“…we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. Your parents are Christians who believe that the Bible is inspired by God, just like people are. And since the Bible is a living thing, it is in its very nature to evolve toward becoming more loving.” – Momastary (I Think Jesus’d Be Gay Or… No She Didn’t)
The writer is saying she doesn’t believe homosexuality to be a sin. Why? Because the Bible “evolves toward becoming more loving.” If, and please understand I’m emphasizing the “if”, the Bible is evolving to become more loving, we would have to accept the following statements:
- Evolve – to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state. (Webster’s Dictionary)
- God’s character and mindset has changed
- God was not fully loving before if the Bible is evolving to become more loving
- God is not love if He is becoming more loving. He only displays imperfect love
Statements 2-4 would need to be true if we accept that the Bible “evolves”, and if the Bible truly evolves how can we trust that there are no errors in it? Essentially, if something evolves, it is becoming more useful while getting rid of un-needed pieces. How are we supposed to know if the Bible has finished evolving?
5. How can the Bible be trusted as a stable/reliable source if it is constantly changing?
I cannot come to accept statements 2-5 for the following reasons:
Statement 2. “God’s Character/and mindset has changed.” The major problem with this statement is the fact that Scripture repeatedly talks of God’s unchanging character.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” Malachi 3:6
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Behold, I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.” Numbers 23:19-23
“Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows” James 1:17
God does not change. Please understand that there’s a difference between His unchanging character, and the fulfillment of His plan. God gives us pictures in our day-to-day life showing us outwardly what is happening spiritually. Once the substance of these pictures is complete/has come, the picture is no longer needed. Take for example, animal sacrifice. God put it into place, yet we don’t sacrifice animals anymore because Jesus completed that picture. He was the substance of things to come. We don’t need the picture anymore because Jesus came to fulfill what God had set in place. God did not change his mind about animal sacrifice. He didn’t decide animal sacrifice was a bad decision. He instituted it as a reminder of our human need for the shedding of blood, a Savior from the penalty of sin. Once Jesus came, animal sacrifice was no longer relevant because God’s plan had come to completion.
“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:17-18
God does not, and has not changed.
Next we look at Statement 3:“God was not fully loving in the past if the Bible is evolving to become more loving”
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
God cannot become more loving otherwise He would be changing. And as discussed in a previous point, God does not change.
“The Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.” Psalm 33:11
If God’s plan stands firm forever, then how can the Bible evolve towards something better/different? Evolving is the opposite of firm. To evolve, one must be able to shift and change. Furthermore, if God was not displaying love in the Old Testament and we stand by the statement that His plan stands firm, intentions not shaking, then how can God be loving now?
If we are to agree with God’s word about His own character never changing and His plans remaining steadfast, we must accept that God either has always been loving, or always unloving.
This leads into Statement 4:“God is not love if He is becoming more loving. He only displays imperfect love” You cannot be 100% of “x” if you are evolving to become more of “x”.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
If we assume God is not love, or did not completely love, we would have to then accept God is a liar, which I should hope we all agree He is not.
The only way I can see this argument going differently is if the original statement supposes God is love but the Bible is not 100% evolved to be love. That would then raise the question: If the Bible is the inspired Word of God why would He who is Love have that which is not love recorded as His (God’s) Word? I speak specifically of what God says about Himself – His character and judgments. His commands. Notice none of these characteristics are socially decided issues. God’s character is not determined by, nor can it be changed by, any society. He is God, Creator of all, so His rule stands. He is the unchangeable. Because of this I cannot accept the statement of the God of the Old Testament being unloving. Who are we to tell God His motives are not pure and right? Who are we to say He should have chosen different ways to judge? Who are we to put limitations on what is right or wrong/what we, as His creation, should and should not do?
If God does not change, and if He is love, we must conclude His standards do not change and that the judgments He passed/passes are loving because He is love.
Finally, we come to Statement 5: “How can the Bible be trusted as a stable/reliable source if it is constantly changing?”
If the Bible is constantly evolving then how can we trust it? How can we know what is true and what is not? It would be a huge guessing game that would then turn into the Bible becoming a subjective book, a book that only applies to your preferences. The Bible is living, not that it evolves, but that it is NOT dead. It speaks to us and can actively work in our lives. God uses it to help us discern which thoughts are correct, to help us as individuals to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God. The Bible is not just applicable to those in the past, but also to us today.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…” Colossians 3:16a
We obviously must be careful not to take verses from the Bible out of context. (This will be discussed further in the following blog “Can Sin Evolve”) The important point that we must drive home is the inerrancy of the Bible. If we cannot accept that the Bible is accurate and 100% reliable then how can we trust it? People argue that the Bible has been translated over and over again so how can we trust that translators haven’t made mistakes? This is an excellent question, however to save on space I am going to refer you to an excellent explanation given by Voddie Baucham, please take the time to listen to this! Why I Believe The Bible
For this blog, let’s look at some verses for thought on the inerrancy of the Bible.
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:22-25
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice, which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-21
We cannot in good conscience come to the conclusion that the Bible evolves to become more loving. It is indeed living and powerful, it has, and always will be loving.
God’s Word stands firm. He is unchangeable. He is love, and that love does not become better, because it is already perfect. Love does not wink at sin; it addresses the problem and seeks a solution to bring restoration.
So can the Bible, God’s Word, evolve? Think carefully before answering.
Does it change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state? May our answer be like that of the Psalmist.
“Your word, O LORD, is eternal, it stands firm” Psalms 119:89
Next Topic: Can Sin Evolve? (Part4)