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11 months ago

Pastor Harry Reeder: The Museum of the Bible is a great idea…provided we don’t worship the Bible


 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the 10 min. audio

 

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take you to an article out of Christianity Today. Let me give you a quote: “’It was surprising to us that a book this influential didn’t have a major museum focused on it,’ says Steve Green, Hobby Lobby president and the Museum of Bible founder.

DR. REEDER: Tom, they have just spent, wow, $500 million to make a museum that depicts and presents the facts, the history and the features concerning the Bible.

Of course, the Bible that, which we believe is the Word of God – it doesn’t become the Word of God, it is the Word of God – and so the history of the Bible certainly is appropriate.

I want to speak an affirming word about this project, Tom, with one caveat, but I also want to make a little bit of a counter statement concerning this initiative.

First of all, I understand it’s really well-done technologically, factually, historicity – an amazing project. This is my caveat: I haven’t experienced it, I haven’t looked at it, so I cannot, without some reservation, verify it, and the reservation is I just don’t know. I haven’t been there.

For instance, I remember everybody telling me, “This movie on Noah is coming out and you need to promote it in the church.” Well, thankfully, I had enough sense not to promote it until I saw it and, once I saw it, I said, “Are you kidding me? Promote it? If I could get a match, I’d probably burn the thing so I’m not going to promote it.”

But, given the reputation of Mr. Green and given the names of the people that I saw that were involved in this project, my sense is it’s probably well done.

Now, it is carefully done and I quote one of them, “We’re not trying to cram religion down people’s throat.”

I’m so grateful that Jesus crammed religion down into my heart because my heart wasn’t going in that direction and the way He crammed it into my heart was He first gave me a new heart that wanted it.

I understand what they’re saying – they’re trying to make a factual presentation about the Bible -and then let it speak for itself. I’m all for that. Here’s the problem with that, though, and so I’m finally going to get to my issue, here. The Bible can and does speak clearly in terms of what it says, but the Bible was made to be preached and taught. The Bible, in a sense, doesn’t speak for itself.

Remember the Ethiopian eunuch is reading Isaiah 53, the clearest text in the Old Testament about Jesus, and Phillip says, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” and he says, “How can I unless someone explained it?”

Faith comes by hearing – not reading, hearing the Word of God. It is through the foolishness of the message Bible preached that we are being saved – the Bible message of the Gospel that we are being saved.

There’s my caveat. Having said that, that doesn’t mean something like this museum cannot be inspirational, instructional, helpful and, by the way, a great tool that you can use to talk with people when you take them there or take groups there and go through it, given its factuality, its historicity and its accuracy.

Having said that, just stop and think about some of the facts, Tom. The Bible was put together over 1,600 years by 40 plus human authors and claims to have one author who worked through all the authors and those authors claim the same thing which is why they kept saying not “Thus saith Isaiah,” but “Thus saith the Lord,” or Jeremiah, “The Word of the Lord came to me.”

And, so, how did that happen? What were the dynamics of it? And, in God’s special providence, how was the Bible preserved so that we have a manuscript of the Bible with none of the original autographs, none of the original pieces, yet, through the multiplication of all the texts that we have – and you begin to do textual criticism, you easily arrive at an accurate rendition of the Word of God – everything has been so documented by God’s special act of providence as to how He has preserved this message that declares the glory of the triune God through the pre-imminence of Christ – the God who made us, who saves us and who sustains us.

Tom Lamprecht: Harry, there are places in the Scriptures where both apostles and angels were worshipped as they did the work of the Lord. Is there any fear that we could begin to idolize the Bible?

DR. REEDER: Tom, that’s a great question – it really is. You’re right. People are going to worship. People say, “Well, know, people need to start worshipping.” Oh, they do – just go watch a football game.

We have a relentless capacity and compulsion to worship and the question is not, “Are we going to worship?” The question is, “Will we worship the one who alone should be worshipped and will we worship Him rightly?”

Those are the two salient questions and you’re right: Two times in the Book of Revelation, John is so overwhelmed and compelled to worship, he falls down and starts worshipping an angel and the angel, both times, says, “Don’t do that. Worship God.” They tried to worship Peter and they tried to worship Paul and they said, “Don’t do that.” False worship is idolatry, idol latria, that is, false objects with worship – latria means “worship.”

