We are warned, through scripture, that in the last days people will not endure sound doctrine, but seek teachers who tell them what they want to hear… a ‘feel good’ or ‘prosperity’ gospel without true repentance or the power of His words to sanctify and guide us to life eternal by transforming our hearts, minds and lives to do the will of God. We are living in a time that defies sound doctrine, we, the church, have set aside sound doctrine in our rush to be remain relevant in the changes taking place in our culture and society. I have heard people give many different reasons for this mess the church finds itself in. One phrase that sticks in my mind is one I hear often, those people. I have found an interesting anomaly in this term. I have found that those people without question think that it is those people who’re the problem. Confused, read the next sentence. I have found that those people, all those people, believe in God and believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. If those people are truly believers we have a whole other problem to deal with. You see if they were non-believers it would be so much easier to push them aside with the old southern phrase “bless your heart” but in this case they are as good as family, well they are family. After last weeks blog I got to thinking that maybe this mess is not about those people, yes including all those people. It just might be about us. We, after all have always been told, we are the church. We might be known for “Open Minds, Hearts and Doors” but is it possible somehow our minds are shut to meaningful study and discussion. We need to put aside this blame game, word play and the disgraceful lack of leadership in the defense of the written word and get back to what we are called to be doing. Please read the following statement from the Methodist Church.
The phrase which has relatively recently come into use to describe the principal factors that John Wesley believed illuminate the core of the Christian faith for the believer. Wesley did not formulate the succinct statement now commonly referred to as the Wesley Quadrilateral. Building on the Anglican theological tradition, Wesley added a fourth emphasis, experience. The resulting four components or “sides” of the quadrilateral are (1) Scripture, (2) tradition, (3) reason, and (4) experience. For United Methodists, Scripture is considered the primary source and standard for Christian doctrine. Tradition is experience and the witness of development and growth of the faith through the past centuries and in many nations and cultures. Experience is the individual’s understanding and appropriating of the faith in the light of his or her own life. Through reason the individual Christian brings to bear on the Christian faith discerning and cogent thought. These four elements taken together bring the individual Christian to a mature and fulfilling understanding of the Christian faith and the required response of worship and service.
Consider…There are 611 commandments which Moses passed down to the Jewish people. Those along with the first two of the Ten Commandments, which were the only ones heard directly from God, adds up to 613. Now understand that I am not a theologian, just a layman trying to write a blog. These 613 laws, can be found in Old Testament books and the Jewish Torah.
Torah refers to the five books of Moses which are known in Hebrew as Chameesha Choomshey Torah. These are: Bresheit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayicra (Leviticus), Bamidbar (Numbers), and Devarim (Deuteronomy). Jesus was a Jew and scripture shows us he went to the synagogue as all good Jews of that day did for worship and instruction. We must note that each and every teaching of Jesus is found within the Torah, Psalms and Prophets. We would do well to remember this and put aside the notion He did away with what He was taught and what He taught. He clearly said it is His word that will judge us on that day and that His word could by no means pass away. What about today? There are 1,050 commands in the New Testament for Christians to obey. It might be too many of us are living under the false impression that because that we go to church, accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, and have been baptized we are good to go. None of us will ever be without sin, a common condition of our mortal status. The link listed here will list all of these sins and bible verses associated with them. It is long but an interesting read.
So to all my Methodist friends, do not flee the church as I did. Stay and demand that those of leadership within explain why the very first of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral ….. “For United Methodists, Scripture is considered the primary source and standard for Christian doctrine”, is not being considered in this mess. The covenant within the resurrection, the promise of life eternal requires acceptance of Christ and doing our very best to live a Holy Life and that requires repentance of our sins. We are all guilty of sin in God’s eyes and sin, all sin, is just that in God’s eyes. There is no wiggle room in God’s word, so what do you believe? How did you arrive at that belief? Was prayer and a sincere desire to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit what led you to it? Even as laypeople we are called to go on to perfection which leads me to this question. The big part of this mess concerns a life-style the church finds objectionable based on scriptural content and God’s word and yes they are different. As Christians we are called, set apart to live a life that allows others to see Christ in us. How is that working for you? I left the Methodist Church because I truly believe that the content of the scripture should be the basis for living a Christian life-style and the establishing of church doctrine. We are to love not to condemn or judge but we should take seriously before we condone a life-style that is contrary to scriptural content and intent. We miss our calling when by doing this we encourage people to commit to that which is viewed unfavorably in God’s eye. There are 613 + 1050 sins we know of and none are seen favorably in God’s eye.
Be in prayer for me for I have fallen short of my calling. I stood up when I should have been on my knees and I ran when I should have stood. You have always been good friends and I do miss each of you. Stay the course, stand your ground, defend the faith and always serve and seek his will.
Life is Good