Strip me clean, chain my hands And take my land Cut my hair, try to shut my mouth I'll still speak out Tie me up, close my eyes You can hypnotize You can tear me apart But you'll never touch my heart 'Cause you can't take what you don't have...
The war against Biblical fidelity
We are at war. Our faith is being challenged, tested, attacked, ridiculed, and assaulted every day. We are told our faith is hateful, bigoted, and unloving. Some say we are delusional, and our beliefs add up to little more than wish-casting and fantasy. At the core of these attacks is our staunch defense of Biblical fidelity. If you believe the Bible is the word of God and that its words are true, you are a fool. At least, that is what the attacks tell us.
The attacks are coming from all sides, both inside and out. Believers have ready-made defenses for the attacks from the world. We know the questions they will ask, the arguments they will make. We are “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have.”1
The enemy inside the gates
It’s the internal attacks that are tearing us apart. The cleverly constructed “Did God really say” insinuations from those who profess to be Christ followers. The rejection of tradition and time-tested practices. An outright denial of long-held, orthodox Biblical fidelity. We are told to submit to culture, reorient our beliefs around modern sensibilities, and show more love and grace (“just like Jesus did!” they say) by embracing sin and calling it good. We are told that to be good Christians, we need to abandon large sections of the Bible that are no longer relevant, or even good, in today’s culture.
Hear the whispered warnings Down the corridor of time Crack the whip, pull the chains The story will unwind See the drawn out faces Live the history Look deep into their eyes This is what you'll read...
Our answer needs to be a loving yet decisive, “No.” We are made of sterner stuff than obsequious bowing to cultural peer pressure. Our Savior made sure of that when He gave His life as a ransom for our souls. We are sons and daughters of the King! Additionally, and almost unbelievably, the very words of the creator of the universe have been preserved for us in the Bible. Without this greatest of gifts, we would have no knowledge of God and His great plan of redemption.
Biblical fidelity demands that we view the Word of God as more than just a collection of good advice. The Bible is our source for truth and so much more! It is eternal.2 It is life3 and light4 and hope.5 The word of God is the foundation for our lives.6 It is our delight7 and our comfort.8
They scoff at Biblical fidelity.
When the scoffers scoff9 at our Biblical fidelity, hold fast to truth. When influential Christian thinkers and teachers concede ground to outside pressure, hold fast. When denominational leaders embrace unbiblical ideas and beliefs, hold fast to the very breath of God, breathed out to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in all righteousness. God’s word pours from His mouth so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work.10
Here comes the government Knocking at my door They've tried to take it all Now they're back for more I know what they're after But there's nothing they can do 'Cause the heart and the soul of the ages Is something I won't lose
God chose to reveal truth through His word. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to reveal Himself, His love, and His salvation through the pages of Scripture. This saving knowledge of God has been firmly planted in our hearts. He has called us by name, and we have answered the call.
The world cannot take that from us. It is not theirs to take. The broken, confused, and deceitful voices inside the church cannot pull this faith from our hands. This faith, the faith passed down through the pages of Scripture, preached by the Apostles, declared by the early church, carried to the ends of the earth by missionaries and martyrs, and handed down from generation to generation, is the same faith we carry today.
A rejection of the authority, accuracy, and efficacy of God’s word is a rejection of the faith itself. I am not calling for blind faith in traditions and rituals. A living and thriving faith will always seek greater understanding and greater obedience. But the only way to draw closer to Christ and His will for our lives is to allow the Word of God to be our guide, our light, and our foundation.
Stand for Biblical fidelity.
When you are scolded by those who seek to label you as hateful or unloving simply because you stand with the Word of God on the latest social issue, raise your fist and stand strong. When you are made to feel out of step or backwards by others within the church because you accept God’s word as the definitive first and last word in your life, hold fast to the “heart and soul of the ages” that has been passed down to you.
Stand for Biblical fidelity in every aspect of your life. Love others as Christ first loved you. Be quick to forgive and long suffering in patience. Reject the victim mindset – we are more than conquerors, after all. And let all of your actions be guided by truth, the truth found in the pages of Scripture, even when the truth runs counter to culture.
Stand for the Word of God. The liars and weak-willed pacifiers will try to shame and mock and cajole you into submission. Don’t let them. Don’t be afraid to stand for Biblical truth, no matter what they throw at you. The world will hate you, just as it hated Jesus.11 Yet if your faith is built on the solid foundation of God’s word, they cannot move you.
They can’t take what they don’t have…and they don’t have you.
Strip me clean, chain my hands And take my land Cut my hair, try to shut my mouth I'll still speak out Tie me up, close my eyes You can hypnotize You can tear me apart But you'll never touch my heart 'Cause you can't take what you don't have No, you don't have me
A brief note about the inspiration for this article.
In 1995, Christian rock band Whiteheart released their penultimate album, Inside. While not held in the same regard as some of their previous works, Inside had plenty of memorable moments. One that has been bouncing around in my head recently is the song I’ve been quoting throughout the article. “You Can’t Take What You Don’t Have” is a defiant rebuke of kneeling to social pressure or bending the knee to sin and heresy. And while I’m sure the style of music will not be everyone’s favorite, the delivery is important, and the message is timely.