President Payne stood to address the small assembly. “We, the leaders of this denomination, are here to evaluate and confirm our beliefs about the much debated arguments concerning the Book.”
Silence dominated the room. Hidden under the giant conference table, Ms. Wright grasped a tattered King James Bible she had received as a child.
“It has been one year since each of you volunteered for this crucial assignment. After reading the entire manuscript, it has been your responsibility to come back to this group and report on your findings.”
Seated were representatives from each of the three rural congregations; Pastor Mel Loewe from Shock Rock Community, Elder Marty Graw from Tolerance Fellowship, and Dr. Lon Moore, Deacon of Park View Church. Eileen Wright, church clerk from Shock Rock, had been appointed secretary.
“The time has come for each of us to reveal our conclusions and come to an agreement. The question: Is the Bible the true, inspired word of God, or is it merely a collection of myths and legends?”
The men watched each other nervously while Eileen, resigning herself to silence, shook her head in dismay and rolled her eyes.
“Uh…hum, Miss Wright, may I remind you that you’re here simply to provide an accurate account of this meeting.”
Eileen repositioned her legal pad and began taking notes.
“Okay Gentlemen, it’s time to bring your conclusions to the table. Pastor Loewe, let’s begin with your response to the question.”
Eileen pitied her Pastor. Everyone knew the founder’s agenda; trying to persuade the misguided denomination, the Assembly of Ambivalent Convictions, that the Bible was morally profound but not entirely accurate.
Pastor Mel held his own leather-bound treasure in the palm of his hand. Eyes fixed on the book, with the adoration imposed on a newborn baby, he boldly responded to the question. “This Bible is the inspired Word of God. There is nothing but absolute truth in its pages.”
The room was silent. Eileen wanted to jump up and hug her boss. Instead, she glanced at him with raised eyebrows, gave a delighted nod, and proceeded to record his statement before anyone else dared to disagree.
Flabbergasted, Mr. Payne spoke: “Mel, are you aware of the fact that even one erroneous fact invalidates the entire work?”
“Absolutely…and I stand by my convictions. I have found the Bible to be true, every word of it, and I shall not deny or question that certainty ever again!”
Shaking his head, Royal addressed Elder Grew. “Marty, please enlighten us with your research.”
Mr. Graw opened his version of the book and read a passage from it. *When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
“If Jesus, a person of the Trinity, taught from Scripture with the authority of God, why would He quote a work made up of myths and legends? If the Good Book is good enough for Him, it is good enough for me!”
Payne couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He thought these educated men would surely find the same inaccuracies in the dubious account that he had discovered. His hope diminished as he frowned at the final representative.
“Dr. Moore, what reality have you unearthed as you gleaned from this…this religious text?”
Glancing from one person to the next, he spoke: “In the beginning, I had some real doubts about several of the stories in this book. But as I read, and as I prayed for God’s wisdom and understanding, instead of fiction, I found proof of genuine truth and accuracy. Archaeological discoveries and historical facts continually confirm the authenticity of Scripture. That truth cannot be denied!”
Mel and Marty stood and applauded.
Deacon Moore continued: “Furthermore Mr. Payne, I find it my God-given duty to seek your dismissal from association with this denomination and to begin searching for a name that identifies the beliefs of our members.”
Eileen could no longer contain herself. “How about the Bible Believers Coalition?”
Royal Payne arose suddenly. “I am astonished. I can see how God in His infinite power could part the Red Sea, but that the Creator of all things would flood the whole earth…is a stretch. And I will never believe that a loving Father would send His Son to die a criminal’s death on a cross for you or for me…that is truly unbelievable.
*Matthew 7:28-29 (NLT)
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