Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thoughts on Manchester

I grew up pre 9-11. Pre-Columbine. Pre-Oklahoma City. Pre-ISIS and pre-so many horrific deaths. Our children shouldn't have to grow up in fear. We feel angry, sad, confusion and so much more. As a Christian we look to God for understanding and can become frustrated when no answers seem apparent. I join so many others in trying to remember that God was with every victim, and that we only see through a mirror dimmed at this point. Scripture tells us this place is not our final home. There are no words, except Lord in Your mercy.

Rev. Michelle

Monday, May 15, 2017

Faith or Opinion?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
II Tim. 3: 16-17

How many of you have heard a friend say this (or something very similar):  “I know what Jesus and the Bible say about ‘XYZ’ --- but I think…

That is a really significant sign of a Liberal/progressive faith.

I really do believe that the Bible, in its original language, is the inspired Word of God, and the infallible rule of faith and practice.  It cannot be wrong, changed, added to, or deleted from.

The main obstacle to people understanding the Bible is that they don't take the time to learn what it has to teach us.  In other words, they don't take it literally enough.

Almost 100 years ago, Presbyterian Theologian and Professor wrote a book titled Christianity and Liberalism.  In it he posits that Christianity and Liberalism are incompatible.  It is important to understand that he was not speaking of social or political Liberalism, but theological.  In Protestant theology, the opposite of "liberal" is not "conservative."  It is "Reformed."

Liberal theology begins with the assumption that humanity is basically good, while Reformed theology assumes humanity is totally depraved. (There are plenty of liberal believers who are quite conservative in their politics, and vice versa.  I doubt if anyone could get elected if s/he told people they were "totally depraved.")

One of the liberal/progressive shared purposes is to portray Biblical doctrine, like sin, as outdated and inconsistent with modern understanding on a number of issues. For instance, for "progressives," on the issue of sexuality, gender and marriage practice, calls things normal that the Bible calls abnormal, abominable or sinful.  A liberal/progressive theologian does not believe that the scriptures are in fact the Word of God.  They believe that the scriptures are a book written by men which, while it may contain the word of God must none the less be read and interpreted in the light of one’s experience and the culture.
Liberal/progressive theology questions the Lordship of Christ, the efficacy of Jesus' atoning death, the miracles of the Bible, many of the commandments of God – even revelation itself. (If people are basically good, do they need a savior to die for them?)
The only way anyone can justify hyping their liberal/progressive agenda is with a theology of accommodation, taught from a loose-leaf bible.  What it comes down to is whether your faith is a matter of objective truth or of personal opinion; a politically correct, culturally accommodating agenda, or the sound doctrines of Scripture?