DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Why do you preachers quote the Bible all the time? Don’t you know it’s out of date and utterly useless today? People thousands of year ago might have found it useful, but we live in a different time. — R.R.
DEAR R.R.: If the Bible were truly out of date and useless today, then you’d be right — it would be foolish for us to turn to it for guidance and inspiration. But it’s not out of date — and I hope you’ll come to understand why.
The reason the Bible is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago is because it tells us of truths that never change. It tells us, for example, about God — who He is, what He has done, and what He is like. God, it tells us, is all-knowing and all-powerful, and He made everything that exists — including us. He also is completely pure and loving. And God is just the same today as He was thousands of years ago — and as He will be thousands of years from now. The Bible says, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
But the Bible also tells us about ourselves — who we are, where we came from, what we’re like, and what will happen to us when we die. It tells us also that we are separated from God because of our sins — but God came down to earth in the person of His Son to bring us back to Himself. This too never changes.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Have you heard the expression “worship wars”? Recently we moved to a different city and joined a new church, but the congregation seems at war between those who like contemporary Christian music and those (like us) who prefer traditional worship. Should we look for another church? — Mrs. E.McC.
DEAR MRS. E. McC: I know many churches have experienced similar debates in recent years because of new styles of worship and music. I’m not a musician, of course, but I’m grateful that God has raised up a new generation of composers and musicians who point us to Christ. That doesn’t mean we should throw out what previous generations have done, however — not at all. If I were a pastor today, I’d probably try to avoid making sudden, radical changes that might cause some to feel they were being ignored or put down. I actually hear less today about these so-called “worship wars” than I did a few years ago; many churches seem to have found ways to bridge the gap between older and newer styles of worship. Some, for example, try to blend the old with the new in their services. Encourage your church’s leadership to explore all options — not just for your sake, but for the sake of the whole congregation.
Before you consider changing churches, look beyond this issue to a more important question: Can you grow spiritually through this church’s activities? Is Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible, at its center? Does it offer opportunities for service? The Bible says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or go to the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.