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The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
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January 28, 2022 8:30 am


The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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January 28, 2022 8:30 am

 IS THE BIBLE SUFFICIENT TO GUIDE OUR DAILY LIVES? Today, Pastor Timothy Pigg joins Chris Hughes on The Christian Perspective to talk about the inerrancy of the Bible and the sufficiency of Scripture. How can you have a Biblical Worldview if you do not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture? Pastor Timothy Pigg of Fellowship Church in South Florida talks about why every Christian should understand the sufficiency of Scripture.

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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential, and respected voices on cultural, and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate, and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. I'm Chris Hughes. Welcome to the Christian perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I'm excited today about our guests because a few months ago, I was visiting a church where they were holding a revival service in North Carolina. I didn't know who the preacher was going to be.

He's going to be mad at me for this. I didn't know who the preacher was, but I knew that Greater Vision was coming to sing, and I'm a big southern gospel fan, and I knew that pastors from all over the state of North Carolina and maybe beyond were going to be present. So it's going to be an exciting night, and I wanted to go. But that night, the guest preacher was a pastor from South Florida. His name is Timothy Pig, and he brought a sermon that really, really captivated me. He talked about the inerrancy of the Bible and, more specifically, the sufficiency of Scripture, which is something that every Christian needs to understand. You know that the focus of this show is to educate and train our listeners to develop a biblical worldview and then take that biblical worldview into the world in which they live.

Well, folks, how can we have a biblical worldview if we don't believe in the sufficiency of Scripture? Pastor Timothy Pig pastors Fellowship Church in South Florida, where he and his wife Jessica serve the Lord. He serves with me on the Steering Council of the Conservative Baptist Network, and he's committed to leading the loss to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and impacting the culture for Jesus. Pastor, I'm so honored to have you here today.

Welcome to The Christian Perspective. Chris, thank you so much for having me. It is good to be with you. It's good to get to know you over the last several months serving together at the Conservative Baptist Network, as you mentioned, and get the chance to meet you in person there in North Carolina at that church. It was a wonderful night that evening and revival. I think I was there also to hear Greater Vision. Hearing me preach is not that important, but listening to Greater Vision is a wonderful opportunity. Good to meet you that night and become friends with you, sir. It sure was, and folks, if you have not experienced Southern gospel music, this has nothing to do with what we're talking about today. You ought to check it out in Greater Vision.

You can Google them. They're a great group and just their music is wonderful. Pastor, before we get started, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about you and your background, your wonderful family, and your church there in South Florida?

I'd be happy to. I grew up in really North Florida. I'm one of the few that are a Florida native. I grew up in a wonderful Christian home. My dad is a pastor as well. He's been an executive pastor for most of his ministry and grew up at a really important church during the time of the conservative resurgence.

I first had the church of Jacksonville. The pastor I had growing up was Dr. Homer Lindsay Jr. and Dr. Jerry Vines, and it was in their ministry that I developed a love for God's Word. Faithfully stood behind the pulpit Sunday after Sunday and walked through a biblical passage explaining what it meant, illustrating it so that we could grab hold of it, and then applying it so that we could go out and actually put the Bible into practice.

It wasn't an ancient book that was forgotten. It was a living and active book that changed lives, and it changed my life. I came to know the Lord at a young age, and then at the age of 12 at youth camp, God called me to preach, and I was just a young kid and didn't know what that meant. And as God matured me in my calling and really settled in on God really put it in my heart to be a pastor, preach faithfully His Word day in and day out. So after my time in middle school, high school, went away to college and attended the College of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I went there and got a wonderful education, and that's where I met my wife. And we've been married coming up on 10 years next year. Next June will be 10 years for us, and she is a wonderful, wonderful lady.

I tell anyone I get a chance. If you are looking for the brains of the family, you need to talk to my wife Jessica. She is just a wonderful lady, a godly Christian woman, and just so thankful that the Lord brought us together. And in 2015, after finishing my master's degree at Southwestern Seminary, God called me down to a town in southwest Florida called Immokalee. Little Indian town is how it was originally founded and has a seminal reservation here in the town, and it was an older church. Within one year of being there, we celebrated our 100th anniversary, and it was a church that had at one time was very evangelistic, baptizing many people. They were recognized even in the Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention for being one of the top churches in baptism for their size. But in recent years, it was a church in turmoil and a church in great difficulty.

