One of the issues that have arisen during the current political season is just what does it men to be an evangelical. Evangelicals are viewed as a voting block and using polls and other means of collecting demographic information the news media shapes our perspective of what being evangelical means.
The same is true when it comes to understanding what it means to be a Christian. Based on things we see in the news and what we read we can get a very skewed idea of what it means to be a Christian. I witness on a daily basis people who claim to be Christians, but are in the news doing things that are not consistent with a Christian lifestyle.
While there are many things that define what it means to be a Christian a hallmark of our faith is our confidence that the Christian Scriptures, the books of both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God. The best definition of biblical inspiration I have ever read was that of the late Dr. Charles C. Ryrie.
Dr. Ryrie wrote, “My own definition of biblical inspiration is that it is God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.” By the term autograph Dr. Ryrie is referring to the original texts written by the named authors, such as the Gospel manuscript that John actually wrote.
This has profound implications for the Christian. Throughout His earthly ministry our namesake, the Lord Jesus Christ, quoted the Scriptures as the basis for His teachings and by His example showed His complete confidence in the Scriptures as being the Word of God. To be a Christian means to do the same.
I trust the Scriptures more than my own feeble intellect, or the thoughts and beliefs of others. I do not believe the Scriptures contradict the discoveries of science, but I do believe science often contradicts itself and the Scriptures.
I think the Creator knows what is morally best for mankind’s flourishing and wellbeing regardless of what is currently acceptable in the moral climate of our culture.
I believe in social justice while recognizing that the real Supreme Court does not convene down here.
I will trust what the Scriptures teach despite what others believe, say, or do contrary to them. Why? Because the Word of God has infinitely more authority and influence in my life than what any man can say.
Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work,” Second Timothy 3:16-17.
Anyone who claims to be a Christian, but believes, says or does anything contrary to the clear, plain teaching in the Bible is a liar (1 John 2:4).