Friday, May 18, 2012

Counted As A Strange Thing

I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. Hosea 8:12

Much could be said about the doctrine of this verse, but what I really wish to look at is the last phrase: "Counted as a strange thing." The subject is the Word of God, and He accuses His people of treating it as a strange thing. Truer words were never spoken. I'd like to make a few observations about the treatment the Bible often receives – not at the hands of infidels, mind you, but at the hand of professing believers.

The Bible is often outright ignored. It’s a sad fact that many of us are more familiar with TV and movie celebrities, with sports stars and singers than we are with Bible characters. What excuse do we have for such behavior? And what could we possibly present to God on Judgment Day as a justification for such neglect of His Word?

Secondly, the Bible is often mishandled. There are more foolish, ignorant statements made in Sunday sermons every week than there are grains of sand on the seashore. I have heard pastors preach contradictory messages two consecutive Sundays. When I hear the idiocy spewed forth by the likes of Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth Hagin, Morris Cerrulo, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Schuller, etc… I am amazed that God does not rend the heavens and stop them mid-sentence to put an end to their enormities! But one day, He will; rest assured: one day He will. “You are judging,” someone will say. CORRECT! I am told to judge. John 7:24, Jesus says, “Judge righteous judgment.” The holy Word of God is not a plaything to be toyed with by ignorant, arrogant men.

Lastly, as our verse says, the Bible is treated as a “strange” thing. The word “strange” in the King James means “foreign.” One does not need to watch modern Christendom for very long to see that the Bible is foreign to it. How often does someone actually “turn the other cheek?” How often are we encouraged to let unbelievers mistreat us? When was the last time we heard a sermon on lending and not asking for the payment in return? There are myriads of Bible principles that are slighted, ignored and downright rejected as impractical because we have “renewed our minds” and we are striving to live the Christian life according to the dictates of worldly wisdom and secular philosophy. This is why Christians today indulge in behavior that unbelievers of 100 years ago would never have dreamt of engaging in. It is no secret that the Church is worldly. Nearly a half century ago, A.W. Tozer wrote, “Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. The world is white-washed just enough to pass inspection by blind men posing as believers.”

Every month, all over the world there are Christian conferences held on every subject imaginable – except the Bible! The Bible is treated as a strange thing. With all due respect to Rick Warren, why is it that millions of congregations joined in the “40 Days of Purpose” program, but never a “40 Days of Exodus 20,” or even “2 Days of Matthew 5-7?” The Bible is quoted and read out of a sense of obligation or tradition, but it really is foreign to most of us.

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