Is scripture inspired by God or is scripture the word of God? For most of two thousand years, Christians accepted that it was the actual word of God. The Creator used men to put His mind to print. These men were not stenographers. They passed God’s word down in the way they processed it.
Isaiah presented his prophetic words as a high level scholar. Amos did the same, but came across as a farmer would. Paul wrote the word as a learned debater. But in all, they reflected what God wanted. Modern sentiment, of course, rejects this. Much of the mystery and wonder of God gets stripped away in modern life. Liberal theology increasingly even strips away both the physical resurrection of God and the virgin birth.
One who cannot accept the miracle of a physical resurrection could certainly never accept scripture as inerrant. But most Christians actually do. We recognize the progression from Old Testament to New. We understand that when skeptics ask us if we “literally believe” the Bible, they often do not understand that some of it is poetry, some is history, some is prophesy, and some is apocalyptic — each of which must be read in its own way.
We also understand that while Christ fulfilled the Old Testament, the moral law remains in place. The laws on ceremonial cleanliness and civil government no longer bind us. The food laws are gone. But morality, including sexual ethics, remains. That now puts orthodoxy in the crosshairs of culture.
Even here in Middle Georgia, it is increasingly common to find churches hoisting up the rainbow flag to celebrate pride, which scripture calls a sin. It is more common to find people who claim the New Testament does not really mean what it says or that it is just a useful guideline. A few churches even perform gay weddings.
During pride month, orthodoxy Christians must undoubtedly now appreciate how the atheist feels at Christmas time. Scripture says God used a rainbow as a sign to Noah that He would never destroy the world by flood again. Now even some churches raise the rainbow flag as if to spite scriptural commands.
What is a Christian to do? Well, one thing is to not get embittered or angry. There is a real sentiment in the American church that somehow something is slipping away. But, if anything, it is really just the facade falling away from the way people have always been. Some Christians try to hang on to what they thought they had. They get involved in politics and behave really no differently from those around them they would refer to as pagans.
The solution, however, is not to get angry or find a political savior for a spiritual problem. The solution is to remember what God himself said: “Seek the welfare of the city in which you are in exile and there you will find your welfare.” An orthodox Christian who accepts the word of God as inerrant cannot bake the cake for the gay wedding, but he can still be a good neighbor. He cannot hoist the pride flag and join in cheering on what scripture says is sin. But he can work to help the homeless, the weak, the orphans, and the widows regardless of age, race, sex, or even sexual orientation.
Increasingly, as the world turns away from faith and liberal Christians join with secular society to mock the things of God, Christians in America need not get angry. They need to remember their faith and be good neighbors.
Erick Erickson is host of Atlanta’s Evening News on WSB Radio.