Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quoque Scriptura












"Also Scripture"

It is false to think that any of us truly adhere to "Scripture Alone". Even as we read Scripture our own interpretation mingles with it, and we get a conglomeration of text and additions.

There is no such thing as Scripture alone. Nor would we really want to exist or know God by Scripture alone. Even the Scriptures testify that God can be seen and known by what we see in creation. All of creation "testifies". And so we learn much about God and His goodness from creation itself. Nature testifies, as well as our own consciences which either accuse or defend us.

The Hebrew Scriptures foretell of a time when God's Law would no longer be something we read about on a piece of parchment, but would be inscribed upon our hearts. Jesus came teaching, never himself creating a written record. Instead, he declares that he is sending the Holy Spirit who will bring to our remembrance all he has taught and will convict the world of sin. But we've traded all these other guides for the one guide of the written Law which is misinterpreted again and again, ultimately leading us to follow the teachings of men rather than the direction of the Spirit and heart.

 It is not "Sola Scriptura" but "Quoque Scriptura" {Also Scripture}. Scripture is one of the ways God reveals Himself to us, but itself declares it is not the only way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Learning a New Language

As i work through the first quarter of Genesis, a thought occurs to me. i see altars being made for sacrifices. Noah makes one and Abraham makes one. Yet there is no "Law" yet. The altars and the practice of sacrifices seems to come from other religions. Cain and Able make offerings to God, but not on altars. Even this seems to be learned from somewhere else, as God does not seem to require it. Yet he receives it.

I love the way God meets us where we're at. We speak to him in ways we understand, even though it is not 'his' language. It is the language created and learned within our respective cultures. Yet he uses this language with us and allows us to communicate with him through it. He accepts altars and sacrifices and later he will use this language to communicate to us a New Language.

Yet he declares he does not need our sacrifices. They do not feed him. Still, he uses this language like an artist in order to paint a divine picture for us. The language of sacrifice will be used to speak to us of the Christ and to explain the meaning of his life and death.

i don't think sacrifices were ever needed. i tend to think they were our creation rather than God's. In fact, in one place God declares he would rather us practice mercy than make sacrifice. Yet, he adopts our language and uses it to give us direction:

He speaks our language, so that we can learn to speak His.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Magic

Sandra's seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins' gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Inherited

The fear that was in you... is now in me.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marriage Equality and Hypocrisy


Facebook is filling up with red = signs and now the red crosses are beginning to make their appearance. Lines are being drawn. Many will choose their side while some of us get stuck in the crossfire.

Outside the Supreme Court a fight breaks out. Conservative Christians protest against gays and fists are beginning to be exchanged.

Most of the folks in my circle are of course pushing to keep gay union/marriage illegal. i do not "support" (encourage) same sex marriage, yet i also do not support pushing my faith convictions on others. As i see it, a secular government really has no good reason to discriminate. On the other hand, the Church does.

i believe my brothers and sisters in the faith are wrong to push their faith convictions onto secular societies in issues of personal morality. We can certainly explain where we stand, but using secular governments to enforce our personal faith based morality codes is not how we're called to "witness".

As the Church we ought to maintain the right not to officiate same-sex marriages. If you don't believe in it, then join a congregation that does not practice it.

If others want to support and practice it, then that is their decision. Just the same as if someone wants to practice another religion, or no religion at all, which is also their decision. Some may even embrace Christ and feel all monogamous marriages are acceptable. Many Christians believe and practice many different things that i personally hold a different conviction on, including involvement in war, ecological issues, marketing practices and other political issues.

What i find most ironic concerning this particular issue is our lack of consistency. Conservative Christians take a strong stance on this because they do not believe God permits this kind of marriage. Yet you don't see us taking a strong stance on divorce and remarriage, though this is clearly prohibited in the New Testament. Nearly all of us pastors have 'remarried' couples who have had multiple previous marriages. Usually we don't know all the details for why those marriages split. No matter, the New Testament doesn't permit remarriage for any reason except the death of a spouse. It allows divorce in cases of marital infidelity, but not remarriage. Yet our pews are filled with believers who have been divorced and remarried and while we all agree divorce is bad, we aren't really protesting it. Instead, we even gladly invite these remarried couples to lead in our congregations. At least i know i do.

If the real issue is fidelity to God's revealed will for marriage, then why aren't we pushing for laws prohibiting both divorce and remarriage?

If that's not the real issue, then what are we doing and why?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dogmatic

When people feel threatened and anxious they become more rigid, and when in doubt they tend to become dogmatic; and then they lose their own vitality. They use the remnants of traditional values to build a protective encasement and then shrink behind it; or they make an outright panicky retreat into the past.