All denomination’s doctrinal views differ somewhat. Since most modern churches base their views on the sayings of men rather than on the commands of God, we ought to expect this. Because of this, most times, on most issues, it is easy to say we hold to this view or that view because our belief isn’t going to cost us and won’t cause us any real difficulty either in the church or out of the church.
The difficulty comes in when we say we believe what God has said, when we say we hold to Sola Scriptura, when we say we are going to apply God’s Word to the minute details of our lives, and then we seek to live it out; this will turn our lives upside down.
So it is with applying Scripture to our views of womanhood and manhood. What God says is so radically different than what our world, and most of our churches, believe that when we try to apply it and live it out we set ourselves up for attack and criticism…even among fellow believers. Sometimes even among our Reformed Brethren.
Many folks who claim that they believe in Sola Scriptura fail to give evidence of it when it comes to believing and applying truths that will radically change their lives at the personal level. This is true in a number of ways. After all, how many of our Reformed pastors hold to the inerrancy of Scripture when it comes to a literal six-day creation? Or a world wide flood? Many do, of course, but there is quite a number–even among prominent pastors–who don’t. Either God is right, or man is right. It cannot be both ways.
Or what about what God says about the home? Or biblical womanhood? Or manhood? Our God-given roles It seems it must be far easier to argue for Total Depravity than it is to argue for the headship of man, the home-centeredness of biblical womanhood, and the blessing of God’s gift of children. It must be, because so many of the homes of our Reformed brethren look amazingly like the homes of, well, anyone.
We call ourselves Reformed, we say we abide by the Five Solas, so the question is–Do we really? Do we really believe what Scripture says when it says something we might not want to hear or believe? Or when it says something that has the power to turn our lives upside down? If we do, we of the Reformed Faith–or anyone in a Scripture based church, really–can’t cherry-pick what we believe in and be right with God.
If we believe God is really God then what God says is all that matters. God and His Word must be honored, and obeyed, in all things, in all ways, at all times. If we love Him, if we honor His Word, we must take it upon ourselves to pick through the rubble of the past 150 years or so and get back to God’s Word, God’s Truth…as God Himself would have us believe it and live it.
If we ever want to make a radical difference in our world, if we want our churches to actually make a difference in the lives of believers, then Scripture must be our first, final, and only Guideline. We must divorce our beliefs from our culture, and we must stop looking at the church and at family through the lens of modernity; after all, that’s part of the problem that got us from where we were to where we are.
Satan has used many tools in order to destroy our belief in the sufficiency of the Word of God. Higher criticism. The Origin of the Species. The Scopes Monkey Trial. Compulsory schooling. The industrial revolution. These were tools used by Satan, by the world, to attack biblical authority. That doesn’t mean that in some of these–such as schooling or the industrial revolution–there wasn’t good to be found; it means that Satan is wiser in the ways of the world than we are, and regularly uses the good that man does against him and against God’s authority.
Liberalism and legalism have both also caused their own problems.
If we ever hope to have churches that set the world on fire, we must first be set on fire through the truth of God’s Word, and be filled with a holy desire to honor and obey Him–and to believe what He says–in all ways. We must be willing to dig through the rubble of our modern lives until we discover just what God has actually said and where we got off track. We must understand this in order to understand how things we’ve considered inconsequential have been used by the Evil One to attack the authority of God’s Word.
Either we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture to teach us, guide us, direct us…or we don’t. Let’s not be guilty of the very same thing that those who have gone before us were guilty of. If we are going to embrace Sola Scriptura, let us do it whole-heartedly…no matter what the cost to us. Then, believing it, let us live it out…to God’s glory, by His grace, for the good of our churches, for the good of our families.
Soli Deo Gloria!