“A lie travels around the world, while Truth is putting on her boots.” Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), British Baptist preacher who in his lifetime preached to over 10,000,000 people
Prompted by some recent mis-representations of my theological views I will attempt in the following posts to clarify said views and to communicate my positions on other theological matters. So, come on, grab your favorite beverage, and join in the conversation:
Today’s post will follow a “That – this” format. It was said “that” I believe…. but in truth, “this” is what I believe.
1. It was said that I believe that “we cannot base our faith on the Scriptures as a whole.”
But in truth this is what I believe:
I believe that the foundation of the Christian faith is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “For no one can lay any foundation, other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11; “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” 1 Corinthians 15:14; See also 1 Peter 2:6
Jesus, the Living Word, is the foundation of our faith. The Scriptures point us to Jesus.
Jesus laid it out to the Pharisees, “You diligently study the scripture because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” The Pharisees thought life was found in the scripture. Jesus said it isn’t. Life is found in Him. Paul, therefore, says in Galatians 2:20, that we live this life by “faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.”
It’s like our cute, but not always so bright dog, Skittles. When I point my finger at something to show Skittles, she doesn’t look at the object at which I’m pointing. She only looks at the tip of my finger. The Pharisaical trap is to fail to see beyond the Bible to Jesus.
Scripture is the foundation of what we believe but not why we believe.
2. It was said that I believe, “The only thing we can truly believe in are the four gospels.”
But in truth, this is what I believe: The entire Bible is trustworthy.
The above misrepresentation of my view arose out of a teaching I gave at a seminar at which the leaders were “equipping” people to share the gospel to those without Christ. The seminar covered topics such as “What is the Gospel” “What is truth” “The Resurrection.” My task was to address Biblical issues in presenting the “good news” to people.
In talking to a person about Christ, I don’t start with the Bible and the difficulties commonly raised about the Bible. I start with Jesus as presented in the Gospels. Even with questions and problems people have with certain Bible texts, we can have complete faith in Christ. We have very convincing historical evidence confirming not only the existence of Jesus, but the historical events of his ministry, crucifixion, burial and physical resurrection. The evidence of the Gospel’s reliability is such that each person must ask, “What will I do with Jesus.?”
Once a person comes to Jesus, he will then grow into a deeper appreciation for the rest of the Bible.
I believe in the Bible because I believe in Jesus.
So, just to be clear: I believe this:
*The entire Bible is trustworthy.
*The foundation of the Christian faith is the life, death, resurrection of Jesus.
*When talking to a person about a relationship with Jesus, focus on the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus.
It was said that I believe that “the God of the New Testament is different than the God of the Old Testament.”
But that’s not what I believe. I believe…
I will address “that” in my next post.
What do you believe?
Great comments, Phillip.
I believe you are Godly man who is a gifted teacher. I’m not sure if you remember me or my husband, Peter. We worshipped at your church back in the early 2000s. We both remember you and our time at Fellowship with great memories. Many blessings to you!
I “believe” I don’t know enough about the bible to truly understand the stories being told about you. I’m kind of like Skittles: I can describe in detail how your heart may work, but the bible? Not so much. That said, I’m sure that I miss seeing you both and I look forward to the birthday party on Sunday!
Thank you Phillip,
Best way to clear up the confusion! Perfect!
I believe you are loved.
You are loved by the Father, by those who believe in Jesus, and by those who are curious because they see Jesus in you.
May the God of creation remind you of His love each and every day. May He give you peace in your heart, forgiveness for those who hurt you, strength for the day, joy in the midst of struggles, vision to see those who are in need around you, and wisdom to meet that need with His love.
You are always in our prayers!
I’m with ya so far, brother…. anxiously awaiting the next “that”….
Wow, Yehweh reveals additional characteristics to us in the NT. From fear to grace, punishment to compassion, from hard to reach in the holy of holies to personal relationship. Can’t wait to read your take.
We are looking forward to your next entry. We miss you, your care for others, and your fantastic teachings.
Thank you Phillip for sharing this with us. Looking forward to your next post and can’t wait to see you this Sunday at Jesus’s birthday party.
