• The New Golden Calf ~ the Word worshipped

    24 May, 2013

    The New Golden Calf       

    Introduction

    If we could free ourselves from the temptation to make faith a mindless assent to a dusty pawnshop of doctrinal beliefs, we would discover with alarm the essence of Biblical faith is in trusting God, not interpreting God and trusting theology. (The Italics are Brennan Manning, the brief postscript is mine.)

    Don't forget ... Theology is only thinking God's thoughts after Him.

    Don't forget ... God's ways our higher than man's ways and His thoughts higher than man's thoughts.

    The Bible offers depths no human can plumb, beauty beyond sight and riches that can never be spent.

    NO WONDER - the Bible offers no outline, checklist or program as to how it is to be read (except maybe one). God's word speaks through worldviews and across histories. The Holy Writ is both inside, outside and above culture. It is God's divinely inspired living word, lifted and applied by its author to its reader through the Holy Spirit of Truth.

    The Bible is the new Golden Calf

    Moses worshipped God while God's people fashioned a false gold image to worship. A legless Aaron assisted and guided the indulgence of those rescued from Egypt, while God's anointed leader was atop Sinai. This Golden Calf incident is without peer in human history - except today.

    God's word has been sacrificed too upon a man-made altar created in theological schools by the Tree of Knowledge.  It has been carved, pulled, pushed, moulded and poured into the shaping cauldron of man's scholarly opinion. The Word is now re-shaped to suit their ambitions, aspirations and reflect their own persuasions. God's Word has been fashioned into a sophisticated golden calf. All their valuables have been poured into it. The intellect that God gave the clever, the insights He favored them with and the skills of heaven upon their hands, have shaped this new golden calf. The learned have placed it upon a pedestal, removed their hats and bowed down to it. BUT this is God's Word and is to point to Him alone. It is revealed and explained by the Spirit of Truth and not the mind of man. The Bible is not to be worshipped but the author of it is.

    The Bible is not to be worshipped but the author of it is.

    God sent the written word that all should know and love the incarnate Word (Jesus); anything less is bibliolatry. Bibliolatry is a clever satanic sleight of mind that seduces the disciple to devote themselves to written words. Within this false worship they neglect even forget the creative and living Word - Jesus. (This point is developed at MyParable in The Hovering Cross.)

    There is world of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.~ Leonard Ravenhill

    Jesus blasted the Pharisees in John's Gospel:

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. ~ 5:39-40 

    The hallowed halls of learning are hollow with faith but rich with knowledge. As with the ancient Pharisees the Bible has again become worshipped above the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    The intellectually rich (but often spiritually poor) theologians have replaced the witness of the Holy Spirit with their witness to explain the written Word. Both academics and students alike bend the knee to luminaries while they turn their back upon the living Word, the true light of the world and Holy Spirit's inspiration.

    To read the Bible, receive its comfort and counsel while apprehending its wisdom and joy, requires no input/information/qualifications from the Tree of Knowledge. Are not the greatest in faith children yet they have little or no knowledge?

    The hallowed halls of learning are hollow with faith but rich with knowledge.

    The Tree of Knowledge is no more necessary to grasp Scripture than fine theology was for thief on the cross to greet Jesus in paradise.

    Study of the Word has replaced worship of The Word.

    The written Word is worshipped and the living Word is overlooked.

    The Evangelical church has placed the authority of theology over the authority of The Word. Is the contemporary protestant church any less culpable than today's ancient Roman Catholic Church? Both have placed men above the Bible and replaced Holy Spirit guidance with human intervention.

    CONCLUSION

    Recently I had a conversation with a Roman Catholic veterinarian during a very bright and festive Assyrian wedding banquet. She feared the Bible; she feared getting it wrong and so didn't read it. Dependence upon her priest and his learning was never going to move her third party faith into an intimate first party relationship with the living Word - Jesus.

    Christians need not fear that are too ill-educated to read or teach the Bible as long as they rely on the Holy Spirit. To hear God's voice and read His words is all that is required. Heaven offers no blunt examination of the head just a caressing counsel to the heart.

    As with the thief on the Cross - Heaven already knows that it holds your hands and owns your heart. You can hear direct from heaven..

    ENJOY some fine counsel from Charles Spurgeon ~ HOW NOT TO READ SCRIPTURE

    NEXT MONTH ... Stripping the Bible of man's help or removing the human scaffolding.