Daily Devotional for Thursday February 9, 2012
A "Muslim Friendly" Bible
(Psalm 119:89, 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:16)
But now there is a major controversy developing as the latest altered Bibles are being created by organizations that most would think of as being more conservative and reasonable. At the forefront of the controversy are the Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Frontiers, all of which are producing Bible translations that remove or modify terms which they have deemed offensive to Muslims. That's right: Muslim-friendly Bibles. Included in the controversial development is the removal of any references to God as "Father," to Jesus as the "Son" or "the Son of God." One example of such a change can be seen in an Arabic version of the Gospel of Matthew produced and promoted by Frontiers and SIL. It changes Matthew 28:19 from this:
"baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"
"cleanse them by water in the name of Allah, his Messiah and his Holy Spirit."
A "Muslim friendly" Bible. Yes, you heard me correct. In addition to a perverted translation of the Bible that makes the choice to homosexuality no longer a sin, there is now a Bible that has been translated in a way not to offend Muslims. It is sad, since one of the great works of God for generations, Wycliffe Bible Translators, is responsible for this latest blasphemy.
It was a short time ago the great ministry Campus Crusades for Christ compromised and decided to drop "Crusade" and "Christ" from their name to be more inviting to non-Believers. Now we have one of the great works of God that has translated the Bible into virtually every language on earth, compromising in order to try and convert Muslims.
My friend, the ends NEVER justify the means. Just like men have compromised over the past 30 years in coming up with the clever purpose driven/seeker/emerging church/prosperity marketing schemes instead of following the simple Biblcial model of preaching the Gospel, so has man compromised the Truth of God's Word in their efforts to save souls.
COMPROMISE DOES NOT OR EVER WILL WORK!!! THE BIBLE DOES NOT NEED TO BE WATERED DOWN TO LEAD PEOPLE TO FAITH IN CHRIST AND IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION!!!
The Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters because it works! What I share with you each day as I deal with what is happening in our world as well as our personal lives are not my thoughts, or my ideas, or my opinions, but God's. I deal with everything from what is referred to as a "Biblical worldview." What I share with you each day is literally coming right out of the Bible. I don't wake up in the morning and simply write down what I think because the fact is, at the end of the day it doesn't matter what I think and it doesn't matter what you think, it only matters what God thinks! Of course you and I both have the free will to think and believe whatever we want, but Truth isn't what we decide it to be, it is what God says it is!
You see my friend, we aren't perfect. We are simply frail flesh and blood. We sin. We make mistakes. We are wrong. God on the other hand IS perfect. He is NEVER wrong! God is right 100% of the time! Because we are sinners, that is why we need a Savior. The whole reason Jesus went to the cross was to be that one-time perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. So when we confess our sins to the Lord, by faith ask Him to forgive us and come to live in our hearts, we become His follower. As His follower, that means we also follow His Word. Jesus said, 'If you love me you will obey me." That means the Bible. A follower of Jesus is automatically a follower of His Word!
Over the past 2000 years, people have debated the Bible ad nauseam. I could sit here today and make an historical and archeological argument for why the Bible is really God's Word. I could sit here today and make a theological argument for why the Bible is really God's Word. But today, I want to use this time together to make the strongest case there is for why the Bible is really God's Word. When I tell you, many of you will shake your head and think what I have shared is not a very good reason. However, I want you to listen to me since what I am going to tell you is by far the strongest and greatest argument of all to prove the Bible truly is God's Word. The Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters...because it works!!!
What does that mean? The Bible is God's instruction manual for man, both during this life and for all eternity. Think of the Bible like any other instruction manual. When you buy a new toy for your child or cell phone, there is always an instruction manual. If you take the time and effort to read the instruction manual and then follow it, guess what? The toy will be assembled properly and work! The cell phone with all of the incredible features the new phones of today have will work! The Bible is God's instruction manual for life, and if you read it and follow what it says, life works!
You can start from almost the very beginning of life. There are lots of instructions in the Bible for children and young adults. The Word talks about children obeying their parents, honoring their mother and father. The Bible gives basic lessons of life that every child should learn like "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and "treat others like you want to be treated," and "be kind to others," These are all foundational life lessons every child needs to learn that makes life work.
