In the previous post a case was made for the relevancy of God’s Word: “Although penned thousands of years ago, the Bible is completely relevant to life today because it is a living book (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Its wisdom is timeless, it’s details accurate, and it’s message current.”
But sometimes we need examples to help us span the centuries between the original parchments and today’s Bible we access on our smart phones. Although the text has been preserved, we wonder how wisdom and encouragement penned thousands of years ago can be relevant to today’s issues. There seems to be a world of difference, and yet God’s truths are eternal.
Celebrity Culture in the Church
In his second letter to the Corinthians (what we call 1 Corinthians), Paul addressed division in the church at Corinth. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, these New Testament believers were dividing over the same issue many Christians do today. Paul says, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying,”I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”” (1 Cor. 1:11-12). The early believers were aligning themselves with their favourite teachers. Some preferred Paul, some Apollos, and others Cephas (Peter). But Paul asks them an important question: “Has Christ been divided?” (1 Cor. 1:13). The answer is obvious. Of course not! But we don’t have to think hard to realize that this celebrity culture is flourishing in the church today. People align themselves with their favourite teachers, mega-church pastors, and Christian authors. Certainly we have to be discerning when determining who will influence us in these areas, but when we draw lines and create camps based on current Christian celebrities, we are headed down a very destructive path. Christ has not been divided, and neither should we. As divisions over celebrity culture was an issue in the early church as it is today, we rightly conclude that the Scriptures are relevant.
Chronic anxiety is rampant in our culture, and the ancient Scriptures have much to teach us about how to handle anxiety. In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Obviously the believers in Philippi needed to be reminded about what to do with their anxiety, and the answer is the same today as it was then – turn your worries into prayers! Again, we see the relevancy of Scripture.
Very few would argue that the pursuit of material possessions is common to our present North American culture. Many families go to great lengths in time, energy, and money to have the biggest homes, the latest fashions, and the most exciting vacations. In fact, we are weary from all our striving to keep up with the Jones’. Scripture also speaks to this modern-day issue, which apparently is not isolated to our day. In 1 Timothy 6 Paul warns against the ruin and destruction that is inevitable when pursuit of riches is the highest priority. In fact, he says, “Some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:10). Instead, the Bible tells us to chase contentment. “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:8). Again, Scripture is entirely relevant, written centuries ago, but speaking to today’s issues.
There are many more examples we could cite. The relevancy of God’s Word is astounding, pointing to the eternal nature of its Author. God is able to see the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10) and therefore He had us, as well as future generations, in mind when He inspired the ancient writers to pick up the quill. The truths contained in Scripture are timeless, accurent, and current. Whatever you may be struggling with, the Bible has the answers, because its Author is the Answer.