Why Violate Scripture?

We are faced with the dilemma of whether to listen to God’s Word or ignore it. Some feel they can place feet in both fields and be found righteous. Why would we refuse to listen to Scripture? An illustration is helpful in answering this question.
Ben’s father owns a business with an old friend, Theodore. Ben is told, “Take these tax papers straight over to Theodore’s house and come right back home.”
Will Ben do exactly as his father has commanded? Or will he choose to go to his girlfriend’s house on the way there and to Sonic on his way home? He chooses to make the two additional stops and later when he returns home, his father is furious that it has taken him so long.
As Ben faces his father’s anger, what are his options? First, he can apologize and admit his disobedience. Second, he can lie and say that traffic hindered him. Third, he can rationalize and justify his actions. He chooses the latter.
From Ben’s perspective why did he choose the third option? He knew his father felt he had overstepped his bounds. Yet Ben had convinced himself that he had actually carried out his Dad’s wishes. His father did not say he could not go to his girlfriend’s house or to Sonic. But which came first in Ben’s mind, his desire to do as he pleased or the rationalization? Of course, the desire came first. He knew what his father had told him to do. However, that contrasted with what he wanted to do. Therefore, he rationalized, hoping he could get what he wanted and his father’s approval.
The fundamental question is, “was Ben deciding what to do based on his father’s word or his own desires?” The latter won out. Ben loved his desires more than he loved the approval of his father.
Paul writes simply, “do not think beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6; cf. 2 John 9-11, NKJV). Therefore, we should have a hands off approach to its Words (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Jeremiah 26:2; Revelation 22:18,19).
Our attitudes about Scripture should be exemplified by the attitude of the Son and Spirit. In John 14:10 and John 16:13 we learn that Jesus and the Holy Spirit will not speak on their own authority. What right then do we have to act on our own initiative? The Psalmist writes, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). To even contemplate altering the words of God is futile.
In Jude 3 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17 we discover that the Bible is complete, and we have all we need. Peter assures us Scripture is sufficient ( 2 Peter 1:2-4). Since we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness,” we have enough to “escape the corruption of the world” and “partake in His divine nature.” Why do we need to wander in silence? If God has spoken, why do we need to go where his voice is not heard? If his Word is sufficient, why do we need to look elsewhere? The answer can only be that we feel the Bible is insufficient.
We read in 1 Corinthians 4:6 that the reason someone would want to “think beyond that which is written” is vanity. If we remember our illustration, Ben went outside of his father’s command because it did not include the things he wanted to do. So we ask, is the thing that we desire worth more than our soul?

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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