The Lower Lights> March 2002|
Alan Jones, Editor
"Brightly beams our
From the lighthouse
But to us He gives the
Of the light along the
Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box
86-233, Westland, MI 48166
How should we
view the Scriptures? How should we interpret the Scriptures? According to
a poll taken by LIFE magazine in December of 1998, 67% of Americans
believe that the Scriptures are nothing more than the words of men. With
the percentage so high, obviously many "Christians" share this view.
Surely it is no wonder then that there is not a great deal of concern
about interpretation of Scripture among "Christians" and the prevailing
view is that one interpretation is as good as another. Why should
interpretation matter, if the Scriptures are not from God, but men anyway?
within "Christianity" claim to be following Jesus. Therefore, they should
be pre-pared to imitate His view of the Scriptures and His manner of
interpreting them. If not, they should give up any pretense of following
Him at all.
that O.T. writers such as David did not speak for themselves, but spoke
"in the Holy Spirit" (Mk 12:36). So which "Christian" will maintain that
the Scriptures are purely a product of the pens of men?
believed the Scriptures were inspired, He believed they were true. He
taught that Jonah being swallowed by a whale was an historical event (Mt
12:39-40). Which "Christian" will say that all accounts of miracles in the
Bible are myths?
accepted another logical consequence of the Scriptures being spoken from
the mouth of God- that they therefore speak to men with the authority of
God. When He was asked various spiritual questions, He referred men to the
THE answer (e.g. Mt 19:3-6; Lk 10:25-28). Which "Christian" then will say
that one's "Church", creed, priest, preacher, or family is the place to
turn for spiritual direction?
answered men from Scripture, He used the "book, chapter and verse",
"proof-text" approach to establish God's will on a matter. He hung
arguments on one word (Mk 12:35-37, "Lord"; Jn 10:33-36, "gods", and even
on the tense of a verb, "I am", Mk 12:18-27). Which "Christian" will call
such an approach to the Scriptures "technical", "nit-picky", or
taught the harmony of the Scriptures. He showed the Devil that his
interpretation of Ps 91:11,12 must be incorrect because it contradicted Dt
6:16 (Mt 4:5-7). By this, He pointed out that the "context" of Scripture
was crucial to its interpretation and that the "context" of any Scripture
includes all the rest of Scripture. Which "Christian" will uphold an
interpretation of a passage which contradicts another passage?
So, though we
live in a society where most do not believe the Scriptures are the Word of
God may we view the Scriptures as Jesus did, as inspired and therefore
true and the authoritative answer to every question. Though our neighbors
may say that interpretation does not matter, may we, as Jesus, "hang on
every word" , understanding it in the context in which it was said and the
context of all Scripture.
Let us either
truly follow Jesus or stop pretending that we are, when in reality, we are
not. May we truly be "Christians" or stop using and abusing His Name.
around metro Detroit are offering fish specials to attract those who, in
observance of Lent, must abstain from "meat", but are allowed to eat fish.
Many questions come to mind beginning with, "Who said fish is not meat?",
Why aren't "Christians" allowed to eat meat?, and "What is Lent?"
nor the "holy" day of Easter which it precedes are found in Scripture.
Therefore, they came from men and not Christ. The origin of Lent dates
back to the A.D. 300's when a period of fasting and repentance for forty
days before Easter was introduced. It was hoped that Lent would pre-pare
the worshipper for Easter and have some lasting effect throughout the
year. The restriction of food was designed to help the "Christian" subdue
his sinful appetites.
Paul, by the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, foretold that men would "advocate
abstaining from foods" (1 Tim 4:3), such as required by the Catholic
Church and some Protestant Churches at Lent. Paul was very plain in his
condemnation of men who would impose such dietary requirements:
fallen away (apostatized) from the faith (1 Tim 4:1). The New
Testament is meant by Jesus to be the one faith (Eph 4:4), once for all
delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Lent is not part of the faith. Those who
added it and those who observe it are doing so outside the authority of
"the faith" and thus have left it.
They have paid attention to deceitful spirits and
doctrines of demons (1 Tim 4:1). Simply put, Lent and its laws are
from the Devil and not God.
hypocritical liars with seared consciences (1 Tim 4:2). For men to
command something which God has not commanded is for them to lie, for they
issue their laws in His Name, when He has not spoken! These men are
hypocrites, for their actions are supposedly out of respect for God, when,
in reality, they are the heighth of disrespect! And, they have the gall to
speak "for God" without feeling guilty about it for their consciences are
The Holy Spirit
tells us the truth about eating meats. God has created all foods to be
gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. Nothing is
to be rejected. All food is set apart for man's use by God's Word and by
man's prayer of thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:3-4).
"Do not taste"
rules appear to have wisdom, but do nothing to suppress man's sinful
appetites. They are commands of men and not God and Christians should not
submit to them (Col 2:20-23).
It is not the foods that go
into a man which defile him, but the words and actions which come out of
his evil heart. Therefore, it is his thoughts, not his diet which must be
changed if he is to repent (Mk 7:18-23). Eating fish specials during Lent
will not draw a man closer to God and righteousness.
Copyright © *Palmer
Road Church of Christ* - All Rights Reserved
Design Template by Web Design Studio
The Lower Lights
On-line Bible Study
Study Tools / Links