Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stinkin thinkin

About a year and a half ago, I was in a small town in Missouri, staying in a motel. A lady, I came across, asked me to read a book and comment on what I read. I honestly do not remember the title of the book, but the gist of it was that Christians had given up on the Bible, and only paid attention to parts of the New Testament. Then in the latter portion of the book, space was given to document how the “holiness” people were the greatest violators.

My comment to her, was that I came from the “holiness” tradition, and had never heard of the things the book was claiming. Having been a preacher/minister, I was familiar with including ALL of the Bible in messages. I had to claim ignorance on what the book was professing.

More recently, I was introduced to a Bible study group who were studying the New Testament book of Romans. In the course of the meetings, the leader handed me a book to read. I don’t recall the title of this book either, but it laid out for all the world to see, the particulars of dispensationalism.

As I understood the premise, in order to rightfully divide the Word of God, we must first recognize to whom each portion of the Word is addressed to. Basically, any passage after the covenant with Israel, nee Jacob, was only applicable to the sons of Israel. Anything listed in the gospels was only applicable to Jews.
The Pauline epistles were directed to the “gentiles”, and therefore, efficacious for use by our non-Jewish world.

In a later discussion between myself and the leader of the group, he intimated that he was a “dispensationalist” and did not see the entire Bible as being pertaining to us non-Jews in the modern world. As we talked, I felt like I was being backed up against a wall, and was being dared to articulate why I was not a dispensationalist.

In hindsight, I sense that what I was witnessing, to help me understand this idea of dispensationalism, is the idea of not necessarily rightly dividing the Word of God, but dividing the Christian belief. It all kind of came together for me, this morning as I read My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, Dodd, Mead & Co, New York, 1935, pg 127.


“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” Gal. v. 1.

A spiritually minded man will never come to you with the demand -- “Believe this and that;” but with the demand that you square your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One Whom the Bible reveals (cf. John v. 39-40). We are called to present liberty of conscience, not liberty of view. If we are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty -- the liberty of realizing the dominance of Jesus Christ.
Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jesus. Bow your neck to His yoke alone, and to no other yoke whatever; and be careful to see that you never bind a yoke on others that is not placed by Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us out of the way of thinking that unless everyone sees as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one liberty, the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.
Don’t get impatient, remember how God dealt with you -- with patience and with gentleness; but never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples,” not “make converts to your opinions.”

And that kind of settles it for me. My belief, and trust, is in Jesus Christ alone. Whatever the current dispensation may be, the bottom line for me, is I have found refuge in Christ alone, and His promise that His Holy Spirit would be with me, within me, to remind me of all He has said, and to lead me into all truth.

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Thanks. Sometimes, I need reminding.