As you become an adult, most look to get married. The Bible has MUCH to say about this stage of life. It warns us to not be "unequally yoked with a non-believer." This is critical since your faith in Christ is the most important thing in your life and if you can't share that with the person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with, there is no real foundation to your relationship. So when you marry someone who shares your faith in Christ, the two of you can build on that foundation together during all of the years God blesses you with. The Bible says much about husband and wives. It instructs husbands to love their wives like Christ loves the church. It instructs women to be submissive to their husbands. It clearly lays out the roles a man and woman are to play in life. Again, following God's Word can make marriage the incredible blessing and gift from God He intended it to be. It works!
The Bible also has lots of clear instruction when it comes to sex. Sex is actually a very simple subject. It is a gift from God to be enjoyed by a man and woman in the bonds of marriage. Period! ALL sex outside of marriage is a perversion. Pretty clear and pretty simple isn't it? Just think if you actually followed the Bible on this issue. First of all, you are never going to have sex of any kind until you are married, and then the only person you will ever have sex with is the one God gave you to spend the rest of your life with. Guess what? That automatically eliminates all of the emotional, physical, and mental drama from your life that accompanies the sexual relationships people have outside of marriage. With each person you have sex of any kind with, you are giving a part of yourself to that person. Engaging in such intimacy is a physical, emotional, and mental investment with someone you have no commitment to.
Of course, when you follow the Bible and never have sex until you get married and are only having sex with your spouse and your spouse is only having sex with you, there is no such thing as a sexually transmitted disease. There is also no such thing as abortion. First, since you are both followers of Christ, killing your baby is NEVER an option. Since you never have sex until you are married, there is no such thing as a child out of wedlock. Having children is not looked at as a curse but as a blessing! Children are the natural byproduct, the fruit of marriage. They are something a husband and wife look forward to and rejoice over. In addition, when it is only you and your spouse having sex, you don't fall into the many sexual perversions. Do you see how much pain and heartache, drama and even death is avoided when we follow the Bible?
By following God's Word out in the business world, employees will be "working as unto the Lord," and employers will treat their employees fair and just. Businesses won't cheat their customers and customers won't try to take advantage of businesses. The Bible works!
The Bible not only works in all of the real day-to-day issues of life, but it also works in our spiritual lives as well. The promises in God's Word are true! When we sin, 1 John 1:9 is true when it tells us to confess our sins and God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. When life gets difficult, Jesus told us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. He told us to give Him our burdens and take His yoke because it is light. God promised that He would never put on us more than we can bear, and that He would never leave us nor forsake us. What tremendous comfort we can take from the promises in God's Word because they are true and they work!
I love you and care about you so much. I could have easily made a case for the Bible being the Word of God by going through the historical record of how the Bible came to be. It is fascinating. I could have also easily made a case for the Bible being the Word of God by breaking it down theologically. But today, I wanted to make the strongest case there is for the Bible being God's Word, and that is because it works.
It isn't just a book of good ideas on how to live. It is THE instructional manual for man that God wrote so we wouldn't have to try to figure this life out for ourselves. How many times have you tried to put together a toy for your child or operated a new electronic gadget without looking at the instruction manual? When did you finally pick up the instruction manual? We both know that answer, after you broke what you were trying to put together, or you put it together and it didn't work! Sounds like lots of lives who have never taken the time or effort to read the Bible doesn't it?
The great thing about the Bible is that it doesn't just deal with your life now, it also is your instructional manual for eternity. It tell us, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." It says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." It also says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." You see, it not only works during our brief journey through life, but it works for all eternity as well!
The bottom line is God gave you free will. You are free to believe whatever you want. You can believe the Bible or reject it. That is up to you. However, I want you to know that there is only one Truth. It isn't what you want it to be, or what I want it to be, it is what God says it is! God said it in the pages of the Book He wrote, the Bible. The greatest case I can make for the Bible being God's inspired, inerrant Word representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all matters is..... IT WORKS!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,