What Does the Bible Say?
by Ray Geide

        Most church people would agree that God is great and that the Bible is God's message to them but there are some things they do which contradict this.
        One such contradiction is that when they want to know something about life or even about spiritual things, they go to television, radio, the internet, books, and church teachings, but not to the Bible. Shouldn't the Bible be the first place they go? It disturbs me when I see ministers doing this. They consider books and church doctrine to be more important that God's Word.
        Another contradiction is the playing of Verse Scrabble with the Bible. Verse Scrabble is a deceptive way to twist and change the real message of the Bible. This is how it is played. Reach into a bag of Bible verses and pull a verse out of its context. Then repeat this action seven times. Now carefully rearrange these disjointed verses so that they teach something different. This is frequently used to manufacture doctrines that the Bible does not teach. Would they also take my past articles from this newspaper, find the sentences that say what they want to say, cut out a sentence here and a sentence there, rearrange them, and say that this is what Ray says? How is it wrong to do it with my articles and yet not wrong to do it with God's book?
        Another contradiction occurs when the archaic words in the Bible are used instead of translating them into the common languge of the people. These archaic words (words like grace, faith, apostle, lord, and salvation) have become "Bible words" that are frequently used in church but used without their contemporary synomyns. Yet the Bible was originally written in the common language of the people. It did not have special "Bible words", just common words. Not using modern day translations of these "Bible words" prevents the listener from knowing God's message.
        Yet another contradiction happens when people talk about the Bible or theological topics and never mention the topics expounded on in the Bible. Yes, they claim their topic to be Biblical but apart from a few out-of-context verses, the topic is not taught in the Bible. Yet they spend all of their time and attention talking about it. This contradiction is a hard one for many to see. But step back and ask yourself this question, "Did Jesus teach a lesson on that idea? Did Paul? If my teaching, preaching, and conversation does not mirror the teachings, preachings, and conversations of the Bible, something is wrong.
        The last contradiction is a big one. Even though people consider the Bible to be God's message to them, they do not read it thoughtfully and carefully. Some never open the Bible (outside of church) and know nothing about it. Others never open it and consider themselves experts on it. A few study it. And some mindlessly read it as a ritual. But no one seems to be thoughtfully reading it. Shouldn't Bible-believers be reading the Bible? Shouldn't they be honest with it? Shouldn't they be reading it thoughtfully and carefully asking themselves, "What is God trying to say here"?
        If God is great, His Message is also great and important. It should be treated as such.