Monday, March 19, 2007

Sola Scriptura (Sort of)

It seems that some of the Protestant church has fallen victim to tradition at the expense of Scripture. Read this to see what I mean.

Quoting from the article now:

"These questions came to me acutely not long ago. I was getting ready to preach. As the worship leader was finishing the music set, he offered some unscripted theological reflections. He said something like: "The only thing required of us is to believe that Jesus' blood saves us. Nothing more. It's nothing but the blood of Jesus."
In my Baptist context, we've heard these thoughts a thousand times. The problem was that I had in my pocket a message in which Jesus himself had a very different answer to the question of salvation."

Our former pastor used to refer to the process of professing faith, but not moving on in discipleship as "fire insurance." There is an edge to that comment, and a lot of truth. Unless you go where this author is going.

"In reading through Luke, I had discovered that twice (10:25, 18:18) Jesus is asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"
In the first passage, Jesus turns the question back on the lawyer who asks it. The lawyer replies with the Old Testament commands to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself (cf. Mt. 22:34-40). Jesus affirms his answer: "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live." The lawyer then tries to narrow the meaning of neighbor. So Jesus tells the unforgettable parable of the compassionate Samaritan, who proved to be a neighbor to a bleeding roadside victim.
In Luke 18, Jesus responds to the same question, this time from the man we know as the rich young ruler, by quoting the second table of the Decalogue, forbidding adultery, murder, theft, and false witness, and mandating honor towards parents. His questioner says that he has kept these commandments, and Jesus proceeds to call on him to "sell all … and distribute to the poor." Jesus assures him, "You will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." The "extremely rich" ruler won't do this, and Jesus goes on to teach his disciples about how hard it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God.
Trying to be an honest expositor of the texts in front of me, I told the chapel students that morning that on the two occasions in Luke when Jesus was asked about the criteria for admission to eternity, he offered a fourfold answer: love God with all that you are, love your neighbor (like the Samaritan loved his neighbor), do God's will by obeying his moral commands, and be willing, if he asks, to drop everything and leave it behind in order to follow him.
I concluded by suggesting that the contrast between how Jesus answers this question and how we usually do is stark and awfully inconvenient."

I'll confess that I have been lax in this area in my life. But I also am aware of what God sometimes calls us to do that is not convenient. Which is why I am in school and running my own business. I don't pay >$400/credit hour to amuse myself. But I do know that God has called me to something. And my proper response is "Yes Lord" whether I want to or not.


Biby Cletus said...

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regards Biby - Blog

bishopman said...

It is sad how we've boiled down the gospel to a few trite phrases, babbling some "sinner's" prayer at an altar, and you're in.

I am finding the Christian faith to be deeper and richer than I had thought, but also more challenging.