunny rabbits. But I do have a problem if we base our faith on what we think, feel, or believe rather than on what God says in the book He gave as His divine roadmap to live life on earth and experience everlasting life in heaven. It’s why I will absolutely celebrate Easter as I gratefully acknowledge what God has done for me, and never what I might think I have done for God.