Saturday, March 15, 2008

Non-Readers read no further

Has your Christianity included a steady diet of Max Lucado, John Elledge & Gene Edwards, perhaps Ed Young & Joel Osteen, or G.K. Chesterton & C.S. Lewis maybe John Calvin, Martin Luther & Wycliffe? Now that I have probably offended everyone, please hear me out at least continue to read.

As a family we have been reading Table Talk for the last year and 1/2 or so. It is a monthly publication put out by Ligonier Ministries. The April 2008 issue's theme is the 3 forms of Unity. One of the articles is about the Heidelberg Catechism which I have never heard of before picking up this magazine, as I finished reading the article, it dawned on me - the Lord has given me a rich diet from a variety of saints who have gone on before me. This is why I posed the opening question. If we stay in one spot and let's say it is marked "Baptist & its' sympathizers" (my apologies to all my baptist friends) and only drink and eat the literature approved by them then we reject a whole bunch of wisdom that comes from other brothers & sisters in the faith.

Ecumenicalism is not what I am advocating but what I am saying is let us continue to be seekers of the truth. When the Bible says "seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open' it is not addressing the unbelievers - Jesus was speaking to His followers - when the Word says "seek, find & know" it is not for the unbeliever. Some may disagree but let's look at just three of those passages in context.
Matthew 5 verses 1 & 2
"1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: "
The Lord began to teach these followers for the next 3 chapters including
Matthew 7; 7-12
"7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

John 8; 31 & 32

31"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

If you continue searching the Scripture for these 3 verbs, look at them in context and ask the question, "who is being addressed in this passage?" You may be surprised.

It was one of those shining bright moments of gratitude that I have not been limited to just a certain flavor of Christianity. Please know that I realize that we are called to be discerning (and some who I have listed you or I may have an issue with) and to not just accept every book, author or preacher who holds up the bible and says, I am in the way of Christ. The scripture is my measuring stick and if you are a believer then I hope it is yours too.

Grateful for a God bigger than all my aha moments! CM

1 comment:

Grace Joan said...

This is a great "Aha" moment :)
Reading and studying things from people who agree and who disagree with my positions is something I don't always enjoy, but it is just as profitable (if not more so) to read something I emphatically am opposed to as it is to read books that are (in a sense) preaching to the choir.

But there is one essential part of all this reading that I think cannot be left out.
If I am going to read anything at all, I have come to the conclusion that I must commit myself to not simply reading and receiving information. I must have a dialog with the book I am reading. Talk back to it, write in the margins (or on sticky notes if it is a borrowed book...) - discuss it with other people, take it apart and put it back together. I'm doing my best to never let reading be a one sided conversation.

I love you!