By Dan Amos
The Elder Board is taking time at each meeting to study the Statement of Faith, and this month we looked at Article Two, The Bible. This discussion, current events, and the Independence Day holiday led me to think about one of my heroes. John Adams has been a favorite of mine ever since I saw the movie 1776 for the first time. I love Adams’s passion for liberty, his persuasive arguments, and his absolute belief that God did create us all equally. He described himself as “obnoxious and disliked,” but that did not dissuade him from leading the charge to independence and a constitutional republic.
John Adams’s thoughts on government were instrumental in drafting state constitutions and influential in forming the US Constitution. The latter document has served us well for more than 220 years, but is now, more than ever in my lifetime, under constant attack, especially regarding the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments.
I write this not to start a political debate but to note that we have always had documents that guide us in life. As those documents put bounds on acceptable behavior, they come under attack and revision. Often they lose their authority and effectiveness when they are revised.
Of primary concern to us as Christians is the primacy and authority of the Bible. Article Two of the Statement of Faith declares:
We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
In sin we rebel against God and reject His Word, but in submission to Him we accept the Bible in its entirety. There have always been and will always be throughout this age those who will try to change the Bible. Even though many of the men who worked on the Constitution were Christians and therefore filled with the Holy Spirit, this doesn’t make the Constitution divinely inspired. The Bible, though, is divinely inspired. It has an unparalleled pedigree which one would expect the Almighty Creator to use to communicate His plan for the redemption of His people to Him. Men may make changes, but they have no authority and no power for salvation. Only His Word remains true.
As we celebrate our independence and the blessings of being an American, my hope is not in our nation. The nation will pass away, but the promises of God and His kingdom are eternal.