A Different Perspective

The Classic Conversion Mistake


It has always amazed me how people can switch religious beliefs so easily, and accept everything taught to them on the other side as absolute truth, when they once believed they were absolute lies!!!  Why are we so fickle?  Why is it that we are so desperate to belong that we have to buy everything we are told, and drop our true convictions and our ability to reason?

I see it with all faiths, but I’m especially dumbfounded when I see it with Atheists, who insist upon evidence before they can proclaim anything to be true!  Funny how there is absolutely NO evidence for the theory of evolution (hence it is still called a theory), but everyone who moves to the other side of faith in God adopts this theory as golden and goes to great lengths to defend and promote it.

As Christians, we do the same thing.  I know why there’s a need to define statutes.  Not least so that we can know those who believe exactly what we believe, and label those who don’t accept everything we believe as heretics to be avoided.  We’ve been warned of the many false prophets and teachers teaching false doctrines, so we agreed on the truth, and are unable to tolerate alternative understanding of these beliefs or even new revelations!  This is why there are so many denominations, sects and cults, because we switch off our spiritual gauge and depend on others to tell us what to believe.

One of those things we have been taught to accept without question is the infallibility of the Bible, as the Word of God.  However, if the first Christians (Acts 11:26) didn’t have the Bible, and didn’t even have a holy Book, just the gospel that they received from the Apostles, do you think they would call what we now know to be the Bible as the complete inerrant word of God?  Consider also that when the converted Jews were trying to impose circumcision and other Jewish laws on the Gentiles who had believed the Gospel (and were now just as Christian as the converted Jews), the Believers had their very first meeting on the matter of what every Christian should hold dear, and what we should not be burdened with. This meeting is recorded in Acts 15.

At this meeting, this was what they concluded as applicable to all Believers:

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well” (Acts 15:28-29).

It is reasonable to say that even this list was reconsidered by the Church, as they grew in understanding of what was clean and unclean.  Consider Paul’s teaching in Romans 14 about strong and weak faith, and how we are free to eat anything (as long as we do not cause others, who believe they’ve been sacrificed to idols or are unclean, to stumble). But his teaching about sexual immortality should also show that that is not a weak or strong faith issue, but a fundamental principle to be upheld by all believers (1 Cor 6:18).

Christians were not compelled to abide by the Torah, as many of the converted Pharisees pushed for.  Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles saw him continually fighting this battle of renewing the minds of his Jewish brothers and sisters (Read Galatians 3).  But he did say to Timothy that all scriptures are inspired by God and profitable for instruction (2 Tim 3:16), so he wasn’t advocating that it be disregarded…just understood in light of the Gospel and teachings of Jesus.  As you can imagine, Paul never dreamed that his writings would become part of a collection that would later be termed “the Word of God”.

Who does the Bible say the Word of God is?  JESUS and no other (1 John 1:1).  To say that the Bible is the infallible word of God is the heresy (but I won’t stone or reject you for believing that).  The Bible compiles the testimonies of others who were inspired by God to write for the edification of Believers, and to carry on and protect the Jewish history and tradition.  The Roman Catholic Church felt the need to seal the Bible’s authority to teach Christians our faith in Jesus by canonizing it (rejecting what they believed to be false testimonies).  I see the wisdom in this, and uphold the Bible as sacred.

The Bible’s authority is built on the authority of the Church.  But the Word of God is a living Being that once became flesh. This is the Biblically sound doctrine.

the-word-of-god

Believing that Jesus is the Word of God and not the Bible has never caused me to reject the Bible.  It has only allowed me to better understand it and allow the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth as Jesus said He would (John 16:13).

This teaching about the Bible and several other teachings that have been passed on by tradition (and do not even have Biblical support) are accepted by Christians, depending on their particular denomination as the Gospel Truth! The Gospel Truth is the message that Jesus preached, that His disciples were sent forth to preach, so that all who believe may be filled with the Spirit of God – and would need no man to teach them (I John 2:27).

To all who believe the Gospel, which is that God sent His beloved Son to die on a Cross to save them from eternal death, this is what Jesus says:

“If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:15).

Photo credit: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org

If you liked this post, you might like HOW I CAME TO SETTLE ON THE TRUTH

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43 replies »

  1. Jesus said that we search the scriptures thinking we will find life in them but to find life we must go to Him. When Christians focus on Jesus and what He is doing in our lives, their is agreement. When we focus on our individual understanding or ‘theory’ of faith, there is division. In my old age, I seek to unite with other believer by our common faith in Jesus and not on theology. Though I do believe scriptures are the written, revealed, Word and the authority of the faith.—-Good post.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree, lack of study of language and context, trusting commentators too much, can lead to misunderstanding.

    Biblical fundamentalism, the kind that objectifies the Word of God, is a grave error and a sin of idolatry. Instead of an idol of wood or stone, now people try to reduce God to a text and totally disregard that it is the Spirit that we are promised will teach us all things—not the Bible.

