Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why Do Some People Need the Bible?

EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN: You say that the epistle to the Galatians tells me to simply listen to the internal voice of the Spirit. I would give you all the credence in the world if you could show me a single verse. It seems to me that the same person who wrote that all Scripture was useful for rebuking, correcting, teaching and training in righteousness, would hardly say "just listen to the internal Spirit".

MICHAEL: Here is your Galatian verse: "All who rely on observing the law (theological verses) are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law (Verses)." Galatians 1

As I mentioned before, Paul, Jesus and John spoke of at least two different kinds of religious people – those who are infants/children, and those who are mature/adults. In I Corinthians 1-3, Paul says to use the milk of the Word/Bible to talk with them because that is all they will listen to. They are incapable of seeing God teaching through all of life. So you have to accommodate them and demonstrate from their narrow set of texts to move beyond those texts! These milk drinkers, according to Paul, are worldly (self centered, sectarian, creedalistic and focused on a certain text or teacher). Then Paul spoke of those who could eat meat, or understand the deep things of God which are for the spiritually minded, those who have the mind of Christ. So yes, sometimes the Bible is used to correct and teach babies, but the Spirit teaches grown-ups directly.

The ultimate goal is to reach what Jeremiah prophesied 600 years earlier when he wrote that the LORD said, "That's right. The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant with Israel and Judah. It won't be a repeat of the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant even though I did my part as their Master." God's Decree. This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They'll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I'll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I'll forget they ever sinned!" God's Decree." The Message Bible

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