“Logic Isn't Mightier Than Word"
Rev. Dr. Claudia Brantley
Award of Outstanding Merit - $1,000
Dr. Brantley earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Erskine Theological Presbyterian Seminary. Her first solo pastorate was in an African-American Presbyterian, USA Church (she is Caucasian). She was later installed as Associate Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in her hometown. The Spartanburg Herald-Journal has published religious articles she has written for over ten years. Her work has appeared in Mature Living, Christian Reader and Look Out Magazine. She has a published dissertation and also a book, Your Daughters Shall Prophesy, she wrote on her spiritual journey of becoming an ordained Southern Baptist Minister. Claudia has written and preached many sermons and has been a Bible teacher for many years. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and they have three married children and eight grandchildren.
Recent articles in the national news media served to remind me of the responsibility we as Christians have to maintain the integrity of the Word of God, the Bible. A beauty pageant contestant was asked a question, which she answered according to her Christian belief and based on Scripture. She was ridiculed by one of the judges and made to look like she was “intolerant and politically incorrect.” Her sponsors even wanted her to apologize for her statement of belief. She refused and was ridiculed some more. Would I have been as faithful to the Word of God? Would you?
Dinesh D’Souza, in his book on the New York Times best seller list, What’s So Great About Christianity, states that “A small but influential segment of liberal Christianity rejects all the central doctrines of Christianity.” H. Richard Niebuhr, a theologian, famously summed up their credo: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
These statements served to remind me that the validity and integrity of God’s Word is being called into question in our day, often even by those who claim to be Christians and attend churches. I was also reminded of what the Old Testament says about this.
Josiah was a King of Jerusalem who did right in the sight of the Lord. He repaired the Lord’s house which had been in disuse and disrepair. While repairs were being made, Hilkiah, the high priest, found the Word of God (the Book of the Law), in the house of the Lord.
Imagine that! The Word of God was lost in the house of the Lord and even the high priest didn’t know it was there. Perhaps there is a message to The Church today in II Kings 22-23. Maybe we need to re-discover the Bible as the authoritative Word of God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
God’s Word Versus Logic
Often we tend to lean on our own logic and reasoning rather than heeding the truths of God’s Word. The Old Testament often says the people did “what was right in their own eyes” which was usually contrary to the Word of God. Could it be we are doing the same thing in our culture today?
If we read a little further in II Kings 22:13, we see that Josiah commanded Hilkiah, the priest “to inquire of the Lord concerning the words in the book that had been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord against us, because our fathers have not listened and obeyed the Word of this book.”
When Josiah heard the Word of God read, the Bible says, he repented before the Lord. He destroyed all idols and banished all the idolatrous priests.
The Bible says “There was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his soul and might.”
Return to the Truth
As I read this passage, I could not help but wonder if God is waiting for us, His people, to return back to Him in confession and repentance.
As Christians, the Bible is our source of truth, not logic and reason. Culture and people do not define truth for Christians. God’s Word defines truth for the people of God. Getting back to this truth is what brought about the Reformation.
The Reformation that came out of Wittenberg and Geneva proclaimed the Bible alone as faith’s authority. People like Luther and Calvin were passionate defenders of the Word of God and boldly claimed that the Bible illumines the whole of reality.
Since that time Christians have proclaimed that the Bible is the chief authority in the church. In our day, it seems confidence in the Bible is being replaced with human wisdom rather than adhering to the truths of God’s Word.
Perhaps we need to listen to what the Psalmist says about God’s Word in Psalms 138:2b; “You have exalted above all else Your name and Your Word, and You have magnified Your Word above all Your Name.”
God’s Word is important to Him and His Word should be the primary authority to His people. I have to ask myself, “Am I lining my thinking up with the Word of God or am I picking and choosing what I want to believe to go along with culture and a worldly life-style?" With God’s grace, I plan on placing my life and faith in God and His Word.
Published in the June 20, 2009 issue of the Herald-Journal; Spartanburg, SC.
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