Did not know that coming into it. The interview process and the calling process and all the conversations my wife and I had with the church, we had no clue what we were getting into. But shortly after getting here, we realized it was a revitalization effort, and God has done an amazing work down here in southwest Florida. We now have two campuses, one in Immokalee and also one in a planned community called Ave Maria, predominantly a Catholic community, and it's flourishing as well. We have a school now called Fellowship Academy. We've got a community outreach called Fellowship Community Services, and it's just so many things God has done in the six and a half years of us being down here, and it really has just centered on putting God's Word to the test as it is sufficient for all things. So it's a wonderful, it's been a wonderful time.

We are looking forward with just great anticipation of what God's going to do next, even next year in 2022. Sounds exciting. Do you preach at both campuses?

I do. Sundays are a busy day, Chris. We have a 9 a.m. service in Ave Maria, and then we have an 11 a.m. service in Immokalee.

It's about a 15, 20-minute drive. So you pray for good traffic. I pray for great traffic. I pray for no tractors out on the street, so I don't get caught behind a tractor going slow down the road. A lot of times I run in about two minutes before church starts and am able to greet a couple people and then we hit off and running with the Immokalee service. Now, are you near the Everglades?

Very close. So you don't have alligators crossing the road to stop you from getting there? We do, actually. You'll see, that's one of the things we like to do when we're driving.

We'll see alligators all over the place down here. So we're going to jump into the topic in just a minute, but I have to go back to your growing up part of your story. We actually, I just realized we have something possibly in common I didn't know about. So where did you go from there? Where did you go to high school in Jacksonville? I went to Providence High School, private Christian school there.

I left there in 2006, my junior year. Oh, goodness. You're such a young one. I'm an old man.

So our listeners are going to get on with the story. But anyway, I went to Wolfson High School, if you're familiar with Wolfson there in the Jacksonville area. So I didn't realize we were kind of from the same neck of the woods. Well, anyway, so I just want to thank you for being here with us today. And it sounds like God is really blessing your ministry and your church and your family and what you're doing. But I know that you really have a heart for the sufficiency of Scripture. That's been a big tenet of the Conservative Baptist Network.

So our listeners, Pastor, are Christians who we're encouraging to learn more about God's Word and then take that biblical worldview into the world where they go. And you can't do that if you don't believe in sufficiency of Scripture. So can you explain to us your understanding of the doctrine of sufficiency of Scripture? Certainly.

I don't want to paint a picture, Chris, of myself. That is, I've always been a guy who stood on sufficiency. I was raised in a church that preached the Bible. But there was a time early on in my preaching ministry when I was at Southwestern Seminary that pragmatism was very important to me. I was a student pastor. I remember saying one time, it doesn't matter how you get the people in the building, as long as you get them in the building, then they'll hear God's Word. I was working at the school at that moment. A professor who I worked for heard me say that. His name's Dr. Owens, one of the probably the most transformational men in my life and thinking about the sufficiency of Scripture.

He called me in his office and for the next four and a half, five hours. He taught me the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. He said there, the Bible is not only a book that is inspired, it's a book that tells us how we are to live. And we need to turn to the Bible first for all things pertaining to godliness, but also to life. And the verse he took me to to begin this discussion was 2 Peter, chapter 1, verse 3. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. And we understand that the Bible speaks to matters of godliness.

That just seems to make sense. But if we utilize kind of Nancy Pearcy's language in her book, Total Truth, sometimes we will divide our lives into an upper story and a lower story. Upper story being the things that are spiritual, the lower story being the things that are physical and more practical. And she shows us that's kind of the dualistic approach that we have.

We compartmentalize our life in those ways. And I did that in a ministry way. The practical things were getting people in the room. The spiritual things were preaching the Bible. And what I failed to realize was the Bible actually speaks to the practical things as well. And that two-story thinking became a one-story type of thinking when I read this verse in 2 Peter 1, 3, that everything we need pertaining to life, there's the practical, and godliness, there's the spiritual, comes from the knowledge of him.

Well, the only way we know God is from his word. So if I'm going to be able to know how to live my life and live in such a way that is godly, that reflects the one whom I serve, then I have to be in the word. I have to let the Bible drive my thinking, drive my practice, and there is no concept of the means justify the ends. No, the Bible is going to give me the means and the ends for what I need to be doing.

So that was kind of my journey. So the doctrine of sufficiency of Scripture, for me, settles on this fact and truth that God's word completely, holistically, is what we need for all aspects of life. That's such an important truth, Pastor. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you know, most pastors today don't preach the whole word of God. George Barna did a survey and said less than 10% of pastors preach on issues in the whole word of God, and most Christians never read their Bible. How can we say we represent a faith if you don't read the very book that defines your faith, and if we don't find it sufficient?

