Sunday, May 21, 2006

Really? Seriously?

Are you serious? About what? About your faith, that's what! Many people are now of the belief that "Evangelical" can no longer be defined, and what amounts to American Evangelical Culture is woefully shallow and weak. Any honest evaluation of most people who call themselves "Evangelicals" would note that most look an awful lot like the culture around them, except that they've "spiritualized" it by adding church and all its attendant activities to an already harried lifestyle. On top of that, they have added the great, honored American tradition of the rugged individual to the mix..."my faith is mine and no one else has a right to critique it."

So why is it that the churches that are growing are doing so with mass marketing techniques? Why is it that these churches have very few "deep" Christians? Why is it that most Christians within these churches cannot argue the case for good doctrine? Why is it that so many Christians determine their direction based upon "feeling?"

I think the bottom line is that we have lost any and all respect for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. God makes it clear through Paul in his letter to Timothy that all Scripture is profitable for all aspects of life. Sometimes determining how it applies to a given situation requires some study and work, but there is nothing under the sun that cannot be put in subjection to what God has told us in His Word.

The subset of Sola Scriptura is actual obedience to what the Word tells us. Jesus Himself tells us in the Gospels that obedience is tied to evidence that a believer loves Him. Paul writes in Romans that his goal is the "obedience of the Gentiles." James and John both dwell considerably on the topic of obedience. This is the doctrine of "Lordship." How often we use the title, "Lord," without actually comprehending what that implies. If Jesus is truly our Lord as well as our Savior, then we owe him the allegiance and obedience that a slave owes his master. Granted, Jesus loves us, and therefore serving Him should be a joy. But He is a master nevertheless. Our lives are not our own. We must set ourselves on the path to discerning what God has to say through Scripture and then actually doing it! It is through obedience that we show our love for our God. It is through obedience that we will be very different from our pagan neighbors. It is through obedience that we will show them the Gospel, rather than just telling them about it. It is through obedience that the love of God will shine through us to our family, our friends, our neighbors, and our world.

Does this obedience save? No. We are saved by grace, through faith. But Scripture also says that sanctification is required for salvation. And sanctification involves obeying the commands of Scripture in the power of the Holy Spirit so as to become more and more like Jesus.

So...are you serious? Are you ready to be different that then average evangelical Christian? Are you ready to see God's power in your life? Then do His will...which means living your life according to the commands, precepts, principles, and patterns of His inspired Word. We spend so much time trying to discern God's will for our lives or for a particular situation, and then often rely on feelings or circumstance to determine a direction. That is woefully inadequate. Any feeling or circumstance must be checked with Scripture. If it doesn't square, then it isn't a sufficient ground upon which to base a decision or a direction. If you want God's will, then do things His way...and you will be in His will!

3 comments:

DaveInSeoul said...
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DaveInSeoul said...

I am certainly glad to see other serious Christians blogging. I have just started one myself, called Following Christ. (http://christ-disciple.blogspot.com) I hope to share my deep thoughts on Christianity on my blog and salute you for doing the same on yours.

Charley said...

Please...I welcome your comments...but please have the courtesy to comment with a name. Any comments placed as "Anonymous" will be deleted.

Thanks for your understanding.

Charley