    At best, calling the Bible “God’s word” is confusion or false attribution. At worse it is to not know God at all, like the Pharisees who studied Scripture diligently (according to John) and yet did not have the Word dwelling in them. It is the Spirit that gives us understanding—not the Bible.

    Now, by no means does this make the Bible unimportant. No, not at all! The Scripture is a wonderful resource for the spiritual person. However, the same book is also a hindrance to those who put their faith in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Ufuoma good morning to you. Just a few thoughts and then I will hush.

    Obviously I disagree. The Bible is the infallible inspired Word of God. I clearly see some of the issues presented here though.

    Just because we argue over it does not render it in error it just means we fail to get it somewhere. Of course we should not always beat ourselves silly and divide over it

    Belief in the absolute truth of scripture does not mean a person cannot be spirit led. It also does not inherently mean legalism

    To believe in the truth of scripture is certainly not in and of itself heresy or idolatry

    And finally a question. Where is the line where suddenly it ceases being infallible and how do we know?

    Having said all that I am not looking for a debate with my sister in Christ but to just share my thoughts

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Wally. I appreciate how you’ve expressed your disagreement with me. But I feel like I have to ask first – if you don’t mind clarifying something with me – how you got the idea or understanding or belief that the Bible is infallible? Is that written in the Bible?

      Liked by 1 person

      • When Paul made reverence to all scripture being inspired it literally meant God breathed. There is nothing to indicate that there was a dividing line as to what scripture was referred to.

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      • Hi Wally, I hope you know I don’t deny Paul’s teaching.

        The question I raised in my post was whether or not Paul considered his letters to the Believers, or Peter’s letter or even John’s as part of the sacred scriptures. Even if we accept them as sacred scriptures now, is it valid to equate them with the Word of God?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Short answer is yes. Because our problem is determining where the line is. Who decides? Paul said all scripture is God breathed and certainly thought that particular sentence was God’s Word to Him. But the real question remains of we decide that not all of the Bible is God’s Word how do we reach that decision? By the way am working so likely to just watch for a while as it’s hard for me to put together lengthy replies on this phone!

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      • Hi Wally,

        We don’t solve the problem of knowing where to draw the line by giving the same weight to everything written in the Bible – and declaring it to be the infallible word of God. Paul didn’t even call the scriptures the infallible word of God. It was something Christians later ascribed to the Bible much after it had been canonized to defend against attacks as to its authority to teach and to maintain a standard.

        I don’t deny that the Bible has authourity. The authority endowed on it came from the Roman Catholic Church who made the first compilation of what we now have as the Bible.

        The fact is you can’t even use the Bible to affirm its credentials. Even the warning at the end of the Book of Revelation, which says we mustn’t add or remove from the Book, has been stretched to mean the Bible. But it is the Book of Revelation that the warning is laid upon.

        I imagine you do not accept the Apocrapha as part of the infallible word of God. On what authourity do you exclude it?

        I really don’t want to argue with you or anyone about this, which is why it is not the focus of my blog or posts, though it has been my belief for many years. However, when Peter (the former Minister, now Atheist) mentioned that his crisis was because he couldn’t resolve this conflict, I felt a burden to tell him the truth. It is religious to say the Bible is the word of God. We are Christians. There were Christians before the Bible. The holy scriptures are inspired and authoritative – but they do not hold the same weight with the living Word of God (Jesus).

        Liked by 2 people

    • @ Wally.

      Your understanding of scripture let alone you own religion is utterly appalling. This is why you have a habit of dishing out your Drive-By Comments and then saying you have no wish to debate.
      The literalism you adhere to only came about in the late 19th early 20th century because of a fear from certain Christian denominations that the meaning of the bible was being eroded/diluted by christian liberalism.
      But the dogma you cling to was all sorted out ages ago by the Church even before secularism took hold. And later,eminent theologians such as Le Maitre, and Collins demonstrated through practical science that Creationism as interpreted by YECs is absolute nonsense.

      The vast majority of Christianity goes red with embarrassment when people such as you open their mouths and make pronouncements.
      Truly, Wally, you can maintain your christian faith til the day you die and not lose an ounce of ‘face’, but believing in biblical literalism and YEC just makes you look a complete idiot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually what I very specifically said was that I am working. You have either misunderstood or misrepresented or lied. And you have no dog in a theological fight as due to your spiritual blindness you cannot understand. And that is the last response you will get from me here

        Liked by 1 person

      • You have used the same line on a number of occasions, so it just looks like you are trying to to throw some grit into the mix, but all it does is make you look ignorant and unschooled.

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      • If you have any questions that are troubling you over this , simply ask, and I’ll do my best to answer or direct you to the experts. Oh, and I’ll even make sure they are all Christian, how’s that?
        A deal you won’t likely often see from an atheist.

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      • Attack? Your comments were no less derogatory of Wally’s beliefs.
        And in the interests of a unified Christianity would you dearly not want Wally to drop his belief in Young Earth Creationism?

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  4. Hi Ufuoma! I also do not seek to bicker, just discuss. Please bear with me patiently.

