Our church is being torn over a specific issue I won't name, but what it really comes down to is whether we accept the Bible as our sole authority (as some in our church believe), or we listen to the world and try to discern if God is saying something new (as others contend). Which way should we go? — J.S.
As an evangelist, I've always tried to avoid taking sides in church disputes over the years, but I pray your church will look beyond the immediate issue (whatever it is) and see the larger issue that's at stake (as you seem to have done).
Many years ago, near the beginning of my ministry, a man I respected very much began telling me that I needed to quit believing that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible was out of date, he said, and we needed to begin looking at it through modern eyes. His arguments were persuasive, and caused me much turmoil for a time.
But the more I studied the Bible, the more I became convinced that he was wrong. For one thing, Jesus clearly accepted the Bible as the Word of God; could I do anything less? In addition, I began to realize that once we cut ourselves off from the Bible, we have no final authority and no solid foundation for our faith. Eventually, I told God that by faith I was going to accept the Bible as His Word -- and He has repeatedly confirmed the rightness of that decision.
Keep Christ at the center of your life, and build your life on the truth of God's Word, the Bible. Remember: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).