Preach on! The Word comes alive when you preach and or write. There will always be Pharisees who want religion more than they want Jesus. The world needs the Living Word.
” This I believe….. That a lot of people miss you and your teachings! I’ve always told people that our church stands on ” your relationship with Christ”. Isn’t that what is most important ? Anyone can interpret the bible in many ways or read into comments that are said , but when it comes right down to it, it’s all about the love of Christ and our relationship with him. Thank you Phillip for teaching that:)
It’s great hearing you say what you believe, rather than hearing others say what they think you believe!
I have missed your teachings. Thank you for sharing!!!!
Phillip, The truth always comes out sooner or later- thank you for making it sooner than later.. .Reading this really helped us understand more of what has been going on. This is a big deal for both of us. You are a great messenger- God really uses you to carry His message of Christ – Grace and Love. We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday night. Shonti and Jill
Love that you have posted this blog! Comments and questions: I have always believed that the whole Bible is the inspired word of God…God gave it to man by His Holy Spirit so that we can know who He is and His plan for mankind. I don’t think God would screw that up…it’s too important. 😉 I’ve always believed that if Jesus believed in the authority of scripture (Matthew 5: He didn’t come to abolish, but fulfill), so then shall we be under that same authority as followers. So when you say the Bible is trustworthy, is that what you mean? I think the Pharisaical trap is not the failure of seeing beyond the Bible to Jesus, but the failure to see that the Bible is Jesus.
The Bible is Jesus? I’m not sure I follow.
I’m confused too.
Are you referring to him as the Word? So therefore, the Bible?
So happy you have a blog Phillip! Jason and I have always loved hearing you teach. You have such a talent in bringing the Word of God to us. We are looking forward to reading more of your beliefs. I have questions and will go over them sometime with you. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
I am still unclear if you believe the scriptures are true, trustworthy is not the same thing.
Able to be relied on as honest or truthful:
reliable – dependable – trusty – credible – sure – safe
So what is different then between your beliefs and the elders?
Hey Shannon. I won’t speak for the elders of fellowship. As stated in my intro the statements made about my beliefs were inaccurate. Since they were made in a public setting I will use the only public means available to me to correct those statements and communicate my understanding of theological issues. At any point that our views differ, I’m sure that those differences are not over the essential doctrines of christianity.
Thanks for your thoughtful inquiry.
I’m so sorry you have had to go thru all of this Philip. Merry Christmas to you and Denise.
My dear friend Philip,
Thank you for your mentoring and friendship. Thank you for your teaching and the eternal impact you’ve had on my family. Thank you for helping me be a better husband, a better daddy, a better follower of Jesus. One thing I am certain of is that you are still His man!
Ok, I gotta be honest…. I’m trying really hard to know what I believe on the topic of whether God is the same in the Old and the New Testament. And to be REALLY honest… I am trying hard to even CARE whether he is the same or not. I need some more basis for why it matters that I know. Tell me, does it have any bearing on my salvation, my joy in knowing Him better, or the way I should treat others- especially people who don’t know Him?
I do not know what to believe. But i do know you have been the only one to “get my attention”. I believe in you and the way you preach. I know many do. I took some religion classes that have turned my life upside down. I have talked to few ….they all say i will be going to hell because i dont agree with them. Not a good way to turn me over to Christ. My thoughts vary from, if labeling myself as a christian means i have to believe people who do not think like me will burn in eternity, i will pass. I can not believe that muslims, hindus, buddhist and so forth will burn for following the way they were brought up to believe. If they have never been taught about Christ you mean to tell me our fair and just God will condemn them? Just one of the many questions/points i would love to pick your brain about. Get your opinion. God made you in a way you REACH people. Everyones interpertation is different. I respect your teachings and hope those that twist your words and claim to know your beliefs have a change of heart. They are keeping many from learning and its obvious you were born with gift of reaching people.
I agree with everything you wrote. It is never easy to challenge religion. I hope you will continue your pursuit of the Lord outside of organized religion. I would encourage you to read “Pagan
Christianity” by Frank Viola.
You have such a gift for touching people’s hearts. I know you are hurting now and we are praying for you. Curt and Debbie Padgett
Phillip, You are awesome my friend I look forward to enjoying your message again soon ! Susie and I have truly
have missed your teaching. I always leave with a renewed sense of Jesus and restored faith. So glad you are back. In God’s love Dale.
Today’s world. Curently the USA is discussing how the 2nd amendment writen over 200 years ago was correct in its time for cap and ball guns but could not see the future. Therefore revisions need to be made to take current guns into consideration. This idea seems to make sense to most, not all. The bible was writen 2,000 years and was correct for those times. We now have progressed(?) so far that the words that were written are still true but need revised. This also will make sense to most, not all.
Just curious Phillip, do you agree with this? Is the Bible trustworthy as is or in need of revision? Thank you Phillip for being my pastor and teaching me so much for 18 years.
This is my oppion NOT Phil’s. The Mayan calander needs revision today!
Phillip, I am so proud to be learning from you and the inspiration you give me and our family to want to read more of the Bible and become closer to Jesus. Your teachings are thought provoking and many times left open for interpretation in which you are alwasy willing and encouraging all of us to openly discuss with you any all questions we may have. I am looking forward to seeing you and Denise on Sunday!!
Phillip, I will be forever grateful to you for offering a voice of hope, encouragement, and acceptance. I came to FBC seeking a spiritual anchor during a tough time in my life and your message gave me strength and courage. God is experienced through our interactions with each other as humans and how we impact each others’ lives. The energy of love itself, is God. I thank you for spreading that energy. To answer your question; I believe the Bible should be taken seriously, if not always literally. Thank you Phillip. God bless you and your family.
Thanks phillip for a wonderful night. It was great to see you, denise and the boys. My “crawl” with christ has led me away from church and your teachings. My personal situation made me not want to have uncomfortableness at church so i got complacent with accepting the easy way out. Your teachings from years past have made me understand the bible better than trying to do it on my own. That being said i read your blog, and do not see anything that would make me question your teachings. I believe God has a plan for everyone and it is obvious to me you are the interpreter for his message. Thanks for coming back and i look forward to getting back into the church groove. God works in mysterious ways and he certainly found an avenue for me to listen to you again. (I know that i could have been listening online but as you can tell from my grammar i dont like using this magic lap box very often)
What you teach makes so much sense, and truly touches my heart. Things usually work out the way they are supposed to, so I’m not worried about our future as a new church body. Keep faithful to your beliefs and don’t get discouraged. Jesus is here to help us all.
The first time I heard you at Fellowship, I knew you are a true spiritual leader and follower of Christ. I didn’t read your explanations here because you don’t owe anyone an explanation nor need to defend yourself ever to anyone. People who know you, who have truly HEARD your word and teaching know, just as I know, that like Christ’s original 12 apostles, you are a modern day apostle of Christ. Unfortunately, people sometimes don’t practice true Christianity or worse they are filled with immature agendas and they have convinced themselves their agenda or beliefs are correct and should be followed. You know that our tribulations makes us stronger Christians if we follow Christ’s teachings!!
God brought me to Fellowship so I could once again be filled with His desires for me through your teachings and motivation.
You helped me when I desperately needed help and you don’t even really know me, as I only introduced myself to you once at Fellowship. You helped me and now I hope to help you.
God is your guiding light and will bring you out of these oppressed feelings. I know that the Lord wants you to abandon whatever doubts, disappointment, and dismay you are feeling because WE need you. I also believe God wants you to find your own way now, your own church (be it small or large), He is leading you into the direction and path you are meant to follow. I learned through you that our Lord wants us to “let go of the past, and let His arms cradle us until we heal, and reach our true destination in life.” You taught us to place our hurt, our problems, our mistakes at our Lord’s feet and trust in His love and healing powers to help us find peace and happiness.”
I truly believe that our heavenly Father wants you to start a new church, even if it means brick by brick!
When that happens, His flock will come to you!!
Paulette, You said this so beautifully – and what you said was exactly the way I see things too.
Thank you so much for putting into words my own thoughts.
God Bless You,