December 10, 2015

What Do You Think

The young woman felt she was stimulating a spiritual conversation when she ask a man what he thought about a particular passage of Scripture. He responded, “Why are you asking me what I think? It’s in the book [Bible].” The man made a point that all too often we let thoughts and opinions trump the Word of God. James speaks to the same issue, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely” (James 4:4-5 NIV)?

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----My line of business often gives me the chance to observe property descriptions, those odd little paragraphs full of marks like “ ‘ and letters like SWE and ENE and such going on for line after line after line. My mind does not even try to follow it. But I correctly comprehend all those squiggles to be a precise set of instructions by which a transit and rod can be employed to draw an exact boundary line around a piece of land. To follow it simply requires an understanding of compass directions and how to operate a transit. That understanding forms a frame of mind. This frame of mind is taught precisely, because these communications are meant to precisely describe a piece of property.
-----Fortunately, the Bible is not like a property description, where, once having learned the code, all you have to do is apply it. The property description is a very digital like set of instructions. The Bible is very much more an analog set of instructions, even though that fails to capture just how much the Word lives. So, to understand the Bible deeply you must live the Bible deliberately. But if the Bible’s instructions are not so digital that just knowing the simple code is sufficient to produce in you the life behaviors for living it, then there is a gap standing between the Bible’s instructions and their effect upon your behavior, which then equates to an even bigger gap between what the Bible means and what you understand about it. What fills the gap? Frame of mind.
-----It would be nice if it were then as simple as the Holy Spirit framing our minds for us. Don’t let our beloved Pentecostal siblings know I said this, but unfortunately it does not work that simple. “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.” (I Cor 12:28) God’s no idiot. He did not make such appointments even though the Holy Spirit fills in all our gaps for us. He made such appointments because the Holy Spirit is not in the business of poking information into our minds as gap filler, especially in sight of, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, one is known by Him.” (I Cor 8:1b-3)
-----This is what I mean by the Bible is more analog. Instead of a precise set of instructions ran through a technically developed decoder to become knowledge in your brain, it is a collection of statements, descriptions, prescriptions, proscriptions, poetry, history, etc. with these few seminally attitudinal statements indicating mental paths for you to choose, like loving God to be known by God. So, when you head down that path with a sincere desire to find the truth, good sense itself is going to come knocking with the possibility that loving God also includes loving everyone God loves, which means you’re going to have to poke around for what love fundamentally means, because many people God loves you might not want to love. Some folks whom God appointed as teachers will have some ideas for you to consider, and you will have some ideas of your own to mix in. And considering that it all is done sincerely in search of what is true, then, “…we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit,” not entirely from a teacher and not entirely from your own efforts. It’s kind of like using approximations to find approximations indicating approximations ever zeroing in on the wonderful land, but never exactly pinpointing it, for processing it all keeps you honest. It is a frame of mind.

Love you all,
Steve Corey