The Holy Bible Is The Word of God
Trust in the Holy-Bible Word of God. Another spiritual message will mislead you.
Another message should not attempt to replace the Holy Bible as the Word of God. The Bible is written “by inspiration of God,” and we should study it for a correct understanding of God and his righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Tim. 2:15). The Message: Solo, written by Eugene Peterson advises people to read his Message: Solo, instead of studying the Bible, “to discover what God has to say to you” (Introduction to Solo).
The Message: Solo tells people to “splash around in the Word”
My born–again niece bought a religious book, The Message: Solo, by Eugene Peterson, in her seeking to get closer to God. Knowing that I studied the Bible a lot, she often asked me to look at religious books to see if they were in line with the Bible. When I was reading the “Introduction to Solo” I became concerned that it was out of line with the Bible. I saw the following instructions in the Message
- “Splash in the Word” the Solo way “to discover what God has to say to you each day.”
- “It [Solo] isn’t designed to teach you to study the Bible”.
- Studying the Bible to know God “doesn’t change your relationship with him.”
- Peterson’s devising of a 365-day plan for “splashing” through his book.
The Holy Bible instructs us to “study the Scriptures diligently”
In the Bible, Jesus counsels us to study the scriptures diligently, because you think that in them you have eternal life” (John 5:39).
- The apostle Paul tells us to study the Bible which is “given by inspiration of God.” And the Bible provides instructions for having a correct understanding and right relationship with God. (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
- David, whom God called “a man after my own heart,” said “thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Acts 13:22; Psalm 119:105).
- It is in the Bible that you find God saying, it pleased Him that men should be saved and brought into a relationship with him, by the “foolishness” of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:21-23). But the Bible also says the “foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1Cor 1:25).
The Message: Solo Way of Letting Go of Sin
In reading the introduction of The Message: Solo by Eugene Peterson, I said I was concerned. But, when I reached “Day 9” of his 365-day plan for “splashing in the word” I was even more troubled. I was troubled about how Peterson instructed his readers on “letting go of sin.”
- First, he tells them to read the following verses of scripture in Leviticus 16:20-22. In the NIV it reads as follows:
When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most High Place, the Tent of the Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forth the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.
- After telling his readers to read the above scripture, Peterson instructs them to put their hand on the head of a live or stuffed animal, confess their sins and feel their sins being transferred to the animal. Moreover, he advises them not to pity the animal, because God did not make it able to feel guilt for sin.
The Holy Bible Way of Atoning for Sin
I was shocked about what Peterson told his readers in The Message: Solo about letting go of sin. I recalled reading in the New Testament of the Bible that Jesus Christ is the sole atonement for the sins of mankind; the sole mediator between God and man; and the only one to whom we should confess our sins.
- However, I decided to read the passage of Leviticus in broader Bible context. In reading Leviticus 16:15-22, I saw that two goats (not just one goat mentioned by Peterson in The Message: Solo) were involved in the offering for sins on the Day or Atonement. The HCBS Life Application Study Bible explains why there were two goats involved on the Day of Atonement:
- The two goats represented the two ways God was dealing with the Israelites’ sins: (1) He was forgiving their sins through the first goat, which was sacrificed and (2) he was removing their sin through the second goat, the scapegoat, which was sent into the wilderness. The same ritual had to be repeated every year. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross replaced this system once and for all. Our sins are forgiven and place on Jesus, when we believe in the sacrificial atonement of his blood (Hebrews 10:1-18).
The New Testament expounds on Jesus being the only atonement and mediator for sin
- Jesus agonized on the cross—He shed his blood—He gave his life to become our atonement for sins (Romans 3:23; John 3:16; Hebrews 10:1-18)
- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5KJV)
- We do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to sympathize with our weakness…who was tempted in every way, just as we are…Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16NIV).
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Teachings of The Message: Solo are contrary to teaching of the HolyBible
Teaching or believing any way other than Jesus for the forgiveness of sin is contrary to theHoly Bible. Putting your hand on the head of a stuffed or live animal for forgiveness, as The Message: Solo tells you, may make some people feel better temporarily or psychologically, if you are having pains of guilt. However, this does not heal the spiritual sickness of the soul. Similarly, taking pain killers does not heal sickness; it simply kills pain. Moreover, people often become addicted to painkillers that add to their problems. You can become hooked on false-cures for sin and guilt without being forgiven and healed by God.
The Message: Solo and nothing else should divert you from going directly in faith to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins, as instructed by the Bible Word of God.
Note: Eugene Peterson authored a rendition of the Bible call The Message. Justin Peters wrote an article on “Why is the Message (Bible) is not Safe?” He comments on several passages in The Message (Bible) which he says “directly compromise fundamental tenets of Orthodox Christianity.”