I asked you about your faith because I can still remember being told I was too serious about mine ten years ago in an adult Sunday School class. Now I think it’s a compliment and I ask you, if you’re not serious about your faith, what are you serious about? My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay my sin debt in full and I am forgiven because He was the perfect sacrifice required to purchase my forgiveness and that of all other believers. It wasn’t pretty and when we view depictions of His crucifixion many of us turn away. Well, I take my faith seriously and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
A number of years ago I joined the Lay Servant Ministries of the United Methodist Church. I did so because it stressed the fact that Scripture is the inherent Word of God. It was God-breathed and is accepted as absolute truth. I stand firm on that belief and have been appalled by the watering down of Scripture in recent years. I was disillusioned when I discovered that a United Methodist bishop had written a book disavowing the Virgin birth and Christ’s resurrection. The book had been placed on the United Methodist Women’s Reading List in the mid 1990’s and I spoke out against it. I discovered that other bishops could have voted to censure Bishop Sprague’s writings but they refused. I remained firm in my conviction then, and when I was told to be quiet and not make waves, I resigned from my office with the district UMW.
I still believe that our ministers should be held to a high standard. I realize they will answer to God for their teachings (James 3:1-2), but I think they are sent to inspire, encourage and nourish our faith. For that very reason, I was blown away by a post I received on Facebook by a local minister of a United Methodist Church. I had attended there regularly for two years and my name was still on their email list to receive notifications regarding the church. Interestingly I had tried to have my name removed from the list at least five times in the past year. Each time I was promised I would be unsubscribed and then I would get another email. Well, I guess I was really supposed to receive this post unfortunately or fortunately.
The post stated “I’m preaching on ‘Doubting Thomas’ this week and was wondering what does your doubt look like? I found myself reading Scripture Monday thinking, ‘This could all be made up.’ So where or how do you doubt the Gospel message? I’d love your feedback.”
I immediately left this comment: “I don’t doubt it, because it’s the inherent word of God. It is God-breathed!” About an hour later the post was still there but my comment had “disappeared.” I decided to stand firm and shared the post, explaining again my belief in the infallibility of God’s Word and the fact that my original comment had evaporated somehow.
I share this incident with a heavy heart. How or why would I listen to a minister who doubts his faith or more specifically doesn’t believe the truth of Scripture? Ministers or pastors are supposed to be shepherds like Christ, leading their flock. How can a lost person who picks and chooses what he thinks is believable lead others to a strong faith?
We are cautioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to test everything and hold on to the good. I listen carefully to any preacher and compare their words to Scripture. I think many people come to church and really don’t tune in to what the minister is saying. Be wary, dear friends, and follow those who preach the Word without wavering.
Satan is having a field day in today’s church when he is able to cause disruption and plant seeds of doubt. Satan knows Scripture and twists it to suit his desires. I remind you of his attempt to lead Christ astray in the desert. We don’t need ministers who voice their doubts and plant evil seed within their congregations. Be serious, stand firm and believe His Word! The truth will set you free!