“All scripture is given by the inspiration of God…” 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
There is a lot of talk these days about how some of the things we do in the church of unBiblical. As I understand it, unBiblical means that it goes against the Bible. In other words it counters something that the Bible tells us. If this is true and there is something that we are doing in my church that is conflict with what the Bible teaches I would hope that someone would point it out, in love. However, I suspect that much of what is being called unBiblical is really what I would call nonBiblical.
What does nonBiblical mean?
I would define nonBiblical as something that is not mentioned in the Bible, but does not go against something that is mentioned. I would say that there are many things that we do in the church today that fit this definition. However, I would not say that this means these things are unBiblical.
Why is the distinction important. Aren’t we really just talking semantics here? Well, yes and no. I say yes because I believe that when many people talk about something being unBiblical they really mean that it is not mentioned in the Bible. As I have said I would call this nonBiblical. After all I have seen children’s leaders say that children’s ministry is unBiblical. If they really felt that to be true, according to my definition of the word, how could they continue in ministry? For that matter how could any leader in the church continue in ministry if they felt that something they, or their church, were doing went against the teachings of the Bible.
Back to the question of semantics. I say no because because the body of Christ is repeatedly in conflict over this issue. Many argue that the way church X does things in unBiblical. This becomes a point of contention between individual congregations. If you feel that something another church is doing really goes against the teachings of the Bible, is unBiblical, then quietly and respectfully contact the leaders of that church and express your concerns. Don’t blast them in your blog. Don’t right inflammatory articles about it. Don’t tell your unchurched friends about how terrible they are. If you won’t approach the leaders of that church with respect and love, then just keep quiet because your public ridicule is only damaging the body.
Here’s the truly sad part. In many cases the people that shout the loudest about what they consider to be unBiblical haven’t even taken the time to study the Bible to see if what they claim is true.
This discussion of nonBiblical vs unBiblical is not over. I will be writing a post soon to reply to some of the things that I have heard people call unBiblical. Now I leave you with this question:
What common practices of modern church have you heard called unBiblical?Matt Norman
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