"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)
Baptists settled our conviction concerning the authority of Scripture in a battle for the Bible back in the early days of my ministry. If you asked the typical Southern Baptist preacher today, "Is the Word of God inerrant?" they will give you a resounding, "Amen!" Yet, if you listen carefully, you will begin to wonder if we believe the Word of God is sufficient. It is authoritative, but is it adequate? Must we add gimmicks and dress truth up in worldly garb? Churches seem to always be searching for the latest innovation that will be the magic pill for having a megachurch! I mean, why carry the Ark of the Covenant on the shoulders of priests, when you can tote it in an ox cart? What could go wrong? I mean, the pagan Philistines had done it (1 Sam.6), so why not the Israelites? Read 2 Samuel 6 and see!
One may not hear a preacher say that Scripture is insufficient, but more often what is unsaid. Bible truths are faithfully preached--a text taken and a message delivered--dealing with love, joy, hope, purpose, and so forth. That's Biblical! Yet, while much might be said about heaven, the uncomfortable doctrine of hell is omitted. Subjects like holiness and sanctification are scarce in sermons, it seems. We don't want to offend, so we say to our brothers and sisters in Christ, "We believe all the Bible!" Yet, we say to the world, "God is nice and we are nice. You can come as you are and be comfortable. None of that hellfire and brimstone stuff!"
Certainly, there is to be a balance. Paul said to speak the truth in love (Eph.4:15). Truth without love is harsh and uses the Bible for a club. Love without truth is soft and uses the Bible as a pillow. We must have both, and we will if we truly believe in the sufficiency of Scripture.
I want to encourage you to attend a conference on "The Sufficiency of Scripture," at Fruitland Baptist Bible College next Monday. It begins at 1:30 PM and ends at 8 PM. Dinner will be served, but you need to go online and make a reservation. Here is the link, https://ncbaptist.org/events/the-sufficiency-of-scripture-bible-conference/
We will not have Pastor's Conference at the HBA next week but hope the pastors will attend Fruitland's seminar. If you have any questions call me. If you desire to carpool, contact Mark Tice, the Pastor's Conference President, and plans can be made accordingly. I will meet you there, God willing.
For Standing Tall and Speaking Truth,
Dennis Thurman, AMS