12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and the [immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. Ė Hebrews 4:12 AMP
Several weeks ago on our farm we had a growing calf with a bad leg. He would limp all over the pasture, trying to follow the herd, but it was to no avail. The local veterinarian took one look at him and had a quick solution: he would be very useful in the freezer. So, over the Christmas school break, our sons took advantage of their time off and killed him.
Slaughtering an animal on our farm is kind of a lengthy process. We do not have all the fancy equipment of a large commercial slaughtering facility. We have guns for the kill, and knives and a hand saw for the butchering. Our sons kill and remove the insides of the animal, and I cut it into parts. But there is one thing I will never use to cut up any animal: a dull knife. If you have ever used a blunt blade to cut anything you know exactly what Iím talking about.
When your knife is sharp, whether youíre cutting raw meat or simply whittling a stick on the front porch, the task is an easy one. But what happens when your knife is dull? It is hard work. You get tired quicker. You may at some point get disgusted and throw the blade down in exchange for a sharper one. Why? You discard it because it just doesnít work. Todayís verse is important because there are groups in our faith that are turning Godís Word, the very Word that penetrates and exposes the thoughts and purposes of the heart, into a dull and useless blade.
If you have followed my blogs closely you will know that Iím an opponent of the whole feel-good Gospel lite movement, what I like to call Half-Calorie Christianity. These followers alone turn our Bible, the sword that the Spirit wields (Ephesians 6:17), into a useless fighting weapon. Sure they preach about Godís love, mercy, and grace. But there is never any concrete teaching on sin and godly living in these circles. If things ended there, we could all just steer clear of such teaching and breathe a collective sigh of relief. But it doesnít.
Marlo brought a news story to my attention a couple of days ago. I am sure that some of you have heard about the new version of the Bible that is considered to be gender friendly. Many churches in this story have refused to use it in their corporate setting and I applaud them for it because God goes to great lengths in the Bible to differentiate between male and female. Maybe the sales of this version will flop and the publishers will simply stop printing them.
But the news didnít stop there. It seems there is a group out there somewhere in La-La Land that has published a Bible that is friendly to homosexuals. How in the world have they done that? Has David and Jonathanís close friendship been turned into more than just friendship? Is the Song of Solomon no longer be a story of Solomonís love for the Shulammite woman but about his love of a shepherd from Samaria? And how is Leviticus 20:13 written, where God charges to Israelites to put homosexuals to death? Has that verse been reduced to a story of persecution of a lifestyle rather than a punishment associated with it?
Hereís the plain truth: not everyone is going to be accepting of what the Bible says. They should, because having a personal relationship with Jesus and following the ways laid out in the Bible lead to eternal life. But thanks to society, who has taught the human race they can be whatever they want to be whenever they want to be it. Itís sad that some continue to try to live along those lines and fit God into their little box. Hereís a big news flash you wonít find in the news wires: none of us can fit God into our little box. Heís way too big. But we can fit into His box with lots of room to spare.
I am quite sure that this homosexual friendly Bible idea took place under the pretense of not wanting to offend. Hey, thereís even talk of a Muslim friendly Bible, probably for the same reason. But letís get over it; Christianity lived to its fullest should offend others. Jesus even said we would be hated by all nations for His nameís sake (Matthew 24:9). Homosexuals may not hate us to our face, but they will hate us in their hearts because we donít approve of their sinful behavior. Radical Shiite Muslims already hate us and want to kill us as well as every Jew on earth.
Whatís the solution? Stand by the real Bible. The Bible, taken in its original context, is a two-edged sword. We use it to live by as well as defend our faith when we need to. Watch out and do your research so that you donít accidentally buy one of those friendly Bibles online or at your local Christian bookstore. If you are not careful, you could pick up your new Bible one day and discover that Solomon married more than women. At that time youíll realize that two-edged sword you used to carry by your side was a whole lot sharper than the blunt, butter knife version you have now.