CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Customized Religion versus Biblical Christianity
All Scripture is God-Breathed
By Laurel J. Davis
See Laurel's blog at The Reluctant First Lady
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the Head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:6-10Most computer software programs, such as word processing, are modular. You can pick and choose which components you want or don't want to install into your computer system. This allows you to customize your application of the program according to your own personal preferences and convenience. You can choose to install all the components the program has to offer, or you can reject some without even compromising the program's purpose, benefits or effectiveness for you.
A lot of people seem to think the Bible is modular just like a computer program. Christians and non-Christians alike, we treat the Word of God as though it's full of options — click "yes" if you accept this scripture, commandment, doctrinal essential, historical fact, prophecy, divine warning, etc.; click "no" to reject it. They "customize" their application of the Bible in their lives by picking and choosing which of its "components" they want to "install" into their individual ways of thinking and living, and which ones they'll reject, according to their own personal preferences and convenience.
What people fail to see is that, by doing that, and unlike a computer software program, they compromise the Bible's full purpose, benefits and effectiveness in their lives.
Let's take this analogy further. A computer system runs pretty much at the same level of efficiency no matter what software programs you install and how much of each program you accept or reject. However, without adequate memory, the more you input, the less efficient its output.
Your spiritual "system" is the opposite. You have more than enough "memory capacity," but the less of God's Word you input, the less efficient your output. That is, the less it will measure up to the will and glory of the Lord. And consequently, the less benefit — grace, fruit and eternal rewards — you will ultimately enjoy.
The Bible's "components," including those about heaven and hell, sin, salvation, faith versus works, end times, and principles for Christian attitude, conduct and service, are not optional. You can't custom design true Christianity. You can't select only certain scriptures, certain doctrines, certain commandments, certain facts, certain prophecies, certain divine warnings, or any other part of God's Holy Word according to your own pre-existing world view, some singular interpretation of your own personal life experiences, the lifestyle and goals you've already chosen for yourself, or what's most convenient for you at any given time.
All Scripture is the inspired Word of God and not of man, and all of it is also profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible, taken all together, can make one "wise unto salvation," it can lead you to maturity, and it can thoroughly equip you for life and service.
As a Christians, the honest practice of your faith in Jesus Christ — that is, Biblical Christianity — calls you to this requirement: It's either all of it and only it, or what you're practicing is just a customized "religion." Convenient, yes, but hardly beneficial.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 2 Timothy 3:3-9
Image Credit: Mike Johnson; "Wide-margin Study Bible"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Current-Issues | False-Teaching
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Published on 9-2-15