Fellowship & Outreach
Some question God ordering the Canaanites' slaughter, but they sacrificed children, skinned enemies alive, had perverted public sex, and engaged in other heinous practices.
Humanity hasn't progressed morally since Bible days. The greatest mass killers (Hitler, Stalin & Mao, L-R) all terrorized within the last century.
About 4 of 5 Americans have a social-media account, while 4 of 9 (3.5 billion) do globally.
Many like to say Noah's Ark (top) was based on the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, the latter's boat (bottom) couldn't float correctly due to its box-like design, while Noah's could, looking much like the hull of a modern ocean liner.
Nonbelievers love to slander the Bible because it's the backbone of Christianity, but Scripture neither is oblivious to the sun nor has another mistake of fact. Rather, it corrects historians.
I believe strongly in relational ministry and do much Christian work in person. However, I also am committed to bringing the Lord wherever people are. Nearly 80 percent of Americans – 247 million – have a social-networking profile, according to Statista. Worldwide, Hootsuite reports 3.5 billion use platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, accounting for 45 percent of the global population.
The masses are on media, and they like to take on Christians. In addition to my local preaching, teaching and evangelism, I go to social channels to spread the Gospel. A recent interchange on Facebook allowed me to respond to both some common and uncommon perceived negatives about the faith that saw me bringing forth facts that may help you in your next encounter. This is a good role for me, as apologetics was a major emphasis in my seminary degree from Liberty Baptist Seminary. (Q1 and Q2 below stand for the questioner, while I'm KYLE.)
Q1: Perspective: Let’s study context of HOW the Bible came to be as opposed to the ridiculous cycle of studying its contents and trying to understand the “meanings.” History shows us that the Bible was clearly written by multiple human beings with stories and text handed down and passed along like a game of telephone. No holy space ghost wrote a single word.
History also shows that virtually everything in the Bible has its origins in other myths and legends that predate its initial writing. There is nothing original in it. To take it literally is virtually obscene – there is plenty of horrible content in there, especially in the OT.
KYLE: Second Peter 1:20-21 says that God moved men to write the books of the Bible by His Spirit. A perfect divine being is without error, and this is claimed by the Scripture itself in 2 Timothy 3:16, as it says in the original Greek it is "God-breathed." When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes into us, as described on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. In this way, the Lord can use us in His work and change us into His image by growing the fruit of the Spirit in us: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). And Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
The Bible has not been rewritten. Moses wrote the Torah (Law), the first five books. Prophets, kings and priests wrote others. These were fixed in written form. When the Hebrews went into captivity in Babylon, they kept the Word alive through oral recitation, African natives do this today, and they are very, very sure to keep the words precisely the same, for if you get those wrong, you have no backup. It was very common in Old Testament days for people to memorize entire books of the Bible. That the Old Testament was written over 1,000 years by more than 40 different people and the New over 50 years by 10 and all are in perfect agreement is testimony to the incredible work of the Holy Ghost.
People like to say this or that predates the Bible, but there is no evidence of this, as dating ancient works is difficult. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a tale like the Great Flood of Genesis. However, Gilgamesh's boat would not have been seaworthy, while Noah's was (and you can see what it would have looked like at the Ark Adventure in Kentucky). There are 200+ flood stories around the planet because the Great Flood really happened. Interestingly, Hawaii's is almost exactly like that in Genesis. Of course, Moses never went to Hawaii – though he might have enjoyed it if he had!
We have but 30 ancient copies of The Odyssey and Iliad yet thousands of ancient copies of the Bible, which is the best documented work of ancient times. It has even corrected numerous secular critics, as hundreds of archaeological finds have corroborated the historicity of David, Solomon, Jesus, and many other people, events, and places of The Word. For example, historians decried that Luke used a particular Greek word for a local official in Acts 17 until an inscription of that era was found using it, then 30 more came to light.
Q2: Didn't Constantine drastically edit many of the texts back in what, the 4th century?
