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Wednesday, December 13 2017 @ 10:18 PM CST

False Standards in Religion (Part 2)

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Radio transcript for the week of June 11, 2017

Todd Clippard speaks on "False Standards in Religion (Part 2)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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False or Insufficient Standards in Religion

  1. "I thought..."
    • 2 Kings 5:11 - Naaman had it all figured out how the prophet was going to heal him. When things didn’t go according to his plan, he rejected God’s plan. Fortunately, he was persuaded by his servants to obey the Lord and he was rewarded (cf Proverbs 3:7-8; Isaiah 55:8-9).
    • Acts 26:9-11 - Saul of Tarsus - “I thought within myself to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which things I also did.”
    • Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.
    • Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
    • Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

  2. "My preacher says..."
    • Jeremiah 2:8; 5:30-31; 23:14
    • Galatians 1:6-9 - "Though we or an angel from heaven..."
    • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - Even the devil can make himself appear as a minister of light (truth)
    • Amos 7:14-16; 1 Kings 22:14

  3. "Others are doing it."
    • Exodus 23:2 - "You shall not follow a multitude to do sin."
    • 1 Samuel 8:19-22 (cf Hosea 13:11) - Give us a king that we may be like the nations around us.

  4. "Look at the good that will come."
    • Romans 3:8 Paul said is was a slanderous report that he taught "let us do evil that good may come" (i.e., situation ethics).
    • Romans 6:1 Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!
    • "If we quit preaching/emphasizing (insert controversial doctrine here), we can get more members. If we get more members, we can get more money. If we get more money, we can do more mission work and benevolence."

  5. "We’ve always/never done it that way."
    • Joshua 5:2-9 None of the Jewish boys who had been born in the wilderness had been circumcised. No man entering the Promised Land had ever witnessed such and may have been tempted to say, "We’ve made it this far without it, why start now?"
    • 2 Chronicles 30:5 - It had been many years since God’s people had observed the Passover. Many probably did not understand and may have been tempted to disparage the event.

  6. "God didn’t forbid it."
    • Leviticus 10:1-2 - Where did God forbid the fire offered by Nadab and Abihu?
    • 2 Samuel 24:1-10 - Where was David ever forbidden to number the people?
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:21 -Prove all things. It is not enough to say "prove this is wrong". It is equally incumbent upon people to show why a thing is right.

  7. "I don’t think God is concerned with such trivial things." This is the equivalent of saying "God thinks like me." See Isaiah 55:8-9.
    • “When you are dodging Muslim bullets, cradling starving babies, comforting a malaria-ridden brother, all the nonsense over plucking on a piano seems to pale in comparison." - Roger Dickson, Christian Chronicle online 3/29/2006.
    • "I don’t care if you have a glass of wine or a beer. The Lord don’t either." - Phil Robertson
    • Numbers 20:7-11 - How trivial was the matter of striking the rock as opposed to speaking to it?
    • Psalm 19:13-14 - It is presumptuous to say of God what God has not said or to speak with authority where he has not spoken.
    • 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 - Who knows the mind of God?

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In keeping with this month's theme of false religious standards, we might do well to consider some of the basics of Bible study.

My first response would be to address a matter that too many do not give serious consideration when beginning a study of the Bible, namely, choose a good translation of a good Bible. I know that last line sounds a bit odd, but I will explain as we move forward.

When one undertakes a reading or study of the Bible, it is vital to have a good translation. While I was raised reading and studying the King James Version, I really would not suggest it as primary Bible, especially for young people or someone who is not conversant with the scriptures and entering a study of the Bible for the first time. If this statement qualifies me as a heretic among some of my brethren, (and it does), then so be it. I am more concerned with people grasping the word of God than grappling with archaic words and phrases. I switched from the King James to the New King James in 2008. My primary reason for choosing the New King James is because it is a good, readable translation, and because all my previous 35 years of study and memory work had been done in the King James, so it wasn’t like I was reading a completely different translation. It still “sounded” like Bible when I read it.

Other solid modern translations include the New American Standard Bible, the English Standard Version and the Holman Christian Standard. These translations also do a good job of translating the text into English.

Other so-called translations are not translations at all. Some are paraphrases while others are called "Dynamic Equivalents". This means the translators are not so concerned with translating the actual text as they are trying to convey what they think the text is intending. The danger here is that the theology of the translators and what they think the text means can override what the text actually says.

Once you choose your translation, make sure your Bible contains textual cross references. These cross references will be at the end of each verse or between the columns (called a center-column reference). When you come to an unfamiliar phrase or concept, often there will be a reference pointing you to another passage or passages that may help clarify that text.

Also, make sure you have a Bible with print that is clear, readable and doesn't strain your eyes. This may sound silly, but if you have to strain or really focus on the print to read your Bible, you are less likely to enjoy your study. Grandma's old Bible may have sentimental value, but its faded pages probably aren't suitable for proper study.

Finally, you may want to consider buying a Bible with wide margins on which to write notes or other references. Personally, I have never been one to write in my Bible, but many good Bible students use underlining and notes while doing their studies.

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