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Cafeteria Christianity

by Leigh Ann Dilley on August 18, 2021

Do you believe the Bible is the word of God? Many people say they believe they do, but then pick and choose which verses they believe enough to put into practice. If the Bible says something we don’t agree with, we often choose not to believe it. If the Word of God is too “hard” to put into practice, we often choose to justify our thought or behavior instead.  Another thought some people have expressed about the Bible is “it is inconsistent"; as if God changed his mind or his character somewhere along the way. 
This has been referred to as a “Cafeteria Christianity.” If the Bible truly is the word of God, we don’t get to have it both ways. It’s all or nothing.

In this respect, we are no different than the Israelites God led out of Egypt. God taught them His laws through Moses and the Ten Commandments. God promised to be with them and to be their God. But over time, the Israelites chose to return to sinful behaviors and the idol worship they learned in Egypt; thereby, rejecting the one true God. Their old habits were easier and more familiar to them than the law of Moses.  What happened when they did not listen and obey? God was angry with them and punished them. They paid a price for their disobedience and not one of them entered the Promised Land. However, in the end, consistent with God's character, he shows them mercy. You can read all about this in Exodus 32.  

We allow the same thing to happen in our lives when we build our belief systems and lifestyles around popular culture, public opinion, or what is socially accepted, instead of the Bible. Picking and choosing what is true or not true from the Bible is disobedience. If we don’t understand scripture or think it is inconsistent, dig deeper. Pray over the scripture and ask God to reveal the true meaning of the scripture. It often helps to read a commentary on the subject or read the passage from another translation. By researching the scripture further, you will likely learn you have misinterpreted the passage because you did not have enough information about the history, or enough knowledge about the culture at the time it was written to properly understand it. God does not contradict Himself and He does not lie. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Heb. 8:21)  

Consider the following verses:
1 Corinthians 2:10b The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God, and in verse 12: We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.  
1 Corinthians 2:14:  The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
These verses mean the Holy Spirit will reveal things about God to us and will help us understand scripture, especially when we ask. 

If you don’t believe something you read, consider praying Roman 12: 1-2 over the scripture. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.   
Jeremiah 33:3 has been described to me as God’s phone number. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Don’t you love the idea that God has a phone number? All we do is call on him and ask for understanding. He will send the validation and explanations we need.

What will God teach you about His word this week?

Tags: women, lifestyle

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