Many Non-Believers & Believers Agree that the Statement “God Said It. I Believe It. That Settles It” is fundamentally Wrong! Why this agreement? What’s Wrong with the statement? The statement incorrectly assumes individuals accurately understand & know how to apply what God communicated. The statement subverts further reasonable discussion on topics discussed by implying incorrectly that further discussion must be due to lack of belief and/or an inherent underlying abundant clarity. God’s word can sometimes be tricky to understand & apply properly, yet is open to reason using our God given mental capabilities.
The Bible is very often misunderstood, which is acknowledged by the Bible itself. The Bible is misunderstood by both believers and non-believers.
2 Peter 3:14-17 (ESV): 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Believers do periodically misunderstand God’s Word & even share these misunderstandings. At times non-believers misunderstanding is the reason they do not believe the Bible, and speak against God, God’s Word, and God’s People. For this reason, it is even more important that believers take extra care to understand God’s Word, for the sake of non-believers, as well as themselves, and believers.
Jude 1:10 (ESV): 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.
James 3:1-2 (ESV): 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
Misunderstanding Scenario: Revised Quotation:
“God Said It. I Believe It. I misunderstand it! That Surely Doesn’t Settle It“
Misapplication & Out of Context:
Even when Bible statements seem clear, people misapply them, typically out of context, or in a substantially different context than intended. Satan vainly attempted to trick Jesus into misapplying one part of God’s Word to get Jesus to sin. Jesus knew this was a misapplication, because Jesus knew what God instructed in the other scriptures, to properly understand contexts under which scriptures apply.
Matthew 4:5-7 (ESV): 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
While the Bible is known as God’s Word in Christian Circles, the Bible also contains words of others, which are put in their for our instruction, even if other peoples’ words are sometimes inaccurate & even untrue. People may inaccurately think the statement “God Said It. I Believe It. That Settles It.” applies to anything in God’s Word, rather than just what God had spoken. One illustration of this is Job’s friends, who made several statements that sound correct on the surface, yet were not.
Job 42:7-9 (ESV): 7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite:”My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
Misapplication & Out of Context Scenario: Revised Quotation:
“God Said It. I Believe It. I misapply it! That Surely Doesn’t Settle It“
God also provides others who sharpen our ability to correctly understand & properly apply God’s Word.
Proverbs 27:17 (ESV): 17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
When properly understood & applied, Wisdom from Above is open to reasonable dialogue respectfully & considerately with others.
James 3:13-18 (ESV): 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
God provides many types of instructors & guides so we’ll understand God’s Word better, so as to properly apply it, and gain salvation leading to eternal life.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV): 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Christians are to ask God with unwavering faith for Wisdom to understand God’s Scriptures.
James 1:5-7 (ESV): 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Seek God & his righteousness & pray that God the Father, through the Holy Spirit, via your faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God, will share with you the intent of each scripture passage.
1 Corinthians 2:11-14 (ESV): 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Recognize there are limits to what our God given minds are able to understand in this lifetime.
2 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV): 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
It’d seem reasonable that God is even able to use non-believers speculations in the right dosages to strengthen believer’s discernment, as believers turn more deeply to God to understand & apply God’s Words as revealed in The Bible.
When you do find God’s Words in the Bible, you can acknowledge that “God Said It’, and then use your mind to seek to understand it, look to apply it properly, and be reasonable & respectful when sharing it. Recognize that often you’ll find it beneficial to learn from others (i.e. preachers, teachers, …) who have spent time analyzing areas of scripture of which you are focused.
1 Peter 3:13-17 (ESV): 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
While some things are useful to build people up, others are controversial & divisive & unhelpful, and are best avoided.
Titus 3:9-11 (ESV): 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
When subjects are discussed, be respectful and courteous toward all people. It is profitable for believers to discuss the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who came to deliver us from our sins, and transform us into godly people who do good works as faith is lived out.
Titus 3:1-2 (ESV): 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
Christians Believe & Trust God, despite gaps understanding portions of Scriptures. What God says is truthful. This brings us to a better way to think about scriptures than “God Said It. I Believe It. That’s Settles It – Wrong” mindset. Bring a mindset that seeks to know & understand & follow God properly that is respectful of others.
“God Reveals. Seek Understanding. Live Faithfully. Courteously Discuss.“
1. “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”, http://www.dictionaryofchristianese.com/god-said-it-i-believe-it-that-settles-it/
2. “God Said It, That Settles It!”, http://www.sermons4kids.com/that_settles_it.htm
3. “GOD SAID IT, THAT SETTLES IT”, http://lifehealingministries.us/newsletters/god-said-it-that-settles-it-2/
4. ““God Said It; I Believe It; That Settles It” by Jarrod Jacobs, http://knollwoodchurch.org/yr2014/b05_settles_it.html
5. “People Wrote It, You Believe Them, That Settles…Nothing”, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2013/09/people-wrote-it-you-believe-them-that-settles-nothing.html
6. “GOD SAID IT . . . AND THAT UNSETTLES IT” http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/3677/god-said-it-and-that-unsettles-it
7. “Is The Bible Reliable?- Part 5″, http://www.woodburypres.com/sermons/Reliable%205.htm
8. “God Said It; I Believe It, and That Settles It!” by Ernest Angley, https://www.ernestangley.org/read/article/god_said_it_i_believe_it_and_that_settles_it
9. “You Have Heard It Said: “GOD SAID IT. I BELIEVE IT. THAT SETTLES IT.””, http://yhhis.blogspot.com/2014/04/you-have-heard-it-said-god-said-it-i_1.html
10. “Claim CH100: God’s word, the Bible, must be our ultimate authority. The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it”, http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH100.html
11. “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it (Talk.Origins)”, http://creationwiki.org/The_Bible_says_it,_I_believe_it,_that_settles_it_(Talk.Origins)