After teaching first aid and CPR for over two decades, I’ve seen a lot of changes to the standards and skills. In fact, when I recertify in January, the standards will be changing yet again. When I first began getting my own CPR qualifications, we had to perform on a full body ACTAR that actually timed our breathing and measured the rate and depth of compressions on a ticker tape. Then, ACTAR became just an upper body with arms, then the tape was gone, next, he was a simple torso with insertable plastic bags that simulated lungs and now he is just a plastic head and foam chest that doesn’t even come pre-assembled.
Year by year, the standards have been watered down in order to make them simple and easy for everyone to remember and do. ‘Old-timers’ often lament the quality of care that was practiced ‘back in the day’ compared to the get-it-done philosophy of today.
While I was thinking about this, it crossed my mind that in many ways, this is not very different than what has happened in many of our churches and spiritual lives.
Considering the Apostle John and leaders like John Wycliffe, Knox, Bunyan, Edwards, Wesley, Newton and Goforth (just picked Johns but there are many many more), I am staggered by the enormous effect they had on God’s Church. Their devotion to knowing Him and growing in Him and spreading His Word was amazing.
There are leaders today with as much passion for the Lord, but there is also a growing movement to water down and simplify the Word of God. Focusing on a ‘Prosperity Gospel’ that boils God down to a jackpot machine if you pray the right prayers is not something that I am able to find anywhere in the Bible. A God who has no standard and will not exclude anyone is also not something that I have been able to verify.
In fact, God is very clear.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?
God’s Word was given to us so that we could know him and know what He wants from us and for us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The first five words in that passage are probably the most important. First of all, Scripture is God-breathed. It is not just something that people made up. Secondly, ALL Scripture is God breathed. That means that it is all invaluable to Believers (and everyone else – even though they do not realize it).
Picking and choosing which Scriptures are relevant or really meant for now is like putting a finger bandage on a broken leg. The result will be woefully inadequate.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.