Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What It All Adds Up To

Well, I'm "moved." I alway think of Mrs. Shrew on the Secret of Nimh when I have to relocate. When the farmer started up the tractor, she ran into the hole and screamed "It's moving day!" With the help of some loving and kind friends who took time out of their Saturdays, we got all the heavy stuff out and over, as well as most of our personal goods. It's nice to be out and in. We just have a couple of things to move (little things) and some light cleaning to do. God was good and gave us sunshine at the right times. It rained a little, but just enough to show us that He is sovereignly watching over us and was keeping us dry when it really mattered.

I had a commenter suggest that maybe all of this discussion on Job being taken as allegory fell under the 2 Timothy 2:14-17 principle. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad presupposition. I will clarify my intent, however, and I think things will appear a little more clearly.

People with a post-modern mindset and post-evangelical faith are moving in new directions in regard to how they conceive of the Word of God. The heart of what I'm digging at is, "What is essential to believe to call oneself a Christian?" and "How does this apply to what people think about the Word of God?" What if a person wanted to believe, but could only hold that certain parts of the Bible are allegorical (like Genesis 1, Job, maybe Jonah, etc), but, even those being allegorical, they could still embrace the Bible as powerful and as God's story for them to interact with and follow? If they held these viewpoints, should we exclude them from our fellowship? Should we say they aren't saved? That's a lot of what I'm getting at. I think it'd be foolish, brash and pharisaical to respond to such a person in those ways. Yet, most of the evangelical church would do just that.

My whole point is that these folks who have these questions and concerns deserve our honesty, love, and openness. We shouldn't cut them off or accuse them of not loving God or trusting His Word just because they hold a slightly different view on it.

I certainly don’t feel that my fair commenter had any ill intent in mind or a desire to take a pharisaical approach to anyone. A good question deserves a good answer. I think the evangelical church needs to wake up and realize that it doesn’t own or have a corner on Christianity. Since, at large the evangelical church won’t, it is up to us to rightly divide God’s Word and not write off or exclude those who aren’t exactly in line with our learned evangelical sensitivities.

I don’t want to go any longer, so as not to bore my readers, but I’ll just close by saying that it is living a life walking the way of Jesus, not saying the sinner’s prayer and believing what the evangelical church tells you to that pleases the Father. Oops! I just hinted at tomorrow’s topic. I suppose you’ll survive until then.


cathouse teri said...

I think she was saying that there are way too many words spent on clarifying words and the focus winds up on words and not on the Lord.

KingJaymz said...

What I was trying to do is work out the underlying assumptions that serve as the foundation for a lot of innacurrate and negative biases. I don't know where other people are on their spiritual journey, or how they process things. I can only write what I know and my own thoughts based on where I am.

What words we use can open doors or close gates to other peoples' paths to God. If we throw up barriers (like what we assume they must ascribe mental ascent to) rather than open the door for them to reach Him, then we commit the same sin Jesus so sternly "woed" against in the gospel. Having a large millstone hung around your neck and being tossed in a lake/sea is not a pleasant mental image, which is why I'm crying out so loudly that we need to be careful here (and by we, I mean those of us who are present and former members of the evangelical movement).

If we don't contemplate these things and think about how or what we are doing, then we aren't any better (and maybe even worse) than the Pharisees and Saducees.

My focus on this blog isn't always about the Lord, specifically. Lately, it has been about, "How do we help others get to Him?" or "How do I relate to Him in a meaningful way?" There has to be room for those subjects at the Christian table.

Jay Logan said...

i like that pic.:]is that a tornado in the background? scary.

KingJaymz said...

I think it's just ominous looking clouds. I get what I can for free on the net. However, a tornado wouldn't have been totally "out of order" for how things have been here lately.

cathouse teri said...

See, what I mean is that you could have just said, "How do we reach people without using words?" :)

The danger is in while straining at a gnat, we wind up swallowing a camel.

It's just an admonition to be careful, not to shut up.

Although there is much warning in the proverbs about making ones statements short and sweet.

KingJaymz said...

Teri, if you think that was what I was trying to say, you've completely missed my point. What I said had absolutely nothing to do with reaching people without using words.

Anne said...

It is a good thing that you clarified the WHY of the question.

