Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sword of the Spirit is still sharp.

Today one would think the Bible no longer has the efficacy once boasted of it. The power in the sacred page, every word a sweet nebulae of honey, every precept carefully thought out and preserved to last to the end of the age.. the modern Christian might smirk and call such a description archaic, desperately romanticised and more fitting to our philosophy: lacking in pragmatism. If the Bible has any airtime in the secular universities, it's substance is weed-whacked, dismantled and most conveniently ignored under the humanistic historico-critical method. Nevermind that the Bible speaks about God, let us make it speak about man and show it as thus a man-thing.. merely a man-book. The biblical record is placed along the shelves of the Sumerian epics, Homers works and possibly Tacitus or Josephus. It is a myth, and if it is to speak to us today it must speak to us as any other ancient myth would.

In the church, the visible manifestation of the invisible Spirit, pastors replace sound exegesis with topical fancies and self-help pop psychologies. If the Bible is at all quoted, it is a means to a 'greater' end; the end of telling the seeker friends that they are special, that they need to find their confidence and should think positively. Or the blasphemous message of health wealth and prosperity; King Solomon is proof that God wants you wealthy! Nevermind that Solomons acquiring of vast amounts of gold was a direct violation of the Deuteronomic kingly law set apart by God, (ch.17 v.17) a struggling surplus is a deficit of faith! The Bible is cajoled and manipulated to fit the extensive monologues of various public voices that get a greater hearing in the sermon than sacred scripture itself. A typical sermon these days may include everything from Jung to Mencious to Thomas Merton. It may even include a Bible verse.

At home every Bible, from the Sacra Vulgata to the Scofield edition, from the gardeners Bible to the plumbers Bible.. the Message, Positive thinkers Bible, Archaeologists Bible, Ragamuffins Bible, Reformers Bible, Apologetics Bible, is collected and shelved like ornate china. The difference here is that ornate China is actually looked at.

Some have escaped from the mundane caricature of thumbing scriptures on the weekend to go get slain, get zapped, get prophesied over, get a sign or a miracle or a wonder. Everyone leaps up when theres a 'Word' for them; who cares that there are already 1094 pages of words for them bound up, preserved and spilled out from the heart of the eternal God.

Nevertheless, and in accordance with the power and command of the eternal God, the scriptures stand today as they did yesterday (Romans 16:15-26); they stand as witness to Christ. And so long as our beloved Lord Jesus Christ stands at the throne of Power, far above every other authority, His testimony will be powerful.

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