And one of the things that we can become is Bibliolaters. The Bible isn’t there for us to worship. The Word of God is there to reveal the God of the Word. The Word of God reveals to us what you could never know from God’s general revelation in creation, but you need to know to worship Him, and what you need to know to be saved by Him and what you need to know in order to serve Him.

“All Scripture is God-breathed as inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproofing, correction that the men of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work.”

The Bible is God’s inerrant and sufficient message to us as to who He is, how I can be right with Him and how I can serve Him and be equipped for every good work.

Tom, the Bible is truth. Jesus said this, “Thy Word is truth,” so everything in the Bible is truth. Now, not all truth is in the Bible – there are facts of truth that we observe from general revelation, God’s creation, that are not in the Bible but they’re true and the Bible will give us a framework in which we can affirm their truthfulness.

All truth is not in the Bible, but all that is in the Bible is true. And that which is in the Bible is what is necessary for us to be able to affirm truth where the direction of truth leads us, which is the glory of God, by the grace of God, to be saved by God, through the Son of God by the power of the Spirit of God and that’s what the Word of God gives to us.

Tom Lamprecht: What I hear you saying is that people could misuse this new museum on the Bible if they so choose?

DR. REEDER: Well, yeah, and let me say this: The museum has been designed to put the facts out about the history and the features of the Bible and I’m glad for that, but you can’t stop there – otherwise, you would be drawn to the adoration of the Book. And we are people of the Book, but we are people of the Book that we might be the people of God. I think this is a great instrument.

I tell people, “You know, you need to get a Bible. And, by the way, don’t just get a Bible and put it on your coffee table and think it’s going to give out some vibrations and make your home sacred or something. No, get the Bible and then go to step two, read it. Then make sure that step three is always prevalent, and that is hear it.

Hear it faithfully preached because, with the preaching of it, Jesus, Himself, begins to speak.

And then what? Obey it. Don’t obey it thinking that your obedience will save you, but obey it because you love your Savior who saves you.

Don’t be hearers of the Word only, but be doers of the Word so that we become those who, again, are people of the Book and the Word of God takes us to the God of the Word as our creator, our redeemer, our sustainer, and the Lord of Glory is our life.

And thank you, O God, for giving us this Word of God. We wouldn’t worship it, but we would use it as You intended for us to worship You.

Tom Lamprecht: The Museum of the Bible opened on November the 17th. It’s situated just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from the National Mall and it is free.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

Passion and purpose: How an Alabama based software company is helping the United Cajun Navy organize Hurricane Michael relief efforts

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle and parts of the Carolinas last week, Alabama native Hammond Cobb didn’t waste any time helping those tragically devastated by the storm.

Cobb called the United Cajun Navy, a well-known Louisiana volunteer group and immediately got to work mobilizing their team’s volunteer efforts with the help of his software company, Serquest.com

Cobb says Serquest is a “software system that is designed to put people into action faster.”

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Essentially a LinkedIn for nonprofits, Serquest gives organizations the ability to create an online ‘resume’ for their organization where they can list current volunteer opportunities and donation needs.

The United Cajun Navy has their urgent needs listed on Serquest.com. Groups of volunteers, individuals or corporations who want to assist Florida residents affected by Hurricane Michael can sign up or donate here.

Cobb says the United Cajun Navy a “democratic and lean volunteer network of people who save lives first, ask questions later and don’t ask for compensation for doing the right thing.”

He said government agencies can often be slow when it comes to helping people get what they need and by partnering with the Cajun Navy, he knew people would get the assistance they needed, and quickly.

“We help people now and do paper work later,” Cobb said.

In addition to hosting volunteer needs on his organization’s website, Cobb created inspirational video ads and public service announcements to encourage people to volunteer.

At the end of the day, Cobb said his mission for Serquest revolves around, “connecting people to people.” A nonprofit for nonprofits, he sees Serquest as a personal network centered approach to helping volunteer organizations.

2 hours ago

Sessions conducting ‘most aggressive campaign against leaks’ in DOJ history

After 39-year-old former FBI Special Agent Terry J. Albury was sentenced on Thursday to 48 months in the District of Minnesota in connection with his unauthorized disclosure and retention of classified national defense information, Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the DOJ is in the process of “conducting perhaps the most aggressive campaign against leaks in Department history.”

“We are conducting perhaps the most aggressive campaign against leaks in Department history,” Sessions said in a release. “Crimes like the one committed by the defendant in this case will not be tolerated—they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and punished … Today’s sentence should be a warning to every would-be leaker in the federal government that if they disclose classified information, they will pay a high price.”