Q1: That’s my understanding. I also have to state for the record that I’m not “anti-bible.” I just view it for what it is: a fascinating reflection of the times and MEN who wrote it. Christ’s teachings in particular resonate with me, hard to argue against that Golden Rule thing.
KYLE: Constantine did not edit Scripture. He called a council of the early church once he made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire so that the leaders could discuss systematic theology and come to agreement on what we might term a statement of faith of essential doctrines.
God had the Hebrews kill them while going into the Holy Land because He knew their hearts wouldn't turn to Him, and they would corrupt the Chosen People. That they did, as Joshua did not completely drive them out. We know from archaeology that those people practiced human sacrifice (including burning babies alive), flayed enemies to death (cut off their skin layer by layer), had bizarre public sex rituals, and more.
The Lord wanted to show us why a physical kingdom was limited in effectiveness and grace, too, so He gave us Christ so we could be freed of the penalty of sin and eternal death and regenerated by His Holy Spirit. There is but one violent act by a Christian in the New Testament, Peter cutting off Malchus' ear, and Jesus healed that on the spot! The worldwide Kingdom of Christ is more than 2 billion people of every nationality, race, color, and so forth.
People have not evolved; we have developed more sophisticated inventions, but the human heart is as fallen as ever, perhaps more. We murder infants in the womb, lie, cheat and steal to get our way, and decapitate people if they won't agree with us. The worst murderers in history are in the modern world: Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot. The way of Christ is to give our lives to Him in relationship, and for Him in turn to bless us as we walk with Him.
We are not animals. God created man in His image not so much physically but spiritually, by giving people choice, the ability to create, learn, feel, think, communicate precisely, love, hate, and so forth. We have bodies, minds, souls and spirits, and these are meant for fellowship eternally with the Lord. See how to be saved and begin pursuing a personal relationship with Christ.
Q1: Save your breath. The minute you quote the Bible to try and make some sort of divine claim you lose. Feel free to join the rest of us in the 21st century whenever you’re ready.
KYLE: You believe in Jesus' Golden Rule. Why is that valid but not the rest of His book? Christ claimed to be God and said clearly, "There is no way to the Father but by Me" (John 6:44).
Here are your alternatives: Join Islam and decapitate everyone who disagrees with you; keep thinking good thoughts and hope you attain "enlightenment" (undefined) as a Buddhist; keep trying to be "good" (undefined) and go thru endless cycles of reincarnation as a fish, bug, etc., until somehow you get it right (whatever that is) per Hinduism; just live whatever way and hope somehow there's something after death; or say you are sorry for your sins, believe Christ rose again, and follow Him and His Word as Lord and Savior, gaining peace and eternal life now and forever. The last is the only choice making sense. Tell you what: Ask God (Yahweh) to reveal Himself to you; can't hurt, can it?
More than half of those in the UK and USA are comfortable turning to social media for news, opinions and current events, states a Global Web Index study. Scripture says to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is within you" (1 Peter 3:15). I pray the Lord of the Harvest sends out laborers into this field even as I petition for workers for more traditional circumstances as well. Yahweh is everywhere, so His people should be as well.
About the author: The Rev. Kyle Huckins, Ph.D., has an earned doctorate and taught both journalism and religious studies in universities, winning three honors for scholarly research on the intersection of faith and media.
He's won 25 awards for professional media writing and production in a career stretching back to the 1980s and covering every mass medium. For 20 years, he's worked in public relations and marketing with outstanding results in placing articles, generating click-throughs, growing social-platform accounts, and more.
Ordained in 2003, he's clergy and has served congregations and their associations in numerous positions of pastoral, administrative and educational leadership. He has a master's degree in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. Click here for more on Huckins.
This website also has a regularly updated blog on faith, Facebook and Twitter feeds and more. You may email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. He enjoys hearing from his readers in 135 countries ... and growing!