Don Francisco on the Bible

Gospel singer Don Francisco has ministered God’s Love and Grace to countless millions of people all over the world. Using his tremendous talent for songwriting, coupled with his superlative guitar skills, Don brings to life familiar Scripture stories and tells them in a gripping and moving way. All of Don’s work is based on his relationship with Jesus, Who called him with an audible voice some decades ago. Over those decades, Don has also grown in wisdom, and has written some excellent thoughts on theology, some of which I have featured in my blog before. Here’s a short prose from Don, on balancing the ‘inerrancy’ of the Bible with the reality of God and His Love; a great piece and well worth reading.

“I believe that the Bible is the greatest of all books, not the inerrant Word of God. Jesus– and only Jesus– is the inerrant Word of God. Some of the Bible’s writers have told us what they knew of Him in the hope that we, too, would come to know Him. Jesus Himself said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life– and they testify of me. Yet you are unwilling to come to me that you may have life.” Trying to replace the living Son of God with a book is idolatry, just as much as bowing down before one of the Baals.

“The Bible was written by many different people, people who disagreed– sometimes violently– about whether God is an angry judge, requiring sacrifice to be appeased, or is loving, gracious and forgiving. You are the one who must choose which of those gods is real in your life; patching together a god from two “inerrant” testaments only results in one who’s frighteningly schizophrenic. Trying to use scriptures to prove you’re right doesn’t work, either– there are just as many “inerrant” scriptures that will say you’re wrong.

“Those who knew the Old Testament best were the ones who murdered Jesus on Calvary, and they justified their deeds with their scriptures. In his second letter to the church at Corinth Paul called those same scriptures “a ministry of death” and “a ministry of condemnation”. Moses and Paul weren’t both right– one of them was very wrong about the character of God, and the choice is ours. I believe that those who are committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, besides being involved in idolatry, are being intellectually dishonest with themselves as well: “Don’t confuse me with facts! My mind is already made up.”

“Both Jeremiah and Paul wrote that the truth is in our hearts. What does your heart say? Can you hear it? In the end, we will all stand (or kneel!) before God with nothing in our hands, not even a book.

“For those of you who couldn’t hear what I said above, let me put it another way. Here are two of the most obvious Biblical contradictions, one from each Testament:

“2 Samuel 24 says that God moved David to number Israel; 1 Chronicles 21 says that Satan did it.

“Matthew 27 tells us that Judas threw the 30 pieces of silver into the Temple and went and hanged himself; Acts 1 says that Judas died by falling headlong in a field that he’d purchased with those same 30 pieces of silver.

“If the the Bible’s authors couldn’t get such simple facts straight, why do we swallow much more important concepts whole and unexamined?

” ‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.’

“He didn’t say to hack each other to pieces with well-sharpened Bible verses. Why not have a conversation? Afraid you might be wrong? It happens to the best of us… and it’s forgivable.” — Don Francisco

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3 thoughts on “Don Francisco on the Bible

  1. This is a really sad thing to read. The arguments are twisted though I firmly believe he means well.

    Jesus is the Word of God and we know that because we have the written Word of God with which to hold up and check. He fulfills it. Jesus didn’t say He couldn’t be found in the text of scripture – indeed, He is there throughout from the very beginning – but that the religious leaders were so rigid in their traditions they couldn’t see what God had told them to expect. Even Herod understood the scriptures spoke of the birth of Jesus, that the Old Testament was full of encouragement that Jesus was going to come. And so do we reject these things because we can’t fit them into how we think?

    The Bible doesn’t argue between a God who is judge and a God who is forgiving. They are the same God. So the writers don’t contradict each other. Without God’s judgement, His love for us becomes all about us. Of course God loves me, I’m so lovable!

    That neuters the love of God into an involuntary response toward His creation because he has no opinion about Himself, only for us. Whereas His love is all the more amazing when we see how much we have offended Him, rejected Him, decided our ways are better and yet, He still loved us! That kind of love is so very powerful! The grace needed to love someone like me can ONLY come from God. That a holy and just God can desire to save someone like me tells me more about His love than about my lovability.

    At the end of the article Don says that it’s Ok to be wrong, it’s forgivable. How does he know what it right and what is wrong? How does he know it’s forgivable? How does he know there’s anything that needs forgiving? By what standard are we able to say one thing needs to be forgiven and another thing doesn’t? Who does that forgiving? If I have the wrong perception of God, who forgives me? God? If God forgives me then He has made a judgment, so God is a judge after all?

    Once the scriptures become errant, they lose all their power and those who say they believe in Jesus don’t have a Jesus because nobody can know who He is. Jesus could be the Son of God come to take away the sins of the word or He could be a spirit being who never actually did anything, or He could be a Smurf who just wants people to love each other and eat mushrooms, or He could be someone who advicates free love and orgies involving adults and children… My point is, if you don’t have a reliable scripture, you don’t have a reliable Christ, you don’t have a reliable salvation, you don’t have any certain hope for the future, you can’t witness to someone of a power that might be one thing for you but something else for someone else, you don’t have a means for saying that abuse is objectively wrong.

    With such a worldview, a Christian has only culture to tell them what is right and wrong and any perception of Jesus must be moulded into that because anything else is ‘nasty’.

    I said this is said because I love Don Francisco’s songs. Bird with a Broken Wing is one of (if not the) most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. His talent really is something else and I mean that with all my heart, which just adds to the pain when I hear him say things like this.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Richard. Although I don’t agree with much of what you write, I wanted to allow your comment on my blog because you are fully entitled to your opinion, *and* you have presented your arguments in a clear and non-judgemental way. This is an example of how to disagree respectfully, and I thank you so much for that. So many wouldn’t have been as gentle 🙂

    I’m not going to share the details of any disagreement, though, because a) I don’t want to try to talk you away from your point of view; that’s not my place, and b) my opinions are already made plain from my other posts. Like you, I am working out my beliefs on a daily basis, and my walk is in a different place now.

    Peace and Grace to you 🙂

  3. Don’s theology about God in the OT and the NT has fallen into an old error that was around in the early church. This makes me wonder if his seminary proff dad sought to teach him how the two testaments view of God do fit together into a whole and wholesome portrayal.

    The Bible does point us to the Living Word Jesus Christ. I have met some who make the written Word their God and it’s usually the KJV only. Such right-wing, fundamentalist radicals don’t tend to be very loving. He may be reacting against this more than agreeing with liberal theologians and clergy.

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