I begin this post with a simple premise: We have the ability to explain everything away!
Thomas Jefferson and the Bible:
Thomas Jefferson had some interesting beliefs. He believed in a God who creates, but after creating, God no longer intervenes in any way in the daily life of his creation.
Jefferson was a Deist. Meaning, his view of God was that God is like a watchmaker. God creates the watch, He winds up the watch, and after that, He has no ongoing involvement in what He created.
If you think and believe that God creates and then let’s His creation tick along without any divine involvement, you are not going to enjoy God’s Word or His creation as it was intended to be enjoyed! Actually, you might even approach God’s Word like Jefferson did.
Jefferson would regularly take his pen knife and commence to cutting out passages of God’s Word that referenced anything miraculous. That would include things like:
- Christ’s resurrection
- The feeding of the 5,000
- or anything that he called: “contrary to reason”
You might ask: What was left? Jefferson kept the moral teachings of Jesus that he organized and categorized topically.
This became known as the Jefferson Bible.
We have the ability to explain everything away!
Now, what Jefferson did was CRAZY! But, did you know we all have a bit of Jefferson in us? What do you believe? Don’t answer that too quickly! What do you REALLY believe?
I like how Paul puts it towards the end of the letter to the Romans. Paul in Romans 15 is seeking to encourage us in our relationships when he says this:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:1-5
Paul explodes in the hope in God. He is saying endurance and encouragement is found in God’s Word. Be encouraged and endure Christian because in God’s Word there is much hope!
Many of us say we believe in God. We believe Christ really did come, he really did take on human flesh, he died on a cross, and he really rose from the grave. We believe the gospel but, when it comes to prayer…. well…. no one wants to say it, but…… we doubt. And doubt IS unbelief. Doubt is the Jefferson in us.
Modern Advancements And Doubt
We live in a day (and most who are reading this blog) live in a country (USA) where we have so much in the way of modern advancements. In America, I am not so sure we need God. Now don’t get me wrong. We need God! We desperately need God! But, when we have more than enough money for food, clothing, housing, AC, heat, cars, and whatever medical needs that might arise, I am not so sure we need God.
And When We Don’t Need God:
And when we don’t need God…. we still might find ourselves in prayer. (Or maybe we don’t….) But, where do our hearts go when God answers prayer? I find my heart and I hear in everyday conversations explanations. We tend to explain away whatever it has that has changed that we have been praying for!
Have you done that lately? You have been praying for something. That something changes and you have a perfectly natural explanation for that change. (Self disclosure) I have literally done this and even forgotten that this something was a circumstance I was praying for! So sad! This is Jefferson, this is secularism.
I want to encourage you to pray and then give credit where credit is due! Rather than explaining everything away like Jefferson cutting all that is miraculous out of his Bible, let’s thank God for answered prayer.
Stay Tuned by subscribing at the top right corner of this page – More on this topic to come!