I know. I know. That’s a rather scandalous sounding charge isn’t it?
All the same…I’m purposely attempting to grab your attention. I stopped and started and stopped and started the decision to write this brief article. I believe most of my readers are very sincere about their faith. But, I also believe the heart of what I am addressing here is very important in walking in the steps of the Master. When I say “faith,” I mean two things:
- The Verb. The active participation in how one actively responds to the teachings of Scripture.
- The Noun. The system and order of doctrinal convictions and preferences.
Every clear thinking person wants to be right on such important issues. No one wants to be wrong in what they are believing and basing their lives.
To me, the only safe route is not so much to study theology to get the foundations of your faith straight. The safe route is to study Jesus. Anybody can do that by reading His stories in a prayerful attitude asking the Holy Spirit to make it real and tangible for them. Jesus told the Pharisee’s (the Theologians of His day), “You study the scriptures because you think that in them (the scriptures) you have eternal life. But, I tell you they (the scriptures) are meant to show you Me.” (John 5:39)
On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) Jesus, Himself (the best teacher there ever would be) taught the two men from Moses and the Prophets the things concerning Him. But…even – at best – all they got out of it was a “warm positive feeling.” They didn’t see Him until their eyes were opened. And that only happened after they had constrained Him to stay with them that night.
The study of the theology or doctrine – even by the world’s most anointed teacher – was not sufficient.
Do I believe it’s important to be serious about the intentions of the whole counsel of God through His Word, The Scriptures?
A resounding, YES. But in so doing, it must be for the purpose of seeing the whole picture…the entire intent. Too many times, the academic scholar is embroiled in his theological battles…not with ears to listen, but with the next answer to prove the “disagree-er” wrong.
While I’m at it…let me ask you why Jesus was crucified (from the standpoint of the Pharisees)?
Answer: They were charging Him with blasphemy. And…from their perspective on the Scriptures they could prove it. Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God and that He and the Father were One. The Pharisees whole believe system was established on the fact there there was only ONE true God. They believed this young “upstart” was attempting to lead the people into heresy. And…from their understanding, Jesus was blaspheming. Being good “protectors of the faith of their fathers” they were outraged. Not to mention the fact that this Jesus also broke their understanding of Sabbath laws….and so much more.
Most of them were wrong. Many of them converted to become Jesus followers.
So my fellow faith travelers…study Jesus.
And be very, very slow to charge anyone with blasphemy and heresy. Be very quick to learn Jesus through nurturing your relationship with Him.
<We’ll talk more later…>