| Jumping Off the Doctrinal Cliff|
You walk to the edge of a cliff and peer out toward the horizon. To your left and right you see the cliff's edge, filled with rocks of various types, all different and all interesting. Just a few hundred yards in front of you, at the bottom of the cliff, you see some seals jumping and swimming. Further out you see some small islands, and you wonder if anyone's feet has ever touched those islands. And on the edge of the horizon you see a beautiful sunset, flooding a blue ocean with oranges and pinks that just cannot be described for all their beauty. And underneath the waters of the ocean, many great mysteries. What's underneath the surface? What could possibly be down there? You're taken by the beauty, by the stunning scene, and by the mystery. In an effort to explore the whole scene and satisfy your thirst for more, you take another step forward......off the cliff.
I think a lot of times we do this with doctrine or with truths we cannot quite nail down. We see things like the sovereignty of God, and behold the absolute beauty of it. But the Bible only says so much. It isn't a dissertation on that doctrine or many other doctrines. I find myself walking to the edge of what the scriptures say and beholding all the the beauty, all the splendor, and all the mystery. However, the moment I step beyond the scriptures and begin to make inferences, I have jumped off the doctrinal cliff.
One of the things I really appreciate about the Lord is that He has setup so many glorious truths in His word, but then left what is beyond those things as a mystery. Sometimes I think it is OK to walk out to the edge of what the Lord has revealed about truth and just enjoy the view. As an example: I can see that Jesus is coming back and I can gather all the scriptures about His coming together and enjoy the view, but there are some things that are a mystery about it, even still. If I attempt to move beyond what is revealed in His Word, then all I do is plummet off the cliff.
That's how I handle doctrine. Any thoughts?
| 2018/4/19 11:06||Profile|
| Re: Jumping Off the Doctrinal Cliff|
I like your approach, IF I can enjoy the view.
The implications of certain doctrinal views make the view not so enjoyable. Perhaps not for everyone, but for me.
So then my option is to 1) not look at the view at all, or 2) try to determine if that doctrine is actually true.
In my younger years I defaulted to option 1; as I have read the scriptures many times and learned more over the years, my default is option 2.
| 2018/4/19 11:17||Profile|
| Re: |
Well, the assumption is that what you are viewing IS true. If it is in the Bible, it's true. You might not understand a lot about it, but I don't understand a lot about stars and I enjoy looking at them.
| 2018/4/19 11:51||Profile|
| Re: |
havok20x....You might not understand a lot about it, but I don't understand a lot about stars and I enjoy looking at them.
I don't understand a lot about electricity, but I'm not going to set around in the dark.. :-)
| 2018/4/19 11:58||Profile|
| Re: |
I consider it absurd that Bible/God critics insist one understand everything about God, the Bible when they don't understand everything in life, either, like electricity.... Is it not amazing that with all the knowledge man has acquired since creation that man still does not know everything?
| 2018/4/19 17:43||Profile|
| Re: |
That's a good one. I think I am going to pilfer that and use it as an example later!
| 2018/4/19 21:11||Profile|
| Re: Jumping Off the Doctrinal Cliff|
I always go back to 1 Corinthians 2. The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness unto Him. If I am trying to interpret scripture and establish a perspective on doctrine through intellectual means, I will always get it all fouled up and wind up off the cliff so to speak.
Jesus taught this very thing in the parable of the sower, the parable of the talents, and the parable of the pounds. The disciples asked a very obvious question that I will paraphrase. "Jesus, if you want them to know spiritual things, why not just out and tell them instead of telling them vague stories about sowing crops?" Jesus responds by telling the disciples that the people had ears that did not hear and eyes that did not see. But the disciples had ears that both saw and heard. The difference was the means of hearing and understanding. Carnal in the people who were still bound up under the law and spiritual in the disciples. He who has spiritual ears and makes his investment in the things of the Spirit, to Him will be more be given, but to him who does not make this investment and remains carnal, from him will be taken away even what he seems to have.
I have found that the most important element to having sound doctrine is having a heart that desires ever increasing intimacy with God. I have watched men who the world would say are unlearned expound scripture in ways that have blown my mind. Amazing spiritual truth and sound doctrine came out from them as they committed themselves to spending time with the Father in intimacy.
I know of one pastor who made extremely poor grades in high school. He could honestly say that he graduated high school having read only one book in its entirety. God called Him to pastor after he finally surrendered to the Lord. I have watched this man spend copious amounts of time with God each day, and huge amounts of time simply reading and meditating on scripture, and I have seen amazing revelation and soundness come from him. He will tell me what God is teaching him from scripture, and I will tell him all of the scripture references he missed that totally verify what God is telling Him.
Study to show yourself approved...YES! But I believe that this study is only as effective as the intimacy the man is experiencing with God. After all, God wrote it, it is spiritual, it is spiritually discerned, and so we need spiritual understanding to get it right. We need the author to interpret it and put it all together for us.
| 2018/4/24 15:33||Profile|