We want to read all these self-help books and other books, but what you're saying is the Scripture, the Bible alone, is sufficient for what we need for everything in life. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.

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No, absolutely, brother. It is sufficient for moms and dads in how to parent their children from birth until they leave home as a graduating senior. It is sufficient for your marriage, for husbands and wives in their marriage. It's sufficient for the single man or woman. It is sufficient for the business owner, the entrepreneur.

Every aspect, doesn't matter what profession you're in, it doesn't matter what stage of life you're in, it doesn't matter anything that you've been through personally. The Bible speaks to it, and I mean we have an entire book of proverbs that are wisdom sayings for how to navigate a fallen sinful world. I mean it amazes me, Chris, that we will run to our therapist before we will run to the great physician in his word.

It just absolutely baffles me. We'll run to a church growth book as pastors before we'll run and read the book of Acts. I mean we'll go to a seminar to tell us how to organize this ministry or that ministry before we'll study anything that is in the Bible, or how to deal with the issues in our culture.

Why don't we open up and look at how the prophets dealt with the issues in Israel? I think as pastors, if we took more of a prophetic, biblical, text-driven, sufficiency of scripture approach, then we would see our country change, we would see our churches change, we'd see our communities change, because we would see the hearts of man change. It's only the word of God that can change the heart of man. That's what Paul told us when he said, how are they going to be saved unless someone preaches? And we're told that faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word, so there's going to be life change. It's going to come from pastors, laymen, people standing and proclaiming God's word as sufficient for all matters of life and godliness. So how do our listeners practice sufficiency of scripture in their everyday lives?

Yeah, I think you hit on it a second ago. How can we claim to be a people of faith who do not even read the book that tells us about that faith? Bible intake is at an all-time low, I would say. I don't have the statistic on it, but I would submit, just from pastoring and talking to people, that biblical literacy is lower than we could imagine. I would say the first thing your listeners need to do, the first thing I need to do, is get the Bible into my mind. Meditate on it and think on it. So I suggest a reading through the Bible every year, and when you do that, that can get to be laborious.

It can get to be legalistic if you're not careful. I tell my church members often, if you miss a day, God's not looking for you to go make up your check mark from the day before and you double up on two days. No, just start that day. Begin reading from there. Now, that means it took you a year and a half to read through the whole Bible because you missed half of the year?

Okay. I think God's going to be pleased not with our keeping of the letter of the law, but the desire, the want to, to read his words. I think the first is Bible intake. I think the second is being in a church that preaches the Bible. You mentioned a second ago about looking at scripture and that approach. I think churches today, you need to find a church in your community that preaches through books of the Bible. Start of the year in 2022, I'm going to be preaching through the book of Amos. And in preaching through Amos, there are topics in there that probably wouldn't normally deal with.

It wouldn't be something that would naturally come to me. Our churches recently walked through the book of first Corinthians and there are so many topics that are dealt with there. You've got first Corinthians five with the man caught in adultery. That's just not something that naturally comes to my mind that I want to preach on. But because I'm preaching systematically through these books and explaining it, illustrating it and applying it, my people are learning how to live a text-driven life. And that's really the term I use for sufficiency of scripture, a text-driven life. And so being a Bible-believing church that preaches through books of the Bible, read the Bible daily. And then if I could recommend a resource to people, it would be a prayer life that is driven by the word as well. Donald S. Whitney has a great book out, I think it came out in 2015 by Crossway, called Praying the Bible.

And he starts with teaching you how to pray the Psalms. So if you notice, every discipline becomes a discipline of the Bible. Your Bible reading is a discipline, your hearing of the word is through the Bible, your praying becomes through the Bible. And what you'll end up finding, at least is what I have found, is I become a whole lot more conscious of my decisions if they're biblical or not when I'm taking the Bible in, in that type of way, through my prayer, through my preaching, through hearing the word, and through reading the Bible as well.

Boy, that is so good and such great advice for people listening to the show today. And I guess the same would be true for pastors who, you know, maybe decided that they haven't been stressing the sufficiency of the Bible, then they need to be expository preachers, systematically preaching through the books of the Bible, and then encouraging their members to read and have a strong prayer life. Are there other things pastors might be able to do to help their people?

Yes, I would sit with them and teach, teach your people. I'd encourage your pastors, pastors to teach their people how to study the Bible. They don't, you don't want to, as a pastor, if I could talk to your pastors for just a second that could be listening. Pastors, you don't want to be the sole authority on biblical interpretation in your church. Remember, if you follow a free church tradition like I do as part of the Southern Baptist Convention, we do not have a papacy.

