Let the lion loose

July 19, 2010

Every now and then, people write to the Times-News with responses to my columns that offer a different perspective. That’s good. The reader then has the opportunity to hold up my column and the response to the light and examine them side-by-side. My desire in writing every column is to present the truth as I understand it, from the perspective that the foundation of all truth is God’s Word. Some who read my columns don’t believe in the sufficiency and the authority of Scripture, and to them I would answer, “Thank you for reading what I have to say, anyway.” I would also say that the Bible needs no defense; it stands on its own. I am reminded of Charles Spurgeon’s response to someone who challenged him to come to the rescue of God’s Word: “Defend the Bible? Would you defend a lion? Loose him; and let him go!”
So, with that in mind, let me make a few comments regarding recent responses to my columns. To the dear lady who would charge me with “persecuting women who are called by God to pastor,” I can only say that we must not think we have heard God say something that would contradict what he has clearly spoken in Scripture. As one of my favorite preachers likes to say, “The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things.” The Bible plainly teaches in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 3 that God chose men to lead the church. When a man abdicates his responsibility, often a woman will step in to meet the need, but when men lead, in obedience to God’s design, it is a wonderful picture. Women, does that mean that you are any less gifted, or less spiritual in the eyes of God? Does that mean that you cannot serve or use your gifts in the church? Not at all. Again, we must understand the distinction God makes between ministry and leadership.
The gentleman who responded to my column on Darwinian evolution said, “(Darwin)… decided the Bible was not divinely revealed and that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. Shockingly, recent polls reveal an emerging number of evangelicals are now voicing similar beliefs.” This begs the question: Will we believe what Darwin “decided,” or what polls “reveal,” or what God has spoken? As to his point that the Bible is not to be taken literally, those of you who know anything about the written word have to shake your heads. There is much to say here, but let me make a single point. One way we understand language is through context. If you open the newspaper and read the headline, “Redskins slaughter Cowboys,” you will not bat an eye as you sip your morning coffee. The context tells you that this was not a literal bloodbath but a one-sided football game. A thinking person reads the Bible with the understanding that when Jesus said, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out,” He was speaking figuratively. We are to take radical action when we find sin in our lives.
Thank you to all of you who take the time to read my columns. I am grateful. Keep those e-mails and letters to the editor coming; my own thinking is sharpened by your responses. Most of all, hold what you read up to the light. Examine it against what the Bible plainly says. Let the lion loose.