    Please do not forget that the Jewish Christians had the Old Testament Scriptures. The Ethiopian Eunuch was taught Christ beginning with Isaiah. The early Christians were given the miraculous gifts of the spirit so they could not only spread the gospel, but understand the things that were not yet written in what we now know as the New Testament. I mentioned this on your other post as well, but I’ll say it here too, (and again, this is for discussion and not judgement): what it really comes down to is do you believe that God has the power to preserve His Word for us throughout the ages? I believe that He can and has. I believe that what I have is enough and I use it on my walk with the Lord and I know that you do as well. The Bible is supposed to unite us, but all too often people get arrogant about this or that belief and they create new systems of religion

    It’s amazing to me that men haven’t totally destroyed the Bible. As often as it has been burned, savaged, criticized, broken to pieces, it’s still around. It’s the number one bestseller in history. I don’t believe that it is luck or coincidence, but the power of God to preserve His Word.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I totally agree with you on the point that the Bible has been miraculously preserved!! It is also authoritative to instruct and to convict. But it is not the Word of God. You don’t need to believe it’s the Word of God to hold it as sacred, as I do.

      This is important for us to understand and accept because it is partly for the infallible claim we have attached to the Bible that makes those who know even a little about its origin disregard everything it says! The Bible doesn’t need us to defend it. God defends it. It is God who has preserved it. But by saying it is the Word of God, when Jesus is the Word of God, we make an idol out of what is sacred.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Funny how there is absolutely NO evidence for the theory of evolution (hence it is still called a theory),

    A statement such as this would be hilarious if it were not so sad. The magnitude of ignorance expressed in this one line demonstrates
    better than almost anything else about religion how indoctrination has the power to completely suspend critical thought. The implications are potentially horrendous.

    Like

  6. A scientific process that encompasses something that we can test, find evidence for but not recreate in laboratory condition because it’s scope is beyond such things is a theory. This isn’t to say we are waiting on the final decision, we know as accurately and as surely as we can that it is fact, but we lack the complete workup. Photons and electrons are a Theory, because they’re so small that measurements of detection alter them. But we have reams of evidence telling us they’re there, and what they do and how they act.

    Or, you can read this, which is a comprehensive description.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

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      • I post photographs mostly. There are hardly any words and nothing about religion on my photo posts.
        Besides, I was merely trying to help as you were when you replied to Wally.
        In fact, your explanation was considerably longer than anything I have written.
        If you’re upset by what I write why do you bother explaining anything to someone like Wally?
        Do you think he really cares about your perspective, or will change his mind?

        Like

      • Ark, you don’t need to help me at all. I already told you that I’ll find you if and when I need you. I would also prefer if you don’t play co-moderator on my blog and respond to other people’s comments as though they were asking for your opinion or insight. It’s very arrogant.

        If you think your comments and views against my posts or readers’ comments need a wider audience, do what you’ve done in the past and write a response post on your blog. I won’t object to linking it. But don’t just come and post your unsolicitated counsel here!

        Lastly, this difference between Wally and I is resolveable. We can’t begin to resolve our differences, Ark, until you admit that there’s a God.

        On that note, take care. Good bye. Have a good day and a nice life.

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      • Well, if you would please demonstrate that there is a god then I will happily acknowledge what you believe.
        Also, as this blog is supposed to be for Christians it would be nice if you ceased making disparaging and incorrect statements about atheism and evolution and rather stick to whichever version of Christianity you feel most comfortable with.

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  7. I enjoyed your post, and as a Christian I once had a similar view. As an atheist, I can see your point on how many atheists go to great lengths to promote their own theories; but we all have our beliefs and ideas. The difference for me as an atheist is that I just don’t know as much as I did before. I am more open to possibilities. If science offers a more compelling argument I can easily change my views, but as a Christian I could not.

    It’s as if many Christians have forgotten that the church had a beginning and early church leaders made decisions and debated over a belief system that is now set in stone. While there is comfort in ideas that never change with the world, in the end it turns out I cannot be part of a religion so unwilling to adapt and change when new information warrants it. It is always a fight, and the source of that fight is almost always the bible. Many Christians have more faith in the bible than in god himself, and it makes it difficult for the church to examine themselves or reconsider positions.

    Just a few thoughts I had 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is beautifully expressed. I don’t have a rebuttal! However, my beliefs are built on faith in Christ and not on a holy Book. The Spirit of Christ and the world will never agree, so becoming an Atheist is not on the cards for me.

      Cheers, and hope we can inspire each other more!

      Liked by 2 people

    • So you made a post on James’s blog referencing the blogger who, as you said, “wrote exactly” what I have written on both The Classic Conversion Mistake and My Case for Jesus, the Word of God and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, and then you say that I asked you to post it there??? That is just ludicrous. I asked you to share it with me, and tou refused. Why? Because what they are saying is NOT what I am saying and you know that.

      Please leave me alone. Thanks!

      Like

  8. Hi Ufuomaee…I read this back in 2015 and reread it today. This time I read through all the comments as well. This is one touchy subject as you well know. Enough has been said on both sides of the fence so I will just say, “Have a blessed day, my friend.”

    Liked by 1 person

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