Thursday, July 15, 2010
With in the last decade there has been a growth in Christian culture, regarding emotionalism and experience, and it's focal point in the modern Christian life. Some would argue that because of the emphasis on emotions and the experience an individual goes through, theology and sound doctrine becomes secondary to a Christians growth, even to the point to where THINKING is looked down upon.
I understand that experience is sometimes necessary when encountering a living God (i.e: Paul's conversion) but I do not believe it should at all become the dominant method in which Christians gain their beliefs and understand of God.
There's this book in the New Testiment called "Acts" (you might have heard of it) .. In it there is a society of people called Bereans. It's actually in Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examines the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" - btw Berea was the second missionary journey of Paul and Silas (appx 50-54 a.d.) ... Bible commentator Albert Barnes writes "This (noble character) means more noble by birth ... BUT here the word is used to denote a quality of mind and heart. They were more generous, liberal and noble in their feelings; more disposed to inquire candidly into the truth of the doctrines advanced by Paul and Silas"
The lessons from these verses about the Bereans is plain. There wasn't an experience that Paul was impressed with, not their emotional compacity in their spirituality ... more so their prudence/respect for Scripture and those who teach it. St. Paul, the guy who wrote 2/3 of the New Testiment, was scrutinized and his words tested against the line of scripture to confirm what he was teaching was correct. However, we can believe that Paul and Silas were glad that the Bereans were willing to put them to the test, because the scriptures call readers and believers to study the Bible and to test what they read. Example 2 Timothy "Study to show yourself approved unto God" and in 1 Peter "Always be preparied to give the reason for the hope you have" ... this is Apologetics 101!
Again, our foundations are not built upon frail human emotionalism nor the experiences, which we tend to give more credit to than should do .... Our faith is built upon 2000+ years of scripture and doctrine, study and a prudence attitude toward those who preach these sacred scriptures .... respectfully
Until Next Time