Why is the Bible, and not God, our First Core Belief?


(Patrick Travis) #21

Is thiis wahat you are referring to? GC p.388.
Rome withheld the Bible from the people and required all men to accept her teachings in its place. It was the work of the Reformation to restore to men the word of God; but is it not too true that in the churches of our time men are taught to rest their faith upon their creed and the teachings of their church rather than on the Scriptures? Said Charles Beecher, speaking of the Protestant churches: “They shrink from any rude word against creeds with the same sensitiveness with which those holy fathers would have shrunk from a rude word against the rising veneration of saints and martyrs which they were fostering. . . . The Protestant evangelical denominations have so tied up one another’s hands, and their own, that, between them all, a man cannot become a preacher at all, anywhere, without accepting some book besides the Bible… There is nothing imaginary in the statement that the creed power is now beginning to prohibit the Bible as really as Rome did, though in a subtler way.”–Sermon on “The Bible a Sufficient Creed,” delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846.

Of all things, in the SDA church? :slight_smile:


(Frankmer7) #22

If this is true, then if workers in the church don’t affirm the Adventist creed, which includes accepting EGW and her writings as a source of authority in addition to the Scriptures, they’ll be gone! Give any denomination time, and they always seem to travel down the same path.

Thanks…

Frank


(Frankmer7) #23

The biblical scholars of Jesus’s and of Paul’s day cited the Scriptural basis for undergoing circumcision and adherence to the entire Sinai covenant as being necessary for Gentiles to be accepted into the people of God. They had the letter of the Scriptures on their side. It was a covenant that the Scriptures said was to last forever, just as circumcision was a sign that was said in the Scriptures to last forever.

What happened? Jesus rose from the dead. The Spirit was poured out, and descended upon his followers. Saul of Tarsus was confronted by the risen Jesus, and began preaching to Gentiles that faith in Jesus as the Messiah/ joining his movement, was enough for them to belong to God, apart from circumcision and apart from the Torah. The worked out biblical theology came later. What happened was that God moved dramatically in the world in the person of his Son, and through the power of his Spirit.

Those who clung to the Scriptures for eternal life, and not Jesus, were told by him in John’s gospel that they were missing the boat. Entirely! The Scriptures testify of him, as he said. But, that only became evident to his followers after experiencing him. After witnessing the power of his resurrection and his Spirit. The role of the Scriptures followed after the presence and power of Jesus and his Spirit had been experienced in the world, not the other way around. They didn’t deduce Jesus from the OT. In fact, Jesus of Nazareth could never have been intellectually deduced from the OT. This is why Paul could say, that “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it ever entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.” He was speaking of a crucified and risen Messiah. This is why John could write, “That which was from the beginning, that which we have seen with our eyes, and handled with our hands, and have gazed upon, this we proclaim to you concerning the Word that is life.” John, Paul, and the rest of the apostles and Jesus followers experienced Jesus and the power of his Spirit first, and then reshaped their vision of their Scriptures after they did.

What does this mean for us? That Jesus is above all Scriptures? That we can become so bound up in the letter of scripture, that we totally miss the active move and power of God and his Spirit in the world, apart from our slavish adherence to the Scriptural letter? That Jesus can be at work in ways we would never think of or expect, because we are so bound to the letter, not only of the Bible, but of our interpretive traditions?

Yes, we need to test the spirits. Yes, the Scriptures can play a role in that. But Jesus spoke more of the idea that we can evaluate a teacher or prophet by their fruits. Not by their supposed Scriptural orthodoxy. The champions of the latter, in his day, sought to kill him, and then went after the fledgling movement around him. How about today? It’s happening right within the walls of Adventism.

Thanks…

Frank


(Thomas J Zwemer) #24

Is not the proper order—God,Creation, Man, Sin, Redemption, Gratitude, Generosity. A humble walk, Restoration.


(George Tichy) #25

As I said several times, Wilson uses Machiavellian strategy to reach his dictatorial goals.


(Thomas J Zwemer) #26

Not even God demands that kind of subservience. I am a sinner in need of the Grace that God in Christ paid at an extreme cost. Thank be to God for His unspeakable gift. No institution can serve as a middle man or a sorting tool. At best it can offer way marks and a gathering place of encouragement and praise.,


(George Tichy) #27

Remember that TW was raised in the Middle East, and also worked in Russia. Apparently he was like a sponge, absorbing those cultures’ mannerisms and abusive behaviors. And he is also Neil’s son.

Put this all together, and it’s now clear why he believes that he and the Church he should be leading have the right to intercept/stop every member’s direct communication with the Heavens. He does not understand a simple concept: The Church does not save us, neither can it condemn us! When a Church starts behaving this way, the only response from the member should be voting those religious dictators out. Fast! Those people need to get out of the members’ way!

