Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stuck in the Box

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5:39, 40 NIV
Yesterday I went googling to see what I could find about a new (to me) ministry I've been learning about. I spent two weekends listening to the teaching of this ministry and one thing that struck me was how Scriptural it is. No verses or passages were twisted to fit and nothing taught was dependent upon a particular translation being used.

But as I googled, I was saddened by the plethora of writing against this ministry—saying it is unscriptural, dangerous and of the devil. My reading of Oswald Chambers this morning speaks to why this happens:
...we have made up our mind that God will only come along certain lines, and like the religious people of His day, when He comes on another line, we do not recognise Him.*

...we are always prejudiced over what we know least about and we foreclose our judgement about it.... Every point of view which I hold strongly makes me prejudiced and I can see nothing else but that point of view... [and] intolerant of any other point of view.

...Scriptures may distort the mind away from Jesus Christ. Unless we know the Living Word personally first, the literal words may lead us astray. The only way we can understand the Bible is by personal contact with the Living Word, then the Holy Spirit expounds the literal words to us along the line of personal experience.... Difficulties come because beliefs and creeds are put in the place of Jesus Christ....

Christian doctrines are the explanation of how Jesus Christ makes us saints, but all the doctrine under heaven will never make a saint. The only thing that will make a saint is the Holy Ghost working in us what Jesus Christ did in the Atonement.... Jesus Christ will reveal God to all who come to Him, not those who accept certain creeds or doctrines....
Scripture is vital, the right doctrines essential, but Christianity is about relationship with a living God who has a vested interest in the minutest aspects of our lives, not about correct theology. The Pharisees knew the Scriptures and probably had much of them memorized, but they totally missed the mark when it came to recognizing the very Messiah they were watching for. Why are so many believers today afraid of being in relationship with their Creator, afraid that listening to him might lead them astray, afraid to explore new ways of meeting him? There is so much God wants to do for us if only we’d let him.

Lord, I want to know you intimately, to come to you for life and the essence of living. I want you to illuminate every part of me, including the hidden recesses that even I don’t see. I want to know you so well that no matter how you step out of the box of my expectations, I will recognize and know you. Let it be so.

*All non-scriptural quotes are from “Bringing Sons Unto Glory” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, pages 238-240.

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