Sep 24, 2009
I remember as a young Christian reading about how Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for following their traditions over their hearts. I would think to myself, “I’m glad we don’t do that today.” It wasn’t until about fifteen years later that my eyes were opened to just how much of my religion was based on nothing more than tradition. The more I studied into this subject, the more I found that a staggering percent of the stuff we practice and teach in the Christian religion is based on things we’ve made up over the years. More than half of the stuff we take for granted as being factual is not found anywhere in Scripture. After it’s been spoken so many times by a bunch of people we respect, we begin to believe it actually exists in the Bible, and amazingly, no one can tell us any different. I have found that most Christians today honestly don’t know the difference between tradition and what is actually in the Bible. Amazingly, most of the claims we make about the Bible aren’t even in the Bible.
I think one of the biggest traditions in Christianity today is the idea that we have to back up every single statement we make with a Bible verse. I can hardly get through some Christian books because in an attempt to be politically correct, the author has cut and pasted so many Scriptural references in and out of every single statement he makes. It absolutely bewilders me every time someone demands a Bible verse to prove something I’ve said. It’s become a Cardinal rule in our generation. It’s as though people have been convinced that they are as dumb as a post, and they can’t tell on their own whether something is truth or not just by thinking about it.
I have found that the Scriptural reference mentality actually stupefies people. If you have to look in the Bible to find out if murder is wrong, there’s a major problem. If you need a Bible verse to prove that loving one another is a good idea, you’re already dead. Because of this mentality we have about the Bible, we’ve not only become a generation of radically insecure people, but we’ve also become a generation of people who don’t even think to consult our hearts in any given situation.
Most folks will argue that if we don’t demand a Bible reference to back up every statement, we could all be lead astray and fall into heresy. I personally feel that the exact opposite is true. In my opinion, when I look at the history of Christianity, and focus particularly on the last hundred years when this mentality become popular, I see more heresy, division, and outright apostasy taking place because of this mentality. When you list the atrocities that have taken place on our earth because someone found a Bible verse to support their cause, it’s rather disturbing. Everything from the KKK right down to the Holocaust were the aftermath of someone believing they found a verse that backs up their position.
People will always disagree on the meaning of a Bible verse, but remarkably when it comes to the truth and heart of love, people from all backgrounds and circumstances recognize it immediately. Even tribes of people who have been secluded in the rain forest for thousands of years understand love's truth. They recognize it the moment it's spoken.
There are reported to be over thirty-eight-THOUSAND denominations of Christianity in the United States alone. Almost every single split took place because of a disagreement over the meaning of a particular Bible verse. When it comes to believing in God, loving people, getting along and living in forgiveness, you can visit any kindergarten class in America and find the absolute truth. How is it that a child of five can know spiritual answers, yet grown adults need to search a concordance and find a verse before they can come to truth?
I once posted an article where I wrote about how a husband should give his entire heart to his wife and love her unconditionally, and someone left a comment saying, “It would be nice if you would have used Scripture to back this up.” I thought, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? Is this what it’s come down to in this generation? I honestly believe that this dead-heartedness is the direct result of Bible worship. Christians have been taught to think in verses. They walk around not even making a bit of sense because their entire language has been taken over by their obsessive quotations of Scripture.
Someone once asked me why I don’t use Scripture to back up the things I write, and I said, “I prefer to do things the Scriptural way. Jesus didn’t do that. Paul didn’t do that. Peter, John, and Jude didn’t do that either.” I’m not minimizing the sanctity of Scripture and I’m certainly not attempting to diminish its value or suggest that it’s useless. I’m confronting a mind-set that refuses to look at our hearts and recognize truth when we see it. I’m confronting an entire generation who for some reason doesn’t know truth when they see it, and that thought terrifies me. Jesus said, “My sheep will know my voice.” I fear that if Jesus came today, no one would recognize His voice unless he backed it up with Scripture.
Ironically, the people who are the biggest sticklers for back-up-verses are usually people who are involved in a system of church that is almost entirely unscriptural. I find this to be a common side effect in folks who have stopped listening to their hearts. The Bible verses they do actually read, mean only what someone else has told them it means. If they can’t be trusted to find the truth in their own hearts, they certainly can’t be trusted to interpret Scripture. Sadly, their interpretations are amazingly distorted by a series of twisted teachings they heard over the years from someone they trusted. In some cases, I’ve seen people actually see words that are not on the page when they read a Bible verse, because someone else told them the words were there.
I once posted an article where I challenged the popular view that the Bible is the main way God speaks to us today. Before I finished the article I visited several Bible answer sites and asked them where the Bible said that this is how God speaks to us today. Almost every single “Bible expert” came back with 2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Do you see something missing in this passage?
Amazingly after I posted the article I probably had no less than twenty people send me rebuking emails with that verse attached to them as proof that the Bible is the main way God speaks to us today. They, along with thousands of others have literally been duped into seeing things that aren’t there because of what they’ve been taught repetitively throughout their life. Another example of this is when I confront people with their theology of “binding demons.” They proudly quote Matthew 16:19
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Though this verse says absolutely nothing about demons, people see only what they’ve been taught. This is the result of a person’s willful abandonment of their own heart. Because we have quit looking at our heart to find truth we have become naked and susceptible to pretty much anything we’re told. I don’t believe that it’s the lack of Scriptural references here that is at fault. I honestly think this comes about because of our trained dependency on Scriptural references.
In fact, I started to break free from this robotic mind set when I began to look at what was in my heart and compare it to what I’ve been told the Bible says. That was the exact point where my eyes began to open for the first time in almost twenty years. I have found that when I live from the heart and stop meticulously following Scripture; Scripture starts following me. This is the place I believe that we are supposed to be in, in New Testament times. God is ready and waiting to write the book of Darin, and that cannot happen until Darin lives from his heart and knows truth from within because that’s where the kingdom of heaven exists.
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