I often wonder how much of the American experience distorts the biblical command. It is striking to see the plethora of modern filters placed on the Bible, making it appear to be something different than its original intent. Time and distance mingled with religious tradition has clouded basic scripture.

  • We are commanded to run from sin, not accommodate the world. Redefining what is right and wrong, is to defy God’s forever-settled Word. Case closed.
  • We are commanded to return ten percent of our income as a tithe on the gross. God called it “first-fruit.” There is no negotiation or circumstance exempting us from returning what belongs to God. Offerings are also a command. When did we decide we had the power to choose what we do with our tithes and offerings?
  • Believers of Jesus Christ are specifically told to “obey them that have the rule over you for they watch for your soul.” There are no ambiguous words in that verse. When did the Bible become a book of suggestions?
  • The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: “mark them that cause division” among the church and “avoid them.” I cannot imagine what gives us the right to ignore this Biblical command. Instead, people pacify the trouble-maker.

The list is full: Avoid vain philosophies. Forgive without conditions. Don’t gossip. Walk, talk, and live a disciplined life. Dress modestly. Serve willingly. Give cheerfully. Worship wholeheartedly.

These are the fundamentals of the Christian life. Are you reading this? Please tell me. Holy living does not belong to a denomination. The Bible is not subjective, i.e., it is not up to us as individuals to validate or ignore the scripture. No one is excused from the commands of the scripture. Serving is not an option. Praying is not a spiritual gift. Faithful attendance is not optional.

When I speak or write of such things, I am told that I am bold. However, these things are reasonable. The diluted pulpit combined with half-hearted believers/casual Christians is the difference. The Word has not changed. The Truth is not bound by the whims of society.

My concern is that some Pentecostals believe they can defy the scripture and still be saved. However, I rise to say, Rom 3:4 “Let God be true and every man a liar.” We must not adjust the Word to our lives. Rather, we are commanded to adjust our lives to His Word.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole