Thursday, October 5, 2017

Is the Bible Outdated?

The earliest writings of the Bible can be dated back approximately 3500 years. It is an ancient book that has guided the lives of countless individuals over the millennia. The newest writings of the Bible (the New Testament) date back to approximately 2000 years. Considering the reality that the Bible's newest books are 2 millennia old, should we conclude that the Bible is outdated?

As the world becomes smaller, people's lives become less private, and ideas literally flow through people's homes like air. Abortion, homosexuality, trans-genderism, and other social stigmas that have traditionally been rejected by the church have become increasingly mainstream. People have been led to believe that these ideas are new, and even brilliant. But, the Bible addressed these issues thousands of years ago. They are not new, and they are not brilliant ideas. They are sinful activities that we, as a culture, had been abstaining from. Today, we rationalize these social sins all in the name of good character and intellect. We, as a society, are intelligent and believe that we have evolved to be smarter than people in Biblical times. Our logic for questioning the Bible goes as follows:

 Since the discovery that the earth was not the center of the universe and that it was, indeed, round, people have been scrutinizing the teachings of the Bible, as the inerrant and infallible Word of God. If the Word of God teaches that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth, how could we possibly continue to accept its authority over our lives?

This is actually a misguided attempt to declare that "enlightened" morality is superior to the morality taught in the Bible. In fact, it cannot be concluded that the writers of the Bible believed in the geocentric flat earth. The Bible does not teach that the earth is flat or that it is the center of the universe. These are teachings picked up by the church from Greek philosophers. These are teachings that have their roots in observational science! Our perception of scientific truth is constantly changing. Should our perception of Biblical truth constantly be evolving, as well?

The Bible itself provides the answer to this question in the words of the wise king Solomon, "There is nothing new under the sun." Why does the Bible address the topics of homosexuality, men dressing up as women, and the slaughter of innocent children? The answer is: These were topics that they were dealing with back in their day!

Take, for instance, the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It has popularly been taught that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their practice of homosexuality. This is partially true, in that it was one of the many sins going on in these cities, but their cultures probably had a moment where people were trying to figure out, "Is homosexuality acceptable in the eyes of God(s)?" Homosexuality, in this instance, did not come first, but was a result of a twisted and idolatrous culture that lost all of its bearings on morality and defied the very order of creation. The Book of Romans, chapter one, details the progressive derangement of human nature once mankind rejects the truth.

Some of the Old Testament Laws sound harsh. However, that is not because the Old Testament Laws are wrong. It is because we have warped senses of justice and morality. We do not understand how serious sin is to a perfect and holy God. We think that prohibitions on sexuality is cruel and unnecessary. That is because we have a skewed understanding of purity. The Old Testament Law exposes sin in our lives. Jesus Christ's work becomes all the more miraculous because everyone fails to live a life that is "good enough" for God. We are corrupt at our core and would be eternally condemned if we were left to our own devices. When we do not follow God and his teachings, we destroy our lives.

The Bible is not outdated. It stands upon principles that are eternal, from the creation of the world through all eternity. Thank God for Jesus Christ who has fulfilled the requirements of God's perfect Law and has liberated us from the bondage of sin.

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