Someone believes Genesis is allegorical but calls himself/herself a Christian. I wouldn't disfellowship this person, I would all the more increase my fellowship and study with them.

If we believe what the bible says in one point but discount it in others then I believe we are self-seeking when we search through His Word.

As for Genesis or any other part - I personally am not going to make a statement against it - not knowingly anyway.

cathouse teri said...

And I didn't say a thing about reaching people without using words. I was saying that you can't reach them unless you use words.


I was being brief to make a point, that's all... no biggie. Forget about it.

This is way too much striving over words for me.

KingJaymz said...

But that's my point exactly, Anne. If someone believes the Bible is allegorical at one point where you or I take it as literal, it doesn't mean they discount it. It doesn't mean it is any less the inspired Word of God to them. A person's stance on Genesis 1 being allegorical would not affect their desire to love Jesus or feel like it has something powerful to say to them. In some cases, it might make it even more powerful for them because they feel "freeer" to look at its more poetic or artistic composition rather than thinking of it as a literal description of events.

I'm not advocating we all take this view on Job or Genesis 1, but I'm just saying that it isn't fair to tell those who take it to be allegorical that they are discounting it as God's Word or as powerful for them.

queen z said...

Oh! I'm late to the party work has kept me too busy. I might weigh in on this issue although it seems to me that hairs are being split. I do know there is poetry in the bible and whether or not things are allegorical is up to personal interpretation. I would agree though that too much talking and too fancy of words would tend to cause a discussion to fly right over the heads of new Christians or those who might be seekers. I can pretty much follow it because I have some education under my belt but to someone who is not well versed in the lingo, they wouldn't get much out of it at least in my opinion?

MugwumpMom said...

You sure do have fun on your blog!

As I read this my thought went to our brothers and sisters in places like China, or Africa, the Middle East, or South America, who do not have bibles to debate about. They have a belief in their hearts of Christ crucified and risen, of forgiveness and their eternal hope, and somehow, that alone transforms them into people of joy, even in the most horrific circumstances.

Congratulations on the Beavers win, BTW.

Anne said...

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal." NKJV

Hebrews 5:12-14 "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." NKJV

I DO strongly believe that once the person has been taught otherwise (in this instance Genesis and Job being allegorical) and they deny this they will account for their denial. The Lord does expect us to grow to a fuller understanding BUT... NOT thinking beyond what it written (1 Corinthians 4:5).

Acts 18:24-27 “Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” NKJV

While I agree no matter their stance on the Word that it will have something profound to say to them, I would apply this: Romans 10:1-3 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God." NKJV

There is only one Truth: Ephesians 4:4-6 "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." NKJV

KingJaymz said...

This is an area where we are free to disagree. The Bible doesn't speak anywhere about us being forced to take certain things literally or allegorically. I disagree that it robs the Scriptures of any meaning they would have if taken only literally. The fact is, we all take certain parts of Scripture allegorically, it's really our own druthers that determines which is which. I try hard not to let my opinions get in the way of handling the Word. It is all God's story for my life. I open it to hear what He has to say to me through it.

Again, for me, I'd rather stand before God on what I took as literal or allegorical rather than concerning running people off from Jesus because they don't follow Him in the exact way my interpretation says they should. I'm by no means accusing you of this, Anne. This is as much cautionary for me as it is for anyone. I know you are kind-hearted and desire to stand for what is right. I'm just saying, I'm looking at the flip-side, and it isn't pretty, so I'm doing my best to get us all thinking about striking the balance.

Anne said...

I by no means would run people off from Jesus just because we don't agree on certain scriptural matters - or any scriptural matters. But I DO believe there is only ONE Truth - whether we all believe or interpret it differently doesn't change that. I also believe there are certain fundamental truths that ARE clear. I also believe that once those truths have been presented to us and we deny them...
Hebrews 10:26-31 "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." NKJV

I stronly believe that I will account for me and whether I'm rightly dividing the word of Truth (2Tim. 2:15). I stronly believe I will account for standing by while someone professes and/or teaches error. I stronly believe I will account for the example I set before others and especially my children. I'm not trying to say you are teaching error and please forgive me if my words aren't fluffy right now - I need to be outside playing with my kids and sippin' some coffee with my husband.

On that note, I must retire for now. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your journey.

Your Sister in Him