A La Carte: (of a menu or restaurant) listing or serving food that can be ordered as separate items, rather than part of a set meal; as separately priced items from a menu, not as part of a set meal.
Smorgasbord: A buffet offering a variety of hot and cold meats, salads, hors d’oeuvres, etc.; a wide range of something; a variety.
I find these two words interesting because even though their meanings are different, they both provide a picture of what the Bible has become to many people, even many Christians. This next phrase is even more explicit.
Pick and Choose: select only the best or most desirable from among a number of alternatives. The big problem with this though is that there are not many alternatives in the Bible. There are only two; God’s way and the wrong way.
The point is, and as I have already said, even with many Christians, we have become selective in what God clearly says. If we don’t like what the Bible says, we ignore it or try to twist God’s words to suit our convenience. We pick only the words we like, and change the others to comply with our opinions.
The problem with opinions is they are often wrong; at least when they come from mankind, simply because mankind is grossly flawed with sin. On the other hand, God’s “opinion” is never wrong because He is perfect in every way. If He isn’t perfect in every way, then He isn’t God.
Most in humanity today are fighting against God, questioning His “opinion” and replacing it with their own “we know better” attitude. Whether we’re speaking of creation, marriage, sex, murder, etc. we think we know more because, well hey, we’re 21st century modern man. We’ve got all the answers (so we think).
God says He created the world and told us how he did it, but we know better. “We choose evolution and other scientific theories.”
God says marriage is between a man and a woman, and the marriage bed is holy, “but what does God know? Those are old fogey ideas not fit for the modern age.”
God says sex should only be between a man and a woman who are married to each other. “Oh come now! God is just being a stick-in-the-mud. Sex is all about love and we have a lot of love to give.”
God says that the one who murders another man should be put to death. “There you go again God. We must show mercy. A life sentence is okay, and then if they have changed, we’ll let them out after a few years.”
Well I’m getting sick writing this facetious garbage, so I’ll change course.
From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is God’s Word. It’s His way or the highway (the broad way to hell). We cannot just pick and choose what we want, discard most of it and pickle the rest (change it to suit us).
Instead of reading the Bible in a way that attempts to make it fit what we believe, we need to be reading it to see where the REAL TRUTH lies. Keeping in mind that the Bible is always right, and we are often wrong. God’s Word is always absolute Truth.
I’ve heard people say, “I just don’t agree with Paul.” Well who died and made you God?” God told Paul what to say. Paul wrote it down, so what is written came from God not Paul. Paul was the instrument to convey the Word, but God gave the Word.
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (emphasis mine).” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
“and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures (emphasis mine), to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)
Many Christians today are still in their spiritual diapers, sucking on their spiritual pacifiers. Why would I say that? Because the proof is in the pudding; i.e. they either are not a student of God’s Word, or they pick and choose only what doesn’t offend them, or they mangle the true meaning of the text.
For our own good we need to read the Bible with the same enthusiasm we have when our favorite television show is on, or when our favorite team is on the field (or court). Do we even have that kind of enthusiasm when it comes to opening our Bibles?
When we first became a Christian we couldn’t wait to open God’s Word and read all He had to say to us. As time went on our enthusiasm waned, and we just read a very select few verses here and there, until we just quit reading altogether. Why is this? We have lost the joy of our salvation, not our salvation, but the “joy” of it. David had the same problem after Nathan confronted him with his sins of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah the Hittite.
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Psalms 51.12)
Satan uses every trick possible to keep us from hearing the Truth. Our interest falls away because we allow Satan to influence us. One way he does this is to discourage us by the lies that come from those who try to soften or eliminate what the Bible says. For example; God says there is only one way to be saved, but others say there are many ways. Now doubts start to rise, and since we are no longer daily in the Truth, we start picking and choosing what sounds good to us and forming our own opinions, instead of just listening to what God says. Is it possible we would rather take the word of man than God?
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4-5)
We’ve lost the love we once had for God and His Word and now listen to everyone else instead. Keep in mind that the unsaved person cannot understand the Bible. It makes no sense to them. But we can understand God’s Word if we allow His Spirit to guide us.
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
The pressure is on in this modern world we live in to be “politically correct.” “Let us accept all beliefs so not to offend anyone,” so say the politically correct folks. I personally am not out to offend anyone, but you and I as Christians, need to make up our minds once for all just whose side we’re on. Do we want to be popular with others or do we prefer to obey God, whether we’re popular or not?
The world outside the Church has a whole boat load of opinions, most all of which conflict with God’s Truth. Even many Christian brothers and sisters are weak in the faith, but let us open our eyes and ears and follow our Savior and Lord.
Satan is doing a heck of a job in muddying the waters of Truth and is using the ignorance of those around us to lead us all astray. So let me ask, “Why give them an audience? Listen to what your Savior, your Lord, your God says, and ignore the rest.”