The Paradox of Christianity ~ the Word in famine
The Paradox of Christianity
There is a burden I bear, a heavy lament I carry as I sense these words below from Amos are as living today as yesterday.
During the 8th century BC the Israelites languished in prosperity and would soon face the most tragic of starvation - God's word!
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord." ~ Amos 8:11
Amos had prophesied to a nation considered both stable and complacent, devoid of any real sense of impending doom. This imprint of Amos is a stamp yet again today.
Men still wander, men still stagger and men still thirst for living water. This hasn't changed as I scour the social media and enjoy a wide variety of congregations. So many have full pockets but empty faith.
1) God's living Word in famine
"We have spread so many ashes over the historical Jesus that we scarcely feel the glow of His presence anymore." ~ Brennan Manning
God's word is clouded, pulled, pushed and buried. It is viewed through the eyeglasses of theological optometrists. God's word is opaque and unilluminated because the Holy Spirit's revelation is neglected. The living Word is hidden under bushels of learning and out-of-sight to the less-educated.
People are in famine when they are fed man's view of the Bible and not God's view.
The result of a voracious gluttony at the Tree of Knowledge is that God's word is again in famine. God is no longer permitted to speak for Himself, nor is His Holy Spirit invited to contribute truthful explanation. The commentators and theologians now hold the keys to open scripture and unlock its truths. The scholars are now the popes of the protestant church. The Tree of Life informs Bible readers by the Holy Spirit of Truth but the Tree of Knowledge informs Bible readers by scholarship.
2) God is calling for another reformation.
The rhythmic tune of the Holy-Spirit inspired Holy-Bible has become discordant from the tuning of man using mans' tools. Bible reading does not need patterns, formulas or superimposed calendars. Study BIbles, Jesus' words in red and daily notes are no more necessary than robes for clergy or even the clergy themselves.
The scholars are now the popes of the protestant church.
The living Word of God is bound, constrained and shackled by the manacle of man's thinking, man's theology and man's dead intellectual worldviews. (Remember - theology is only attempting to think God's thoughts after Him, as science is man explaining God's actions without Him.) God's word has been trimmed to buttress man's poor theology. It has been harnessed to scaffold man's pride of learning. The personal witness of the Holy Spirit has been supplanted by mans' collective commentary on The Bible in an individual's life.
God's Word is to liberate - it is alive and sharper than any two edged sword. It holds eternal energy. God's word captivates, comforts, condemns and counsels. Within man's unholy theology it is bound by degrees and doctorates and restrained by context and culture. The opinions of higher learning have dulled scripture and diluted its power. This is all activity by those who eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
God's word has been sacrificed upon the altar of academic self-advancement. The Bible is now said to contain the Word of God but it is not the Word of God. The Tree of Knowledge can never explain the Tree of Life.
God's word is never to be limited by the paucity of man's imagination. It can no more be controlled than the Holy Spirit can be seen.
In the paradox of Christianity, the multiplying of learning and study is re-creating a famine of God's word when it should be setting a table of feasting. By the unsated consumption of the Tree of Knowledge students and academics alike are blinded to the Tree of Life. They are lied to and deceived. These lies and deceits are then repeated through countless pulpits and Christian education programs. All who hear and are taught the man picked fruits from the Tree of Knowledge should be spiritually hungry and thirsty.
God's word is never to be limited by the paucity of man's imagination.
The Word of God is both the way of life and the only way to life.
The Word of Truth is taught by the Spirit of Truth. Without the Spirit of Truth the Word of Truth cannot be apprehended. In the absence of the Spirit's guidance The Word is only misunderstood, misapplied and never illumined. #
Unlock the Holy Spirit of Truth from the jail of learning and lock the halls of knowledge, for God's word is not to be contained any more than water can be compressed.
God's Word comes to give life to the full, a rich abundance of well-being. Mans' unholy words to explain the Holy Word restrict it and famish the BIble's readers.
God's Word is not a word for personal promotion but a word for personal penance. It is not a word for achievement but a word of atonement. God's word is not for the honors seekers' but for the humble. It is for the sinner and not the saint. God's Word is life to the starving and thirsty.
Five hundred years ago French protestant Theodore Beza explained the strength of scripture:
"When the French monarch proposed the persecution of Christians in his dominion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, 'Sire, the church of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.' So the hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still lives.
So to backtrack to my original lament and Amos' prophecy; Christian's still starve of God's living word HOWEVER those who hammer the Bible from all their knowledge will find it wears them out, not them it!
The Anvil of God's Word
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith's door
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime:
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
"How many anvils have you had," said I,
"To wear and batter all these hammers so?"
"Just one," said he, and then, with twinkling eye,
"The anvil wears the hammers out, you know."
And so, thought I, the anvil of God's word,
For ages sceptic blows have beat upon;
Yet though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed... the hammer's gone. (Author Unknown)
We each need the Holy Spirit alone for when we are alone with The Word.
The Holy Spirit will inspire YOU from the Bible as He inspired the authors with the Bible.
# quoted from The Tower of Axioms - MyParable ... SoulSupply's sister site
NEXT MONTH - The Bible is the new golden calf & stripping the Bible of man's help.