I CHANGE NOT
By George Card
I am the LORD, I change not. (Malachi 3:6) God is unchangeable because he is perfect in every way. We on the other hand are changing all the time. Change is a part of our nature and our world. People change, attitudes change, organizations change, society changes (usually for the worse) and even the natural world changes.
Sometimes I am amazed at how people change; even those who at one time were stubborn in their ways have eventually made changes. Not all change is bad and not all change is good. Technology and science has changed the way we conduct business and many other areas of life.
Because of the changes in our culture some have attempted to change the bible. There are bibles which now use the words “brothers and sisters” where before there was only “brothers” A modern translation “The inclusive Bible” uses ‘Humankind” for men and many other terms have been changed in order to be more inclusive.
I see nothing wrong with attempts to make the Bible more inclusive, some of those changes might have appeared strange to some of our ancestors, but I believe we modern Christians could live with them as long as the change is an equivalent word. If you prefer to say “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten child” instead of saying “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son” well I guess we Christians could live with that change. Though it might get a while to get used to hearing Jesus say “I am the child of god”.
However there is also afoot a movement to change the Bible in order to accept ideas which God has already decreed to be wrong. One thing is to disagree with an interpretation of a text in the Bible, but quite another to change the actual text because you disagree with the text. That is an attempt to rewrite what God has already established, that sort of change is unacceptable.
When God speaks that is it, we are not going to change his mind; we could change the minds of other people or change our own minds, but we will never change his mind. The word repentance means change, and Jesus preached repentance; a turning toward God and his ways. That is the message of Christianity, change toward God’s ways.
We cannot preach repentance to God because he has nothing to repent from, he is immutable and there is no fault in him. We cannot ask God to adjust to our modern ways. If God were to change it would mean that he was not perfect before or that he was perfect before but now has become imperfect.
Some people read the Old Testament and see a fierce, angry, jealous God, because they are seeing only one side of him. But the psalms and other parts of the scriptures show a gentle god full of mercy. Then people see Jesus and think of him as a gentle and kind person, but forget that there are scriptures where he is shown to be a judge of all the world, willing to send the goats unto utter darkness. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. We are just seeing different sides emphasized in each testament.
God does not change, he is not going to start accepting sin into heaven, he will accept repentant sinners, but he will not accept defiant sinners. God will accept contrition and repentance, but he will not accept defiance and disobedience.