The Culture Won’t Accept What the Church Doesn’t Know

Christians desire the culture to accept truths from a book that few of us read. Disciples of Jesus must decide to make biblical doctrines our priority before we ever expect anyone else to do the same.

How familiar are you with the Word of God? On a scale of one to ten, where would you rate yourself? Most Christians avoid classifying themselves as an intensively ignorant one or as a painfully prideful ten, so I imagine most people would place themselves somewhere in the middle. 

Does that describe you? Your admission implies that you aren’t where you want to be, but you are further than where you used to be. In the way that you have made progress in the past, I believe you can even make progress now. Not only is strengthening our doctrine restorative for our head to grasp the will of God, but it also mobilizes our hands to do the work of God. The world is desperate to know God, and that is why it is vital for us to comprehend the truth about him. If the Church is ignorant of the Scriptures, why are we surprised that our culture is intolerant of its claims? We can rant all day long at the way our society ridicules God’s Word, but it is our responsibility to enlighten them with these biblical riches.

If Christians haven’t adequately concerned themselves with the Bible, we should never expect the culture to affirm its truths. 

Being confused is dangerous these days. If Satan’s first question to Mankind incited them to doubt God’s Word, I guarantee he is tossing that question out into your subconscious as well. The entirety of history has risen and fallen on people deciding what to do with God’s Word. The forbidden fruit to determine what is right and wrong is a product for sale on every cultural corner. Maintaining confusion regarding the beliefs of your faith is neither beneficial for your soul nor advantageous for this culture.

When I was a college student, someone once asked if I believed everything in the Bible. As I affirmed my unwavering commitment to Scripture’s reliability, I was caught off guard by the following question: “So, you believe everything in the Bible? Have you read everything in the Bible?”

If I had known that question was coming a year earlier, I might have been prepared to give a more suitable answer, but unfortunately, I was not ready. Honestly, I had been basing my entire life on a book that I had yet to finish reading. As someone raised in a local church, I had browsed bits and pieces of the Bible, but I had never adequately studied it.

  • The Bible is not a yearbook. Don’t go to the back of the book to look up the pages upon which you think you can find yourself.
  • The Bible is not a fortune cookie. Don’t assume that one sentence read at random will accurately direct your necessary next step.
  • The Bible is not a biography. You are not the main character inserting yourself into every positive narrative that you conveniently claim as your own.

If you aren’t confident in your ability to handle the Scriptures, that is acceptable to admit as long as you don’t resort to remaining in the same state. Each of us will respond to our biblical uncertainty by either ignoring it, justifying it, or addressing it. If you ignore it, you never attempt to study the truths of God. If you justify it, you claim that you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t the reading type, or you lack the pertinent degrees to understand such sacred matter. 

If you address it, you do your best to handle the Scriptures with integrity. Paul’s encouragement to his disciple Timothy is incredibly practical: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Paul never instructed Timothy to do the best of his mentor Paul, his peer Titus, his mother Eunice, or his grandmother Lois. With the abilities and opportunities that were afforded to him, Paul expected Timothy to do his personal best. He should be able to address any question carefully because he had studied every topic diligently. His gradual preparation reduced the possibility of tragic naïveté.

You will never fortify an unstable belief by accident. 

No one ever drifts toward truth; it is always a luring away. The subtle yet seismic drift happens over time. Doubting God’s Word always leads to discrediting it before ultimately denying it. In your study, you are preparing yourself for whatever defense you might need to have (1 Pet. 3:15) whenever you might need to have it (2 Tim. 4:2). More than an academic exercise, this component is essential to your discipleship. As you intentionally seek to strengthen any remaining uncertain beliefs, you engage the content of theology with your mind but embrace the author of theology with your heart.

DISCIPLESHIP RESOURCES

You Lack One Thing

Each of us has that one thing that really has us. It is difficult to follow Jesus closely if you delight in something more than Him.

Cookie Cutter Discipleship Doesn’t Work

You are not in the same spiritual situation as anyone else in the world. While you have common characteristics with others, your unique scenario requires an individualized focus to make personal progress.

The Distinctive Discipleship Process

Distinctive Discipleship is a process – not a program. It’s a method to help you design a specific plan for Christian maturity in your life or in the life of someone you are discipling. 

Seeking Lifelong Discipleship

Psalm 119:97-112 – Just because someone is seasoned does not mean they are scriptural. We need personal commitment and committed disciple-makers to follow God’s ways for the long haul. 

Growth Is Gradual

We can only fully mature in Christ by acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. As we observe the rough edges of our spiritual conditions, we can work with Christ’s power to see progress in the most critical areas of our lives.

Intentional Imitation

Our commitment to fleshing out our personal walks with Christ overlooks our need to learn from one another. True discipleship prioritizes imitation over information.