----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: Spiritual Authority of the Bible
(Steven) I spent some time on your website. You have obviously put a great deal of time and energy into assembling all the information found there including your own writing. I applaud your passion.
I found your essay on "Legislating in a Christian Nation" interesting. While reading that, I became curious about something. I began to wonder what Christ said about scripture. The only passage I am aware of is where He says, "the scripture says so-and-so, but I say thus-and-so."
During the time of his ministry, religious people had their holy writings, their holy scripture. Did he teach that people ought to regard scripture as the final word on spiritual matters? What did he actually say about this? Do you know?
All the best,
Thanks for looking at my site. Yes, I've spent a lot of time and expressed much passion in pursuing the expression of the ideas. Deeply confronting the issues of politics, society, economy, science, defense, education, and religion has had a deep effect on my perception of life. After this long analysis of many points along the spectrum of life I am much more comfortable with my belief structure, having closed many of the open questions about life. This does not mean that I have answered all of life's questions; rather, I have seen the limits of man's knowledge and reason, and seen the points beyond which faith must extend.
(Steven) "I began to wonder what Christ said about scripture. The only passage I am aware of is where He says, "the scripture says so-and-so, but I say thus-and-so."
During the time of his ministry, religious people had their holy writings, their holy scripture. Did he teach that people ought to regard scripture as the final word on spiritual matters? What did he actually say about this? Do you know?"
All the references to Scripture that Jesus gave were worded in a different way than you have phrased it, but I believe the intent of His stand on following the precepts of the Old Testament, and His words can be deduced from scriptural cues. The following was said by Paul:
This statement refers to using scripture as our defense. The underlying thesis of the Bible is that God's standard is final, exalted, true, just, and right. He designed the universe and it functions according to the Law He embedded within every particle of matter and soul substance. Thus, because of God's imposition of Law on the creation, Truth exists. The way the universe is built and responds is Truth. We may not be able to identify or predict the active rules operating in God's World at any given time,
entify God's perspective in any.... Whether we can find an exact answer that applies to our concern in 21st Century life that is addressed specifically in Scripture is not the issue. Ultimately, we must attempt to know the mind of God by study, prayer, meditation, and counsel and then act on our conviction of Truth. Ultimately the Holy Spirit is the leader of our hearts and minds in giving us that leading in the truth.
Regarding the issue of whether
Jesus said that scripture is the final word on spiritual matters: I think
the words of Jesus were more declarative than meta-comment about their
truth. He simply said what was true and false; he
gave analogies and parables about the
I look at the Bible as a hologram. Each portion of the scripture really does reflect the whole of scripture, but the larger the piece you look at, the more clearly you see the details in the picture. There are scriptures that if taken out of context, and placed side by side, would look contradictory. But, when placed in the larger context, or the way God has created the creation, and used the historical unfolding, the revelations, and the inspiration of men, He was able to create a mosaic that reflected His larger plan. The scriptures truly are a masterpiece of guidance and revelation about the face and nature of God. And, to the person who wishes to see them as foolish, they will be.
Jesus never disagreed with scripture, i.e. the Old Testament. He said many times, "It is written" and used that as an example of principles. There were times when he clarified the meaning and true original intent of the scripture. He was qualified to do this because He was there, He was/is the God of the universe, so he could say with authority what was meant, intended, actually happened.
Jesus said in,
18 For verily I say unto
you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise
pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Jesus talked about being angry and lusting.
Mathew 5:21 Ye have
heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and
whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
Jesus talked about lust saying: Do not commit adultery, I say, if you look at a woman with lust in your heart it is as if you have committed adultery already.
Mathew 5:27 Ye have heard that
it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit
The Pharisees said they could write a bill of divorce for any reason, and Jesus said from the beginning it was not so.
Jesus said, I came not to overturn the Law but to fulfill the law.
Your question brings up the question of whether scripture has enough authority, clarity, and consistency to be the basis of legislation.
The answer is yes. As I defend in the various pieces, I do not think we should have/be a theocracy. A priest class that judges orthodoxy is the surest way to tyranny. Rather, our nation should be based on an unspoken, generally accepted, implicit moral foundation based on the Biblical scripture. We should be a nation of people who are dedicated to reading scripture, interpreting it as we believe best, and we should vote as our heart leads from a place of wisdom, experience, and knowledge.
In such a State, the scripture becomes a bias toward the choice of the laws, leaders, limitations/requirement of behavior, and types of systems that we impose upon ourselves. Without such a governing principle biasing our decisions we are subject to the morality of a people who have simply followed their own flesh. Various pressures move men to believe and act and regulate their behavior. No society will be homogeneous in its belief structure or philosophy. As a result, there will always be sincere and sinister attacks on the status quo paradigm and ruling class. Such a society with its multiplicity of influences and perspectives will necessarily challenge the purity and validity of the moral paradigm, expose its hypocrisy, and confront the impracticality of limitations imposed by a belief structure that was more of man's making than God's.
Sadly, in our current society we see an erosion of the open system of choice. We could at one time as a society choose to pray in school, to legislate against certain behaviors that were clearly unBiblical. But in recent years we have been told by the courts that such legislation is unconstitutional, i.e. against the intended conception of the Founders. As a result, a new Constitution has been put in place where only Secular Humanist moral standards may be legislated.
Personally, I evaluate these developments as an attempt to forcibly and intentionally remove Christianity and the Scripture as the backbone and moral standard of the society. I see a cabal purposefully prohibiting the use of scripture as the standard of any law. This has been done even though the people have chosen to be subject to the constraints and requirement of the Biblical scripture since its inception. I believe we will suffer as a nation as we depart from the Biblical standards.
The courts have become the
agents for the legislation of the edict to cleanse the public
So, there's my insight on the subject. What is your perspective?
Great hearing from you, thanks for the question. I love a good interaction.
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