The Drill

IMG_0178

Since leaving the classroom, I have gotten to be involved in some of the behind the scenes workings of schools. One of these areas in which I have gained a new perspective is the drills we must do. You know the kind. Fire drills, tornado drills, intruder lockdowns, zombie apocalypse practice, etc. are all scheduled and planned on our calendar. We then get to surprise the rest of the staff and students and time their reactions. Recently, I was able to help with a tornado drill and it had some interesting results. We had some students outside, one of whom was my daughter, who evidently did not hear the warning or ignored it. I have taken great pleasure in reminding her that she and her class are dead since they never came in and took shelter. I would randomly go by and say, “I see dead people”. All joking aside, why do we waste time on these drills? Because if there is a real emergency , we want to get everyone to safety as quickly as possible. Our times have improved and the little wrinkles we throw at them are easily overcome. Our time practicing now will pay off if we ever have to use these plans in a real emergency.

Our walk for Christ requires training as well. Paul wrote a letter instructing Timothy about this very thing. “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ AMP). I used the Amplified version to help clarify Paul’s point. The young preacher, Timothy was to diligently study and accurately teach the Bible. Just a few paragraphs later, Paul warns, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (‭II Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭1-4‬ NKJV). Preachers, and all Christians, are to proclaim the word!

Like eager students learning how to duck and cover, we must study, live out, and proclaim God’s word. Sadly, many today are turning from God’s word and looking to society to find their beliefs. Instead of knowing what God says and seeking to live it, many are saying churches need to get with the times. In fact, one such pastor was recently asked about one of the hot topics where Scripture and society clash. His reply was, “”I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense,….” Here is a so called pastor flippantly dismissing God’s word as irrelevant. If the Bible can’t be trusted when it lays out a moral compass for us, how can it be trusted on matters of eternity? It appears we are in those days when many will not endure sound doctrine. We must be even more diligent to know the truth.

Let us not be deceived. Study the word. Proclaim the truth in love.

The problem today

culture clash

The problem on so many issues today isn’t really a new one.  There has always been a clash between the culture of  the world and the teachings of the Bible.  Many of the hot button issues being debated today really come down to one foundational belief:   “What is your view of the Bible?”

If you view the Bible as God’s word in which He gives to us His ideas on our lives and values, then it is to be obeyed and followed.  If on the other hand, it is a dated document that needs to be re-translated to fit our modern times it can be adapted to suit our culture’s ideas.   The problem with the later views to me is where does it end.  If I want to get drunk, I simply say the prohibition against being drunk only applied to the 1st century.  If I desire to cheat on my wife, I say the 10 commands, and Jesus’ endorsement of them in the New Testament are outdated and need to be redefined.  In other words, I can ultimately write my own Bible to justify whatever my heart desires.

Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” HCSB.  

The Bible is inspired, literally  “God-breathed”.  He chose different authors from different times to use like an artist might use different brushes and colors, but His hand directed their strokes.  His thoughts were recorded for us without any error.

His word is profitable for us!  In His word, we find out what His standards are.  It is the rock upon which we can build our lives. You don’t have to use things the way the owner’s manual says to use them, but there are often consequences for disregarding them.  Just ask someone who has submerged their cell phone in water.   The Bible was written by our manufacturer (creator).  When we start using our lives in ways God didn’t intend for us, there are consequences to suffer.   Nothing can separate us from His love, but when we misuse His word to justify sin, we are opening ourselves up for a world of hurt through the consequences of our sins and the discipline of our loving Father.

We must quit trying to adapt the word to fit our world, and go back to trying to get the world to follow His word.  That is ultimately done as individuals become disciples of Jesus.   In all the political debate, court cases, protests, etc it is easy to loose sight of that.  No matter what judges or laws say, wrong will always be wrong and right will always be right.  Our mission is to lead people to the truth.  We can win the world 1 life at a time.