But, I bet the next move will be sending some “commitment letters” to each member in the mail, right?

Geeeezzzz, when will this craziness be banned from our Church???


(Thomas J Zwemer) #28

His dad gave him a head start.


(Cfowler) #29

Are you in North America, Peter? Australia?


(Steve Mga) #30

Reading Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Both Corinthians, Colossians it is
evident that Paul PROMOTED Orthopraxy over Orthodoxy.
Paul’s Orthodoxy was – Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ arose, Christ
is sitting at the right hand of the Father and we can enter the Most Holy
place ourselves without a mediator. The Holy Spirit prays with us, prays
what we REALLY desire the most, and the Father can understand the Spirit.
BUT Paul was BIG on Orthopraxy! And leaves his Orthopraxy Lists for us.


(Patrick Travis) #31

Hi Frank,
I don’t want to get into an extended conversation of what came first, “the chicken or the egg.” My point is that BOTH what is written/recorded about the literal life and presence - walk of Christ with individuals informed of the HS AS WELL as what these things mean and how are they related to the people of God of all times are important.
What things are related just to the OT economy and what things the present age of the church.

There are so many abstract opinions of what people see in Christ. So we need to test the various spirits/ideas as to what are the best answers of who Christ is. For example some see Him as only “loving and forgiving” and never a “future” God of judgment, repayment and vengeance at His appearing. Rev.19;20. Scripture can be both overstated AND understated.

The devil can appear as an angel of light and might be construed as showing “good fruits” for a season. He is a master manipulator and deceiver.
Scripture is there for a “big view” of how to see false doctrine.

None of us saw Christ as did the early disciples. None of us touched and handled Him and His words. So, even led of the HS “apart from scripture”, if such a thing is possible, one needs a way to see if these things are so. True Christ with us was the best Picture/revelation humanity has received.

I hear you and don’t disagree in principle. Perhaps a few illustrations from dentistry. We are taught rigorous techniques as the basis for good outcomes. All operators don’t have equal outcomes while following those techniques. As Tom will agree, some have a gift (a spirit) for doing excellent dentistry that can’t be taught. However the most gifted if straying to far from the taught techniques will have failures. So, scripture likewise is a safeguard.
So, I see it as “both/and” in our Christian Journey. I also feel there needs to be a distinction between “General and Special” revelation. The “later needs to be taught” to clarify the picture.
Regards,
Pat
@tjzwemer

The fruit of Spirit teaching and life—includes.
“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. Jn.16:5-15. NASB


(Frankmer7) #32

Pat…

You know that I’m all for accurate exegesis and application of the Scriptures. At least I think that’s obvious from what I post. But, this has its limitations, I think. We have thousands of different denominations, all claiming sola scriptura, and all claiming that their interpretive views are the truth. Adventism,Calvinism, Arminianism, Methodism, Lutheranism, and the isms go on and on. Christianity has divided ad infinitum over different views of propositional and doctrinal truth, all claiming thier basis from the Scriptures. To me, it is a form of bibliolatry that is at the root of this division.

The biblical record points beyond itself to the idea that Truth is a person, and that person needs to be experienced. He, through his Spirit, needs to invade human lives and community. When this happens, the corresponding fruit will appear. During his lifetime, he did this in the most surprising and most shocking way, and it left the biblically orthodox of his day stunned, and generally in the dust. After his resurrection, he brought, through his Spirit, uncircumcised Gentiles into the people of God, against all that the letter of the Scriptures were saying, and again left the biblically orthodox aghast.

All I’m saying is that he can still do this. While I agree that the scriptures are the primary source document in the endevour to test teaching and test the spirits, we can still become so locked into our interpretive traditions and boxes of propositional and doctrinal truths, that we can miss the move of God in this world that is not bound by what we think scriptural truth may be. God moved abolitionists in the south in the 19th c., and bible believing Christians used the bible to fight against it. They had biblical text to back it up. The same during the Civil Rights movement. Where could he be moving and active now that the church, with all of our biblical knowledge and tradition, is not acknowledging? Could this be happening today?

God and Christ, while testified to by the scriptures, is still above the scriptures and our interpretations of them. I think that Jesus made this clear to his contemporaries. We are no less or more human than they when handling scriptures, even with the NT, and prone to the same problems as we handle them. Without acknowledging this, I fear that we know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.

Thanks, Pat…

Frank


(Patrick Travis) #33

Frank,
“Bibliolatry” is a pejorative word fostered by those who see a marked difference in special revelation and experiential. Or, beginning with the “German School Liberalism” and also later “Neo-Orthodoxy that makes God ‘totally other’”:. Both abhor “propositional revelation” and demand experience mainly.
The Protestant Reformers never claimed that “sola scriptura” eliminated personal experience. They simply say all must be ultimately “judged/considered” by it for validity. This is done by a covenant community of believers.
I see all the different churches attempting in their own way to follow scripture, scripture and experience, or experiential mainly. I am not judging them…will they reciprocate or use terms like “Bibliolatry.”

Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you…
17 But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. I Cor.11:1-2, 17-19.
Those approved at the “end of the end of days” will be made known.

Till then brother can we both say we are attempting to come at some balance/resolution from a different perspective of “how we can know.” 1)Wriiten alone, 2)Written, interpreted of the HS with Spirit led experience, or 3)experience alone felt to be of the HS,
I suggest #2.
Regards.
Pat


(Steve Mga) #34

There is an Ancient prayer method for reading and praying with the Bible.

  1. READING. In the 1st phase we understand what the passage we are reading says
    in itself. This is the Literal meaning of the Scripture passage and the lessons
    recognized in reading it.
  2. MEDITATION. In the Meditation phase we ask – What does this text say to me,
    today, and to my life? Meditation is an opportunity to see ourselves in the text.
  3. PRAYER. In meditation we experience an intimate encounter with God that
    leads us to respond in prayer. Having met our Lord in His holy word, we speak to
    Him in our own words.
  4. CONTEMPLATION. Through contemplations we come to an understanding of
    the parts of our lives that need to be transformed by God’s grace.
  5. ACTION. HOW am I called to take this experience out into the world?

(Frankmer7) #35

Here’s an example of being bound up in the letter of the scriptures in Adventism today…women’s ordination. The Spirit has moved powerfully through women pastors in China and throughout the world. Opponents typically ignore this, and trot out all kinds of proofs against it from the bible. In Jesus’s day they mounted all kinds of proof texts against a suffering Messiah. Yet, he died and rose from the dead, the Spirit was mightily at work in this. After Jesus ascended, Gentiles responded to the gospel and received the Holy Spirit, apart from the Law. Again, biblical arguments were mounted against accepting them into full fellowship apart from circumcision and Torah observance. The rest is history. The question is, who was on the right side of it?

The second question… is there anything under the sun? The third, is being biblically orthodox and being Spirit led always one and the same?

Thanks…

Frank


#36

Frank,

You are trying to introduce a false dichotomy between Jesus and Scripture as if it was impossible to follow Jesus while staying faithful to the Bible.

In the time of Jesus, there was nothing wrong with the Scriptures. It was the people who were in the wrong, not the Bible.

Tell me, what would you know about Jesus without the Bible? Not much…

What would you know about his teachings without the Bible? Not much…

Jesus was not ashamed of Scripture, He who was often saying: “It is written”.

Yes, Jesus wants us to have a relationship with him but we are supposed to receive his teaching also and where do we find it? In the Bible.

Do we think that Jesus would be happy if we neglect studying the Word of God just because we say that we have a relationship with him?

Paul said to Timothy (and to us also):

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”
(2 Tim 2:15)

Nothing is clearer than that.

Also, you are not totally correct when you said that Jesus spoke more of the idea that we can evaluate a teacher or prophet by their fruits. Not by their supposed Scriptural orthodoxy.

First of all, how can you evaluate a teacher or a prophet if you don’t know what the criteria are? These criteria are in the Bible. Why do you think Jesus was always saying: “It is written”? Precisely because we have to know if what we see or hear is orthodox. Jesus himself said that many would come in his name (Mat 24:5), that many false prophets would also come (Mat 24:11) and that they would perform miracles (Mat 24:24) and that they would deceive many people. Why? Jesus said in Mat 24:25:

“Behold, I have told you before.”

So, why would so many people be deceived? Because many people neglect to study Scripture. Many people called themselves Christian but don’t really know what Jesus taught.


#37

Frank, I have never understood this. It seems the Adventist leadership wants to hide this wonderful work in China, a place I have wondered for decades how the Gospel would be spread. It’s as if they claim the women aren’t really Adventist, or the ordinations are fake, or women don’t count or aren’t technically official, or claimed by the Church.

Why not, “Praise the Lord! God is working through ordained women in China to plant and build up churches.”

“The Holy Spirit is working in China! Let’s pray for more wonderful women pastors working hard to build up the Gospel and churches in China.”

“What wonderful role models for our young women across the world!”

God, forgive us for our evil discrimination that cripples Your Gospel message going to the entire world. Help us support our sisters in Christ who have answered Your call and speak, teach, preach, nurture, and baptize. Praise God!!


#38

While I don’t dispute that he lived overseas, remember that TW graduated from both JNA school and Takoma Academy in the 1960’s. While being his father’s son obviously shaped him, as well as living in TP in its heyday, he certainly lived in a very American culture for many of his formative years. His authoritarian manner can’t be excused by Middle Eastern influences.


(Peter) #39

I am in North America!


(Cfowler) #40

Thanks for your reply…this is an interesting development. Keep us posted if you hear of further discussion.