In my last blog, I spoke about why people reject God’s truth. I concluded by stating that, in part, it’s because we believe the untruths spread by our enemy, the devil, who deceived the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden. He tries to deceive us in the same ways, even today.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’”
The serpent’s first strategy is to get you to doubt God’s command.
The Bible despite being the all-time best selling book is also the most ridiculed and despised. Why is that? The answer is found in how human history developed from the first century A.D. to modern times. The early church miraculously and exponentially grew in the years following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Those early followers suffered unfathomable persecution and opposition from the Roman Empire at the time, which was under the rule of brutal emperors who demanded to be worshipped as gods. Early believers became known as Christians and were considered a pariah by the authorities. Nevertheless Christianity grew and eventually became the official religion of Rome under an emperor named Constantine.
During that time, many pagan deities and traditions became Christianised into a new religion that became Roman Catholicism. The Roman Catholic Church led by different Popes over many years eventually became the dominant religious and political power in Europe during the Middle Ages. The Bible was taken out of the hands of ordinary people as a way of maintaining the power of the Roman Catholic Church.
The innocence of the early church was replaced by the religiosity and traditions of Roman Catholicism. Priests were forbidden to marry, common people were taught to pay favours to gain salvation for themselves or deceased loved ones, and many were killed for defying the Catholic Church.
The teachings of the Bible were hidden from ordinary people for centuries because it was illegal for anyone other than priest to own a copy. Priests themselves only had bibles written in Latin. All that changed when William Tyndale printed the first Bible in English for the masses. In making it accessible once again to everyone, he helped spark the revolution of the Protestant Reformation that restored belief in the unequivocal authority of Scripture.
This period of history brought the decline of the Catholic Church and eventually heralded a period of secular advances called the Age of Enlightenment. Philosophers and artists during this time began questioning and opposing biblical faith as they pursued of scientific and artistic knowledge grew. The Protestant movement, Christianity also spread beyond its confines in the Middle East and Europe. The stage was set for the spread of philosophical, cultural and political paradigms that have continually stood against Biblical teaching and the influence of Christianity since then.
Today these unbiblical paradigms, or ways of understanding how the world works, influence us all. Darwinism teaches the theory of evolution. Communism teaches that equality can only come under the absolute power of an atheistic government. Modernism claims that science is the final authority for understanding reality, and now Post-Modernism says that all notions of truth are determined by a person’s own experience and context.
All these paradigms have have one theme in common: the rejection of God and the final authority of his Word. According to these worldviews, what God commands does not matter. The serpent still whispers, “Did God really say…?”
What are your thoughts on the Bible? Is it still relevant today? Do you think we are in an unfolding battle between those who believe and those who do not believe in the God of the Bible?
In the next blog, I look the second major lie that dismisses the consequences of rejecting God uttered by our enemy who says, “You will surely not die.”