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According to court documents, Albury worked as a Special Agent in the FBI’s Minneapolis field office at the time of the disclosures, held a Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance and his daily duties provided him access to sensitive and classified FBI and other U.S. government information.

The court documents also say that, beginning in 2016 and continuing through August 2017, Albury knowingly and willfully disclosed national defense information, classified at the Secret level, to a reporter. Albury employed methods to avoid detection, including printing documents that he created by cutting and pasting portions of an original document into a new document so as to avoid leaving a record of having printed the original, classified document. Albury also accessed documents on a classified computer and took pictures of the computer screen in order to photograph certain classified documents. Those additional classified documents were recovered on an electronic storage device found during a search of his home.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Byrne: Odds better than 50/50 GOP keeps House — ‘There is truly a Kavanaugh effect going on here’

FAIRHOPE – What a difference a month can make for Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Heading into the summer, most political watchers anticipated that the GOP was set to lose at least the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterms. By mid-August, some Republicans thought losing the Senate was even a possibility.

However, the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh appeared to have been a game-changer for Republicans, and according to Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), the public’s reaction to the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings could be enough for Republicans to hold on to both the House and the Senate.

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In an interview with Yellowhammer News shortly before taking the stage to introduce Gov. Kay Ivey at a rally at Fairhope’s Oak Hollow Farms, Byrne said Republican voter enthusiasm has swung in the opposite direction.

“I got to tell you this, I was a little concerned about a month ago about enthusiasm,” Byrne said. “I don’t have that problem anymore. People are very enthusiastic. Look at the crowd we got in here tonight. Phone calls to my office have ramped up dramatically. There is truly a Kavanaugh effect going on here.”

“Republicans are beginning to pick up in the polls all over the country,” he added. “We got some races we were not competitive in, but now we are. We got some races that are pretty clear we’re going to win now that Democrats are beginning to pull out. We’re going to pick up at least one seat, maybe two in Minnesota. This race is far from over, and all the reports of Republicans losing the House are premature.”

Byrne said as of right now he thought the odds of Republicans maintaining the House were “better than 50/50.”

The Fairhope Republican was non-committal on the upcoming race to determine who would be the leader for Republicans after the midterms and fill the void left by the outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)

“I told everybody I don’t want to talk about the Speaker race until we figure out what we’ve got as a result of this election,” he said. “Let’s stay focused on the election. We’ve got two candidates right now, Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan, they both happen to be good friends of mine. So, we’ll see where we are after the election. I hope they’re running for Speaker and not Minority Leader. That’s the big thing we want to avoid is if they’re running for minority leader. My anticipation is after we get back from the election, we’ll have a pretty spirited election.”

Byrne, however, did put in a plug for fellow Alabamian Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), who is making a bid to lead the House Republican Policy Committee.

“My good friend Gary Palmer is running for chair of the Republican Policy Committee, an elected part of the leadership,” Byrne added. “I want to make sure we stay focused on helping Gary get across the finish line because that’s important.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

2 hours ago

Governor Ivey criticizes ‘Lying Liberal Walt Maddox’

After Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Thursday held a press conference to spread unsubstantiated allegations about Governor Kay Ivey’s health and accuse her of a coverup 19 days before Election Day, the governor’s campaign responded by giving the Democrat a new moniker – “Lying Liberal Walt Maddox.”

“Apparently Walt Maddox isn’t just a liberal. He’s a lying liberal,” Ivey’s campaign said in a statement. “The people of Alabama will see this for what it is – a desperate false attack from a shameless politician who will say or do anything to get elected.”

Ivey has repeatedly denied the allegations about her health since last year, and her doctor even refuted them this week, providing a detailed letter to back up the conclusion that Ivey is in good health.

Besides the allegations regarding the governor’s health, the Maddox camp is alleging that then-Lieutenant Governor Ivey had a member of her protective detail demoted and transferred over her 2015 hospitalization in Colorado.

Ivey’s campaign said, “As it relates to the officer, that’s another Maddox whopper. News outlets reported last year that the officer actually received a promotion and raise in late 2015.”

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Polling has shown Maddox losing by 20 – 25 points, and now Planned Parenthood and other out-of-state liberal pro-abortion groups have funneled in approximately $1 million to Alabama in an effort to drive Democratic turnout up and defeat a pro-life constitutional amendment that Maddox also opposes. Additionally, billionaire funder of liberal causes George Soros this week put $200,000 into a group of Tuscaloosa PACs that is Maddox’s biggest contributor, accounting for approximately 30 percent of his total funds raised over the course of the campaign.

