INFIDELITY TO THE BIBLE
How few really believe in the supernatural or have their lives controlled by the Unseen! Multitudes of people, who talk unctuously about the Bible and Jesus and think they are loyal to both, are at most only loyal to their creed concerning the Bible and Jesus.
The Bible is a record and a picture of the supernatural. The writers of the Bible claim that God has a way to communicate direct with the human soul, and they urge the people to listen and obey. The sin of God's ancient people the Jews, was that they would not be governed by Him direct. They wanted gods they could see and handle, they wanted a king they could look at, and were not contented with the invisible and almighty King. They went down to Egypt for help, not seeing the invisible God with His infinite resources right at hand. They were really materialists, taking but little practical stock in the Unseen, their creed to the contrary; and for their infidelity, God through His prophets often reproved them. They believed in Jehovah as a creed, or as a pious sentiment, and would no doubt have resented the charge of being infidels; but, then as now, actions speak louder than words, and their actions proved that they did not really believe in the Almighty power of the invisible God.
Jesus acted out in life what the Bible teaches. His life was governed by the Un-seen. He claimed to know, and do His Father's will. Jesus was not guided by the Bible nor by the Church, nor by what is called common sense; He was guided, at first hand, by God, and in this He showed at once His common sense and His loyalty to the Bible and the Church.
Persons in these days who do not believe in God talking to and guiding His people, individually and direct, are infidels; they neither believe the Bible nor Jesus. The very heart of Christianity, is the supernatural doctrine that a man may know and converse with God, that a man may speak to God "Face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." Who doubts this, is an infidel, no matter what his profession.
The outstanding fact in the life of Jesus, was His fellowship with God. In this fellowship, was the very heart of His
spirituality, as it is now of Christianity, for this is what Jesus came to demonstrate, and teach to His followers. One of the marvellous things, is that any person with the Bible in his hands, and with Jesus before him in history, should deny the very central truth taught by the Bible and demonstrated in the life of Jesus; for Christianity without the direct and conscious guidance of God, is fire without warmth, and day without light; it is gravitation without attraction, it is light without the Sun, or " The play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out."
There are, however, some causes that may be pointed out, which probably contribute to this folly and blindness. There is the old story of wrong-doing, and then the attempt, either consciously or unconsciously, to hide from God as Adam and Eve did. A person who knows he is committing sin, even though it may be the most venial, will want to hide from the personal God. There can be no fellowship between darkness and light, and the least sin puts out the light in the human soul, that is, drives the living God away.
On the other hand, there are certain acts known to be wrong, and supposed to be unavoidable, that drive some pious people to the Bible and the Church, as a sort of refuge for their souls or balm for their consciences. At least, zealous Christian workers, who claim to be lovers of the Bible, confess that they do sin all the time, and think the confession to be a sign of piety, and these are generally they, who deny that God in these days talks direct to His people. Such Christians do not want the actual living God to have direct contact and converse with them.
It certainly is a fact, that sin makes a man want to get rid of God, and then he makes his theory fit his desire and puts God off as far as possible, although he may still be very religious. The least habitual sin blinds the eyes of the soul, so it cannot see God; and a person who thus sins straightway conforms his doctrine to his experience, and teaches that God cannot now be seen, and heard. If he happens to be a minister, then "Like priest like people," and "The blind lead the blind, and they both fall into the ditch."
The majority of professed Christians, however, have never heard the doctrine of direct Divine guidance taught. They have learned practically nothing of getting light from God, and so, comparatively few persons enjoy the conscious direction of God, and thus many really Godly people, it may be, are unwittingly infected with the infidelity referred to in this chapter.
The working creed of one generation of Christians becomes the actual creed of the next generation, and this is a very great evil, for creeds, unlike clothes, were not intended to be made to fit the wearer, but the reverse. God's standard cannot be brought down to fit the man, but the man must bring himself up to fit the standard.
The sole scientific test that the supernatural statements of the Bible are true, is to experience them. Let me quote a few of these statements. "But the Comforter . . . shall teach you all things." "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever." "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?" "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye believed?" What proof is there for these promises and statements short of the conscious experience of God in us, and with us, and teaching us? If these things cannot be experienced, then it follows that the Bible is not true and its promises cannot be depended upon.
I beg all sincere persons to read the Bible again, and especially the life of Jesus, with the doctrine here taught in your mind, and as sure as light is not darkness, so surely
will you be convinced that it is your privilege to receive the Holy Spirit, and that henceforth you may be indwelt of God, and always have the consciousness that you are being Divinely directed, and that, by God's Almighty power, you are enabled to do the will of God on earth as the Angels do it in Heaven.