Slash and burn theology!
Scripture reading for August 13th: Jeremiah 34-36
Jeremiah 36 gives us a record of the process of recording scripture in written form. Jeremiah the prophet dictated to his secretary, Baruch, what God had revealed to him concerning the judgment coming on Jerusalem. Baruch took a pen and ink and wrote the words down on a papyrus scroll. (Jeremiah 36:18) He was told by Jeremiah to go and read the words to the people in the temple of the Lord. (Jeremiah 36:8) As he read the words of coming destruction and God’s wrath against the people because of their sins, officials of the king heard the message. They had him read it again to them and they decided that the king must be notified. They warned Baruch to tell Jeremiah to go and hide both of them.
The king was sitting by a fire and had a scribe’s knife in his hand as the scroll was being read. As he heard the words of a portion of the scroll, the king cut it off, threw it into the fire and burned it up. (Jeremiah 36:23-24) They showed no fear or respect for what the Lord had said or for the written word of God. In fact, the king gave orders to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch, but the Lord had hidden them! God knows how to protect his people!
As I read this account, I could not help but wonder if God’s people are still doing this same thing today. When some who claim to be Christians read the command “you shall not murder”, they don’t believe that it applies to them or their politics and simply ‘slash and burn’ the word of God! They vote to keep murder legal by supporting abortion. When some who claim the name of Christ hear that no homosexual offender will inherit the kingdom of God, they ‘slash and burn’ and sanction gay marriages and ordain gay pastors and priests. Still others cut out the verses concerning salvation by grace through faith and continue to teach a righteousness based on good works.
The ‘slash and burn’ mentality is bad theology and yield’s God’s wrath and judgment. King Jehoiakim lost his future place in the messianic line as well as a decent and honorable burial. (Jeremiah 36:30-31) All that was written by Jeremiah and Baruch would come to pass because God watches over His word to perform it! (Jeremiah 1:12) No word of God is void of power. It is a fire and a hammer that will burn and smash those who try to oppose it! (Jeremiah 23:29) Take time today to reflect on your treatment of God’s word. Make a fresh commitment to read, believe, and obey the word of God. Good theology puts the fire in your bones!