To the editor:
In a May 18 letter to the editor, I wrote in defense of the truthfulness of the Bible, an answer to Michael Lackey's earlier letter claiming the Bible was full of errors. He responded in the May 25 paper by trying to equate my words with an extreme position he heard a Catholic professor proclaim. Then he referred to a large group with a more "reasonable" position; and sought to wrap the package up with proof of biblical error.
Professor Lackey referred to the account of Judas, who betrayed Jesus, and his death. He claimed the mention of Judas in Matthew chapter 26- actually, 27 -and Acts chapter 1 contradict each other, but do they? Matthew wrote that Judas was seized with remorse and returned the 30 silver coins to the chief priests and elders. He told them he had sinned; they told him he was responsible. So, he went out and hanged himself. Since the coins were considered blood money, the chief priests used them to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. (Matthew added that this fulfilled a prophecy of Jeremiah's, see verses 9 and 10.)
What St. Luke records in Acts 1:18-19 is not a contradictory tale, but a report on the aftermath of the events Matthew presented. Sometime after Judas hanged himself, his body fell and burst. This happened to be the same field that the chief priests had used his blood money to buy.
Why does the good professor continue to portray the Bible as mistake-ridden when he writes in these pages? I, as a Christian pastor, had eight years of college and seminary training for the ministry, ongoing study and 34 years of working with God's word. When I prepare for teaching, preaching to, and counseling those I serve, I present the Bible as it presents itself. "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16), "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21) The Bible is God's word to us. "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your Law...and the Scripture cannot be broken...." (John 10:34,35) The Bible doesn't contradict itself. Jesus prayed to the Father on behalf of his disciples, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17) God's word is true.
Again, why does Michael Lackey continue to tell us the Bible is full of errors? The following passages give us a clue: Jesus moves from praying for his disciples to future Christians: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message...." (John 17:20). Jesus sent the disciples out as apostles, to make disciples of others: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19, 20), "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith." (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus wants believers to share the word of God with others that they may be called to faith and saved.
A brief Google search shows that, among other things, Lackey is a member of "Atheist Nexus", a website- the world's largest coalition of nontheists. The site seeks to "educate" religious people, so they can "come out" as nonbelievers, and find freedom in atheism.
When Michael Lackey says it is normal and harmless for educated Christians to not believe what the Bible says, he is playing devil's advocate- seeking to undermine the word of God, the very source of our saving faith! Take that into account when you see him discounting the Bible as "full of mistakes."
To read Michael Lackey's letter, click this link: https://www.stevenscountytimes.com/opinion/letters/4619787-letter-editor-no-one-has-monopoly-christian-faith