“Walt Maddox is pushing these last second lies because his half baked liberal ideas have him losing in a landslide. With less than three weeks to go, not even $200,000 from George Soros can save him,” Ivey’s campaign commented.

In a separate press release later on Thursday, the Ivey campaign pointed to another of Maddox’s “lies,” this time saying his own words even prove his deceit.

“It appears that Walt Maddox has gotten tangled up in his own twisted web of lies,” the statement began.

The campaign then detailed a three-day timeline that seemingly reveals a glaring contradiction.

“It all started on Tuesday when Spencer Collier told Al.com ‘he has not been contacted by the campaign of Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox,'” Ivey’s campaign outlined. “On Wednesday, Maddox followed up with a statement to the AP that he was ‘shocked to learn’ about these allegations.”

The governor’s campaign continued, “But today, Walt Maddox accidentally admitted that both he and Collier lied. When asked by Al.com during a press conference today whether he had contact with Collier, Walt Maddox provided a detailed account of a meeting he held with Spencer Collier several weeks back. Maddox admitted, ‘Spencer contacted me a few weeks ago and wanted to meet… He told me what he was going to do.'”

As reported by John Sharp, Maddox campaign spokesman Chip Hill confirmed Thursday afternoon that Collier and Maddox had not initially told the truth about having contact before the allegations were made on Tuesday.

Hill said Maddox and Collier have known each other for 25 years, when they both played football at UAB.

“They talk often,” Hill admitted. “Spencer contacted Walt and told him what he wanted to say.”

This revelation has led many observers to question why Collier waited until three weeks before the election to come forward, if the allegations are not politically motivated as he claimed.

“Another day. Another lie. Another broken promise from Walt Maddox,” Ivey’s campaign concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Effort underway to have Alabama inmates vote this election cycle

As reported first by the Troy Messenger, an effort is underway by the Pike County NAACP to have eligible inmates vote in Alabama’s upcoming November 6 general election.

Only inmates convicted of “crimes of moral turpitude” are disqualified from voting, however being in prison obviously bars inmates from heading to the polls on Election Day. This is where absentee voting comes in; yet, incarceration is not currently available as an option on the state’s absentee ballot request forms.

“There’s nowhere on the absentee ballot application that lists being incarcerated as a reason you can vote absentee,” Jamie Scarbrough, Pike County absentee election manager, explained. “You have to be out of the county, have a physical impairment, a work conflict, a member of the armed forces or a student in another county.”

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Request form aside, Secretary of State John Merrill advised that inmates who have not been disqualified can still vote absentee from prison.

“Anybody that is incarcerated that has not been convicted of a disqualifying felony is still eligible to vote,” Merrill outlined. “They obviously cannot vote in person, so they would have to vote absentee. As long as they are not convicted of a disqualifying felony, they have a right to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice.”

Even though some worry that misrepresenting one’s reason for voting absentee on the request form could lead to civil or even criminal liability, Merrill expressed his doubts that anyone would sue an individual for exercising their lawful right to vote and Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson said inmates voting absentee would not likely be prosecuted since the law does allow them to vote.

“I’m willing to bet the law would allow it. I think the argument would be that the form didn’t comply with the law. They obviously haven’t updated the form … If I were them, I would write ‘incarcerated’ on the application because you’ve got to do something,” Anderson said.

There have been attempts to change the absentee ballot applications in recent state legislative sessions and Merrill said the issue will be brought forward again in the coming session, which begins in March.

“The questions on the absentee application have long been antiquated and out of date,” Merrill remarked. “If someone is incarcerated, we know where they are and know why they can’t get to the polls. We’ve worked on changing the absentee application the last two sessions to make sure it is usable, workable and meaningful, which it is not currently.”

Until then, groups like the Pike County NAACP are focused on registering eligible inmates to vote and getting them to submit their absentee ballots while incarcerated.

The statewide deadline to register for the November 6 general election is Monday, October 22, with three registration options: in person by the close of business at your county board of registrars’ office (typically 5:00 p.m.), online by 11:59 p.m. that day or postmarked by that day.

Per the Secretary of State’s website, the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Thursday, November 1. The deadline to return an absentee ballot is Monday, November 5.

See the full list of crimes that disqualify inmates from voting here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn