The term, watering down, is commonly used to refer to something which has been diluted or has had its potency weakened. So, to say the Bible has been watered down would mean a great deal of its truth has been relegated to fables and non-truths. Watering down the Bible or the word of God has been happening since the serpent approached Eve in the garden. The serpent questioned the words which God had spoken to Adam when He gave the command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1-5). God’s word is truth and includes no errors. Many people in the world today believe the Bible is simply some fairy tale book a bunch of guys got together and wrote. These same people have the opinion that those of us who believe the Bible to be true are foolish. Since these people are not saved, it is a given that they would think this way. Here’s the difference: For those who are saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit opens our hearts and minds to the truth of the Bible. The Spirit gives us the ability to understand the true meaning of the Bible. The Spirit comes to dwell within us at the time of our salvation and gives us new life.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV www.bible gateway.com
So, why is it that so many Christians find it hard to believe parts of the Bible and why are they so quick to water it down? For the most part, when people get saved, they need to be taken in and mentored by a mature Christian. Many times this does not happen and this new Christian is left on their own. The Church is really bad about mentoring new Christians; all too many times, churches look for new converts just to pump up their numbers so they can look good to their governing bodies. Campaigns are ran and contests are put in place and the church with the most new people or new converts to Christ is given some kind of reward. And in the process, the new believer is left behind and forgotten. There is no follow-up program, Bible study or any type of agenda for the spiritual well-being of the new Christian. This can result in a Christian following the attitude of this type of church body; it is an attitude which consists more of a worldly way of thinking instead of a spiritual way of thinking. A local church which is more concerned about their numbers than what is being taught, is a church which will not be concerned about the truth of the Bible. There are many different types of local churches, independent and denominational, which get involved in these type of activities. Isn’t it rewarding enough for a believer to witness to a friend and invite the friend to church? Isn’t even more rewarding when that friend gets saved? Isn’t it enough to tell this person about Jesus instead of some contest the church is running? If I’m a non-believer and I go to a church because my neighbor invited me to be part of a contest, where is my motivation for salvation? When Jesus is seeking me and sends my neighbor to witness to me and invite me to church so I can hear more about Him, I’m attending with a completely different motivation. I want to know more about Jesus, not some contest which will give me some silly, worldly prize for attending and taking part in the campaign! OK, can you see where this is going? This is one type of church situation which will not allow the new Christian the benefit of learning how to read and study the Bible. Also, there is a very strong possibility that this type of church is not teaching or preaching the Bible in its truth or in its entirety. The watering down of the Bible is a very strong possibility in this type of church setting. And, this is only one example; there are many others.
So, we can see the importance of the teaching of the Holy Spirit and His guidance in our lives. How do we know the Holy Spirit is real? How do we know that He exists? Well, we know because the Bible tells us He exists; more than that, we know because Jesus tells us He exists and He will teach us and be with us and within us.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. Jn. 14 16-18, 26 NLT
Now, if a person doesn’t believe the Bible, well, this is all part of the fairy tale but for the person who has received Jesus as their savior, it should mean a great deal to them. For the Christian who is not familiar with this passage or its teaching, they are lacking a great deal in their knowledge of the Bible, Jesus and God’s plan for our Christian lives. Watering down the Bible or the word of God cheats Christians out of the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Most Christians get involved in a local church after they are saved and if the local church does not encourage Bible reading and Bible study, the new Christian can grow stale quickly and not even realize what it means to be on fire for Jesus and His work. I have mentioned, in a strong manner, the Holy Spirit in this writing and the importance of Him in our Christians lives. I have also mentioned how our Christian lives are affected without His help. I have quoted scripture to show the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that He lives within us. But for some reason, the Church has many people, who refer to themselves as Christians, who don’t believe in the reality of the Holy Spirit’s existence. The following is from the Barna Group and spells this problem out clearly.
……Most Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force. Overall, 38% strongly agreed and 20% agreed somewhat that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” Just one-third of Christians disagreed that the Holy Spirit is not a living force (9% disagreed somewhat, 25% disagreed strongly) while 9% were not sure.
And that is not the only issue which exists in the Church concerning the watered down version of the Bible and its teaching. There are massive numbers of Christians who believe that Jesus was not without sin in His life! You have to ask yourself, “What Bible are these Christians reading? Or, are they reading the Bible at all!” Again, from the same article, Barna gives these numbers concerning Jesus’ sinless life.
Although a core teaching of the Christian faith is the divinity and perfection of Jesus Christ, tens of millions of Christians do not accept that teaching. More than one-fifth (22%) strongly agreed that Jesus Christ sinned when He lived on earth, with an additional 17% agreeing somewhat. Holding the opposing view were 9% who disagreed somewhat and 46% who disagreed strongly. Six percent did not have an opinion on this matter.
I don’t know why people would make these types of declarations concerning Jesus. The core of the gospel is Jesus, who knew no sin in His life, died on the cross for the sin of the world. It took a sinless man to pay the price required to settle the debt. A sinless man opened the flood gates to sin, Adam, and it took a sinless man to pay the debt and price required, Jesus. It is obvious these people do not know the doctrine of salvation; they don’t know the Bible. The Mosaic law of the Old Testament, specifically required a spotless, without defect, animal be presented for a sacrifice. This law was put in place until Jesus, the ultimate spotless sacrifice, would come and die on the cross for the sins of the world. How do we know this kind of stuff? We know it because we spend time studying the Bible and listening to pastors and Bible teachers who study the Bible and discover its truth by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, who resides within us! The watering down of the Bible happens because Christians get lazy and they don’t want to study and they accept any teaching they might hear and it can be dead wrong. We have to be Bereans. When we hear scripture being taught and we are not sure of its accuracy, we must check it out in the Bible. The Bereans checked out the Apostle Paul in order to know that he was teaching the truth of the word! If you attend a local church which has a pastor who is unapproachable when it comes to discussing his teachings, then it is time to look for another church, one that teaches the truth of the Bible. A pastor should be approachable by those whom he is teaching. He is the spiritual leader of this local flock and if he is teaching another gospel or something incorrect, he needs to accept correction. James tells us that not many of us should be teachers because we will have a more strict judgement (Jas 3:1) Paul told the Galatians if anybody teaches another gospel, including himself, let them be cursed (Gal. 1:8-9)! I will tell you right now, and I have always said this, if I am teaching something wrong, tell me!! The Bible is our manual for life. If God had intended for only a portion of it to be used, then that is the only portion He would have given us. Are there things about God which are not included in the Bible? Yes, I believe there are. Example: Do we know everything about heaven? Do we know what Jesus looked like? The answer to both questions is no. God has given to us, in His word, what He wants us to know and believe me, there is plenty. It is sad that people don’t even want to know those facts and teachings which God has given to us in the Bible. Christians should know the truths of the Bible. A Christian doesn’t have to be a pastor to know the Bible or to study the Bible. This is another misconception within the Church today; far too many Christians believe it is the pastors responsibility to study the Bible and then tell them what it says. This is a major problem in the Catholic Church and has hundreds of years of tradition. This is why some Christians don’t believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit or the sinless life of Jesus. We, as Christians, are more fortunate than maybe any other generation of believers because of the tools available to us for Bible study. We live in an era of high-tech offerings. The computer has made Bible study and research so easy and uncomplicated. Bible based software is relatively inexpensive and readily available. Bibles and commentaries are easy to acquire along with Bible dictionaries and concordances. That is, of course, in the U.S. and most other countries; there are countries in the world where Bibles are obtained at a serious price. But, in the U.S., there is no excuse for not being able to obtain a study Bible and some other Bible study tools. The bottom line is, a Christian must have the desire to get these things and put them to use. Don’t depend on your pastor for your Bible study knowledge; that is not his responsibility but he should be encouraging you to study the Bible. I have had many people tell me they want to read the Bible, the whole Bible, but when they start, they get bogged down and lose interest. I explain a daily reading plan to them which I use to read through the Bible in a year. It is simple; 23 chapters a week. Divide up any way you want but 23 chapters a week will get you through the Bible in a year. I read 3 chapters a day on week days and 4 chapters a day on the weekend days. That equals 23 chapters a week. This type of reading is a read through and helps a person to be more familiar with the Bible. Bible study is a different thing altogether.The Christian has to start somewhere and if you are not reading or spending a quite time in a devotional, I suggest starting with the daily read through. If you miss a day, move on, don’t try to make it up unless you have the time. We are so privileged to have the Bible; God gave us His word so we can know Him and grow closer to Jesus in our relationship with Him. Yet, some insist on watering down the Bible and cheating themselves and others of the blessing of the promises and truths of God. So, don’t water it down, study it, know it, love it because it is the living word of God and it is 100% truth!
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJV