Wednesday, August 24, 2011

24th August

Despite struggling a bit with M.E. and a lousy headache I’ve enjoyed today. My youngest daughter came to visit and after printing off her wedding invitations we went for my usual walk together. And she loves to debate the ‘big issues’ of life, as do I. So for a couple of hours we eat then walk and talk through a variety of topics finding a good degree of unanimity which is good as we see things from quite different perspectives. As a Bible believing Christian I have a fairly straightforward world-view… determining to see everything through the ‘lens’ of scripture. But I believe it’s really healthy to be challenged sufficiently to give one’s preconceptions a little shake and make sure that what we believe is actually valid. That which is truly of the Lord is unshakeable, that which is of man’s understanding will, at best, always be open to question.

It seems to me that we have to be careful how we use scripture. Whilst I do believe it is the inerrant Word of God what we do with it is just as important as what it actually says. The Lord Jesus came in love and mercy to give his life as a sacrifice for the sin of this world. He came to serve mankind, not to rule and reign as a judge and king… not yet anyway. So for me there are some fundamental self-evident truths that I believe such as: the existence of God, the nature of sin, the substitutionary work of Christ and that we live in a God created universe looking to the future return of Christ. That’s just for starters. But despite my absolute assertion of these truths I don’t consider it my right or duty to coerce others to believe the same. The Bible may divide those of different opinions but it should never be used legalistically to demand submission from anyone. Compliance with Christian beliefs should primarily come from the work of God in our hearts and minds not from a message of fear particularly from those in authority.

The Lord himself had harsh words for the legalistic religious leaders of his time on earth 2,000 years ago.

Matthew 3:7 ‘But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?’ (NIV)

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