Thursday, September 15, 2016

Part Two of "Threw It on the Ground"

And here is the follow-up to "Threw It on the Ground" post and about Christians who accuse people like me of "Bible-olatry" because I dare say that all of the words are Christ's first-hand words to me today and to all believers and non-believers for all time.  People who hear it preached are changed and they lead people to be able to accept Jesus and to be saved.

Does that mean I don't believe in the Holy Spirit?  I'm crazy about him.  All believers have him and are constantly guided by him each and every day.  Here's the thing: sometimes I get him confused with my feelings.  My feelings and the Holy Spirit's guiding are not the same thing.  If I feel him leading me or teaching me something, I need to double check it with something that I know is tangible and objective: the Bible.

Yes, I'm a predestinarian in my beliefs on how each member of the Trinity works to save the elect of God.  It is because of that that I hold so high a view of the Bible.  It is the hallmark of Reformed faith that gets called Calvinism.  People who don't understand simply should not tell me what I believe.

All that aside: here are some verses.

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."  Jesus is the Word.  His words are recorded in a book.  The book is not him, but it's like his cell phone call to us.  It's like when my husband Tim was in South Korea.  I would Skype with him to communicate.  The computer was not Tim, but it was his connection to me.  And it was tangible and objective.

What about times before the Bible was written?  Hebrews 1:1-2, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."  He spoke through the prophets.  Later, Moses and many writers wrote down words that God told them to write.  Not by mechanical dictation, but by the Holy Spirit guiding their words so that each word was a public proclamation of what God wanted to tell the people.  

The Apostle John wrote Revelation.  He was the last surviving apostle and Revelation is the last book written in the New Testament canon.  Revelation 22:18-19, "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."  It is a very serious thing to claim that your words are directly from Jesus because you are claiming that you are adding to Scripture.  If you are right, then God will make his words available to everyone.  If you are wrong, then you are adding to your doom and leading others astray.

This is why believe that God's revelation to us is complete for now and has ceased until the coming of Christ. 

And finally, Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."  The Bible is so vital to people coming to faith.  Whenever I teach Sunday School, I know that 100% of them need to hear the Bible taught so that the Spirit can convert souls and grow his children in the faith.  And I am guaranteed results despite my failings and incomplete plans and distractions from the kids.  And it is why the Bible is held so highly in my esteems and treated as if it was Christ himself.  Because it is his letter to us.

1 comment:

  1. The implications of what you're saying are astounding. For the first 325 years of Christian history, the only canonized scripture the Church had was the Old Testament. And while the gospels and letters had authority, there were many more of them than what we have now. Not all of them would be considered Gnostic, some of them were actually pretty good. So, was it only the Old Testament and their best guess when it came to the New Testament?

    Beyond that, to actually print a Bible was expensive, something that the average believer couldn't afford. And the Bibles that existed were kept in Churches and monasteries, away from the public.

    And while access to the Bible is at unprecedented levels, there are still many areas where the Bible either doesn't exist, is outlawed, or is smuggled in a few pages at a time.

    The Holy Spirit is not bound by such restrictions. Plus, as scripture says (actually as Jesus says) the sheep know His voice. So why the difficulty in hearing the Holy Spirit apart from other voices?

    I hold a very high view of scripture, and I believe that it is a vital part of the Christian life, but at the same time I know that while it communicates God's message, it is not God.

    I love you Meg and I know you're my sister in Christ, but I can't get on board with this.