You are not the one who edicts downright interpretation. Now, the Spirit of God lives and dwells every single member of your church. So what you have a responsibility to, and what I have a responsibility to, is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.

And what is that ministry? That they would live a life that is equipped for every good work. Well, how do they get that every good work? Well, they know that the Scriptures are God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. How do they know the Scriptures are doing that? They're taught that. So sitting down, grabbing members and sitting down with them over a period of a month or two months, and helping them to read the Bible for all its worth, read the Bible and interpret the Scriptures and teach them those skills to do so. So they're not dependent on you, but in actuality they learn how to be dependent on the Spirit of God who guides them into truth is what Jesus tells them. So that's what I would also encourage is pastors to get out of the study, get out of the book and get into the homes of their church members, open a Bible, sit around the kitchen table and model for them how to do those family devotions, how to study the Word together in their home.

Model that, invite people over to your house so they can see how you do it as well. Pastor, what do you think are the two greatest threats to the sufficiency of Scripture in church today? I would say pragmatism and consumerism, definitely. Pragmatism is the mindset that the means justify the end, so that means can shift at any time. As long as I get to the end goal that I want, it doesn't matter how I do it.

It can be a good thing, it can be a godly thing. Goodness and godliness is defined by reaching the end, not by the journey and the process as well. And I think pragmatism is undermining the sufficiency of Scripture.

I also think consumerism, which is kind of the sister to pragmatism, but I think consumerism is also threatening the sufficiency of Scripture. We have this mindset that the church is a business, and what I mean by that is we have numbers that we have to attain in order to be successful. So we have budget numbers that we set we have to reach. We have baptism numbers that we set that we have to reach. We have giving numbers of missional giving numbers that we have to reach.

Attendance numbers that we have to reach. And we look at the competition around us, the other churches, as competing businesses. And we see one church over here that's growing in their attendance, and we start asking ourselves, well, how do I get to grow? And when we approach the church in this business mindset, then we start looking at the people as the consumer. Well, I need to get more consumers in. So I have to take a marketing approach, that the reason why my church is not growing or not giving is because I don't have the right branding.

Branding and marketing has nothing to do with the growth. We've got to remember what Jesus says. I planted Apollos water, but God causes the growth. Pastors, we've been called to just be faithful to the scriptures, teaching, preaching and applying them as they're written. Don't change them according to culture, just preach them as they're written and let God handle the growth. And I think so if we will get out of this business mindset of consumerism, I think we can champion the sufficiency of scripture more appropriately in our congregation. I love what you said about not changing the scripture to fit the culture.

And we've only got a couple of minutes left, but that leads into perfectly. Do you think that by practicing and believing a sufficiency of scripture, we can develop a biblical worldview to change the culture? Yeah, I think so. I think the sufficiency of scripture is simply living a text driven life. And the believer who is living a text driven life is going to be about the only responsibility God's given to them, which is to make disciples of all nations.

So that's a text driven person, a person living out the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture will be seeking to make disciples. And that's how the culture changes. You know, I'm excited when legislation is passed in my state capital or even in Washington that is favorable to a biblical worldview.

And I think that's wonderful. But that's not going to bring the change. Currently in our world today, and in our nation specifically, is the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned. And I think that that would be a wonderful, wonderful thing, and a changing of the culture towards a biblical worldview and the protection of human life.

But if I could, if I could also say this, the way we got to the abortion crisis in our country is because we have a crisis of the heart. We are a lost nation in need of the resurrecting power of Jesus. And that only comes to the right preaching of the gospel. So I think the sufficiency of scripture is the only means of engaging and changing the culture around us. So believers, if you have a biblical worldview, and you apply that biblical worldview in the Great Commission of making disciples, I think you'll be able to see your neighbor change by the power of the gospel. And we'll see the nations change by the power of the gospel.

We'll see our churches, our communities, our country, yes, even our convention change if we live out the Great Commission, which is basically living out the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture. And that's a great way to end our show. Pastor Timothy Pig, thank you so much for being with us today. All right, Chris, thank you so much for having me, man. I appreciate you.

You're a good friend, and I pray for you often and what God's doing in your life and anything I could ever do for you, my friend, reach out to me. I'd be happy to serve you, your listeners in any way possible. Folks, thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes, and this is A Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus.

Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus.

Visit This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 20:54:52 / 2023-06-03 21:05:34 / 11

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