Apr 28, 2016

All Working From The Same Book

Occasionally I spend time sitting in court room as part of my job as a pastor. This is a task; an opportunity really, to come alongside of a client or parishioner who has broken the law and must appear before a judge to face the consequences required by the law.  

And because I'm not the one on trial it is easy to go and sit for a half a day or more as I await the trial...

My purpose for going to court is not to defend or even try to get them off, but rather to be available as a friendly face for the client or parishioner as they are facing a “kairos” moment in their life that could possibly alter how they spend the next several years of their lives. 

A moment of “bad” decision is now being called to accountability as they stand before a judge who will decide what is best for this situation.

Some of my time is to be available to either side, including the judge, to call me as a witness to speak about the person’s character in an effort to help decide what is best to do in this situation.

Most of my time is spent praying for wisdom for all who will be presenting their case as well as for those who will ultimately make the verdict. And to pray for all who have been and will be affected by this situation.

Recently, while in court, I noticed that every key player in the court room (the prosecutor, the DA, the judge, the clerk, and the attorney for the defense) all had a copy of the same large book; “West’s Minnesota Criminal Law Handbook”. 

And when presenting their side of a case, all of them referred to the large book to prove their point that either the defendant was guilty or innocent; or at least what the consequence should be. 

My mind wandered as I thought about how so many Christians have turned away from using the Bible as the book to turn to for answers to life’s problems or for counsel or direction.

No longer do they see the Bible as the book to turn to make them wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Many Christians, if they do read the Bible, prefer to use the “Loose-Leaf” version. That is the one where if you don’t agree with what the Bible says or want to ignore biblical principles, one simply tears out the “offending” page, and pretends as though now he or she can do whatever they want. 

Why? Because many Christians no longer believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.

And, consequently, they are incomplete and are tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. 

Fellow Christians; there must be a standard that we turn to in order to make sound judgments as we go through this life! We must have the whole counsel of the Bible for counsel as to how we should live! 

The Apostle Paul wrote to young pastor Timothy;

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Imagine if in our courts of law we simply each had our own different law book and made it up as we went along!

All Scripture taken from The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson