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Your Christian Cowboy Resource

Bible Bootcamp

Part 8

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

We sometimes pass along bad Bible advice

Part 8 of our series encouraging digging deeper into the Bible

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

We'd never want be given bad advice or information on how a bull or horse is going to buck, what the ground conditions are like for the barrel pattern or how a steer is going to run. Yet we accept bad information all the time about who God is and how to follow His plan for our lives

However innocently, we're even guilty of passing that bad advice along.

There's a big difference between making a mistake or misunderstanding something versus taking something out of context either intentionally to further our own purpose or because we won't take the time to understand what the Bible actually teaches.

We mean well, but we do this to each other all the time in conversation going down the road or through social media statuses and memes.

The most innocent of this happens out of the “I believe” thinking. We may not always open with those words, but we make decisions about God, our relationship with Him or how He works in the world around us. We do this because it feels or sounds good and lines up with some theology we think we know from the Bible but that usually is a blending of Biblical truth and incorrect knowledge.

“I believe when you exercise, looking after your body gets you closer to God.”

“If God wanted me to be in church, He would tell me. I feel closer to God in a pasture.”

“I feel like if you're worried about anything other than bettering your life, you're not following God's purpose.

These things sound good and sometimes have a partial truth to them but they all stray from what the Bible actually teaches.

Sure a healthy lifestyle can lead to a better attitude but what the Bible actually teaches is to treat the body like a temple. It teaches a lot of other ways to be closer to God including prayer and time reading His word. His word teaches a lot about worry but it also teaches about denying self, which can be a big part of helping us see what God's purpose for our lives can be.

They can be difficult to accept or admit to ourselves, but any one or a combination of these are reasons we do this.

 1.) We're too lazy to put the time into learning what's in the Bible. This whole series has been about encouraging us and showing us why it's important to do just that—know what's in scripture.

 2.) Because we don't know what the Bible actually teaches us about God and our relationship with Him, it's easier to accept false teaching and ideas that sound good. When we don't know what's in there, it's easier to accept ideas that sound good but have no real Biblical meaning and no way to truly bring us closer to God and understanding His plan for our lives.

 3.) We're so focused on our own plans that we seek anything that sounds good to help us succeed. Our desire for success makes us seek out anything that will help and with an abundance of false teaching out there, it's easy to find those sound bites that sound good but contain little real knowledge of God.

 4.) We don't spend enough time in prayer and just talking to God to seek His direction and will. The Holy Spirit will guide us to where we need to go, which would include drawing us into God's word and giving us a heart and desire to seek Biblical truth, if we would just seek God's heart for us.

 5.) We don't want to change. We're afraid that submitting to God means having to give up who we are. Yes, our lives will change, but we will want those changes to come once we start living for Christ and we won't miss the parts we let go of. If we make the Bible fit our lifestyle, we can find ways to justify sinful choices like sex before marriage and smoking pot or getting drunk after a bull riding.

 6.) We make it about ourselves. In the three examples above, that becomes evident. As athletes, exercise is important to being successful and we pursue success above all else so if we can link work toward that success to something that sounds like it's Biblical, that allows us to pursue our personal goal harder, ignoring our spiritual commitments to God as believers saved through the blood of His Son. We have bad experiences in church so we ignore what the Bible actually teaches about the importance of being in church and let our time on horseback checking fences be our reason to not be in a church worshiping God. If we're honest with ourselves, the time most of us spend out in the wilderness is not as devoted to God as we want to think it is. And the Bible has much to teach us about worry and about God's plans for our lives, but the two are not linked directly like that. God doesn't want us to worry but we need to know who He is much better in order to trust that and that only comes from time in church learning from teachers and from our own time in God's word. The Bible also teaches us how to follow God's plan for our lives which includes the Great Commission—sharing who Jesus is with others. Be honest, when's the last time you ever spoke to someone about Jesus with a knowledge of scripture and how to explain to them what the plan of salvation is? That's one clear purpose God has for us and be Him allowing us to be at a rodeo or bull riding, He's put us in a place surrounded by people we can share the gospel with.

A lot of this other junk that we follow, seems reasonable to us but it has no foundation in Scripture. It sounds good, it ultimately isn't bad, but guys, honestly, it's worldly and most of it isn't from God....even when we're the ones thinking it. If it isn't grounded in a good understanding of some basic theology, it's not godly and we really shouldn't put it out there. What we need to do is seek Biblical truths and share those. They don't always sound as good and they're seldom as easy, but they will lead us to a closer relationship with God, a deeper understanding of His word and when we pursue this prayerfully, it will greatly change our lives and better equip us for whatever it is we're going to face, good or bad, going down the road.

Part Nine