“Does it?”

Revelation 22:18 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.

19 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.

My friend David Gibb is very irritating. This for two reasons. Firstly he is usually right. And secondly he points this out to me by asking me two word questions.

Here’s an example….

I was giving some conventional Christian wisdom to anyone who was listening; there was only David and I round the table in the pub, so the audience was somewhat limited.

“Of course the Bible says that we must put our wives first, then our children and lastly our church ministry.”

“Does it?”

These two words render me a jabbering wreck looking for scripture references to back up my argument.

“Doesn’t it? Surely it does? What about….”

David doesn’t have to say anything more, he just sits and watches, as I go round and round in verbal circles, before making a noise like a scratched CD that has got stuck.

The thing is the Bible doesn’t give us any ranking of responsibilities.

I am to be willing shepherd of God’s flock under my care, as he wants me to be (1 Peter 5:2). I am to love my wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25) and I must train and instruct my children in the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). These are all God given responsibilities. I am not to rank them or play one off against the other, but I am to be obedient in doing all of them. Sometimes that will mean taking difficult decisions about how I use my time.

Now why does this matter?

Because in the end according the Revelation 22:18-19 adding to the Bible is just as serious as taking away from it. I’m not sure my addition of a God given hierarchy for life is worthy of plagues! However, it does remind us how easy it is to adopt into our Bible believing culture “truths” that aren’t really truths at all.

Now back to juggling life!