"Unless you see the Bible as God’s Word … That’s certainly how Jesus saw it. That’s certainly how John saw it. Unless you see the Bible as the place where you can find God’s will, you can’t actually have a personal relationship with God. “What do you mean?” you say. Well, let me put it to you this way.
"Plenty of people say, “I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I do! I believe in much of what the Bible says, but there are many things in the Bible you just can’t believe anymore. There are things in the Bible we just can’t follow anymore. We realize there are contradictions, and there are some things that are primitive. So I believe in most of the Bible and in the general principles of the Bible, and I believe in Jesus, and I have a personal relationship in Jesus, but I can’t believe everything in the Bible.”
"Now let me show you what you’ve just done. First of all, there is nothing between the two positions I’m about to outline. When you say, “Some things in the Bible are right and some things are wrong,” the only way you can say that is if you have faith at the moment you’re saying that in some other source of authority by which you can sift through the Bible. In other words, as soon as you say the Bible is only partially right and partially wrong, the only way you can say that is on the basis of faith in some authority which is completely and always right.
"You can’t doubt everything at once. You can only doubt something from a platform of faith in something else. Here’s what’s going on. If you say even one verse in the Bible is not true but the rest are, what you’re actually doing is you’re saying, “My discernment, my experience, my reason, my feelings are a more sure authority for deciding what God’s will is than the Bible.”
"So either (and there is nothing in between) … Even if you say there’s one verse that’s wrong, either your experience and your judgment can sit in evaluation of the Bible, or the Bible sits in evaluation of your judgment. Either your feelings are judged by the Bible, or the Bible is judged by your feelings.
"I’ll put it another way. Either your understanding is judged by the Bible, or the Bible is judged by your understanding. There’s nothing in the middle. Now I’m not going to try to prove which one is right to you right now, and you certainly have the right to believe your judgment is valid, more valid than the Bible. You know, be careful. In the 1890s, there were people who were saying these are things modern people can’t believe anymore in the Bible. They’re very different than in the 1990s. They’ll be very different than in the 2090s. I’m not going to try to prove which is right and which is wrong.
"Let me just show you the implications and ramifications of what you’ve just done. There is never a place now where you can see a standard that can cross your moral will. Do you know what’s happened to you? Now that you say, “This doesn’t seem right to me. Yes, the Bible says it’s wrong, but I can’t believe that. Yes, the Bible says this is wrong, but I can’t believe that.”
"In other words, if something doesn’t feel right to you and the Bible says it is right, or if something feels right and the Bible says it’s wrong, now there is no possibility of moral discipline. There is no possibility of a higher standard than your own feelings and your own experience and your own judgment. What that means is you can’t have a personal relationship with God. You’re treating God like a microphone now. If it feels right to you, that must be God’s will. How will you ever know a God who can say even though it feels right, it’s wrong? Because now what feels right is right.