The following is a comment from my long ago BLOG “More Regulations By The Book” In it Dan G asks some valid questions which I will try to address in this post. I post this here again today because my view of the bible has been brought into severe question once again. Seems that some folks just cannot grasp, understand or accept it when I suggest that we all need to be Spirit led rather than bible led and they also tend to reject any explanation offered to them.
Dan G wrote:
“Chris – perhaps you can tell us of your experiences with Bible and what causes you to bring this issue front/center as often as you do? I am not able to relate to what you speak, because I value the Bible, but I read that you value the Bible also. Somewhere, there is a disconnect in my understanding of your writings. Maybe if you explain specific experiences a bit, if you can, we can begin to relate / commune with you on this.”
Alright Dan I will give this a shot. The issue to me is why do we elevate the Bible to a place that is equal or higher than The Holy Spirit in our lives. To me it is quite clear that we receive primary revelation from The Spirit and secondary revelation from the Bible. After all it was The Spirit who inspired the writers of the Bible to write what they did in the first place. It seems to me that many Christians get it backwards in practice where they use the Bible to try and interpret and set the ground rules for The Spirit, when they should be using The Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible and lead them in their everyday lives. Because there are some things in life that the Bible just doesn’t address or give us guidance about.
Way back when I was in college I was also a concert promoter. After a big concert (REZ Band) I drove the artists back to their motel. On the way back home I had to stop by the late night drive thru at Burger King to get some food for me and 5 other students who had helped me set up and tear down the sound and lights equipment for the concert. So I was going to order 6 whopper meals when I heard Jesus or The Spirit tell me to order 7 meals. It felt right and harmless so I ordered 7 meals. When I got the food back to my roadies dorm room I distributed the meals to the 6 of us and I left the 7th meal in a bag up on a loft. In the midst of eating and fellowshipping Tim stuck his head in the door and asked where his whopper meal was. I immediately pointed to the sack on the loft and told him his whopper meal was right up there. I also told him that God had specifically told me to buy that meal for him. About a half an hour later we were able to lead Tim to Jesus all because I was told to buy that extra meal. I am still in contact with Tim to this day. He remains strong in The Lord and often gives his testimony about how God used an extra whopper meal to save him on that day.
The Bible had no way of communicating to me the need for an extra meal, but The Holy Spirit was fully capable of leading me in such a manner. It is just like in Acts chapter 9 where The Lord tells Ananias to go to a street called straight and find Saul (soon to be Paul) and heal his vision. Ananias could have read scripture from cover to cover and still not be moved to act in such a manner. It takes more than Biblical knowledge to be guided in the best ways of surrendering to and serving HIM and others.
The simple fact is that the Bible is just not enough to lead us in our Christian walk. Jesus Himself said that He was sending us The Holy Spirit to guide us into all Truth. The Bible was never meant to be our guide. That is The Spirit’s role. Always has been and always will be. Jesus also said that “His sheep hear His voice and obey”. Note He NEVER said that we read His book and obey.
We NEED to hear directly from HIM my friends! The Spirit is our guide and often times He leads us to the bible for reference and understanding. But it is HE who sits on the throne and not a book about Him. Who sits on the throne of your heart? If we are really gut level honest about this most of the time it is WE that sit there, even as professing Christ followers. But we need to surrender that place DAILY to Him and The Spirit. The book should never be in the position of preeminence in our lives. The Bible is a great gift and tool when used as led by The Spirit, but without The Spirit’s illumination it is just plain old ink on paper and nothing more.
Kirk Out !
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126: 5-6
Wow, that describes much of my life. The Lord is very familiar with my tears. In the wake of brutal childhood sexual abuse I have shed many tears. Having a 30 year marriage die due to my illness has been extremely difficult. Yet Jesus was always there to embrace and comfort me in my distress. In doing so He taught me about empathy and the need to comfort others who desperately need His touch in their lives.
I am a very emotional person. Always have been, plus It comes with the roller coaster ride that is PTSD. Even as an adult I cry often. Sometimes with tears of sorrow. Other times with tears of joy, and quite often with tears of eager expectation. Many times I cry while I am praying for those I will encounter in the future that do not yet know Christ in His fullness. Jesus will often lead me to pray and cry for those just needing a touch of His comfort and joy. Yes, the Lord has me pray for strangers that I have never met. To some this may seem odd, but since childhood it has been part of my everyday life.
Jesus has shown me so much love and kindness over the years and I feel the need to repay Him in part by reaching out and touching others with His grace, love and mercy. The fruit of simply allowing Him to abide in me and then flow forth out from me to others is undeniable. Jesus has given me so much comfort and love that it has no choice, but to overflow from my life and touch the lives of others. I am just a weak and simple vessel, as are you, but when we choose to allow Him to fill us beyond our human measure; His blessings will abound to those we encounter in our everyday lives. This is not rocket science. If we merely surrender our hearts to Him, He will do a good work in us to the great benefit of others and ourselves.
When was the last time you sowed in tears for the sake of others? Do you allow Jesus to move within you in such a manner? Perhaps it is time to sit down with Jesus and just allow His compassion to flow forth from within you? Sometimes life is very hard and it is difficult to let down our barriers and allow ourselves to be overcome with Godly sorrow for the sake of both ourselves and others. The world teaches us to be hard and calloused as a defense mechanism, but God wants our hearts to be soft and empathetic. If you want true joy in your life you will allow yourself to sow in tears. Because it is only when those healing waters flow that we can truly experience His all surpassing comfort and Joy. If we sow in tears we will reap songs of joy. Allow His compassion to flood your very being. Jesus wept and so should we.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
P.s. I am currently navigating through some difficult times and would appreciate your prayers.
“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit- just as it has taught you, remain in Him.” 1 John 2: 26-27
David P. who claims to be a pastor/elder in his current church made the following comment recently in some online communication about me:
” If you don’t have a Pastor, and you refuse to have one, then you are in rebellion and disobedience to Jesus and the Holy Scriptures.”
It seems to me that David’s comment flies directly against the passage I just quoted. David says you must have a pastor/teacher or you are going directly against Jesus. Just where are those words in red? Seriously, Jesus said “You must be born again.”, but He did NOT say “You must have a Pastor.” That is exactly the type of teaching that John says will lead us astray. We are not to be dependent on any man or woman. For anyone to say we NEED a human leader or shepherd other than Jesus is, I dare say anti-christ? No, I am not calling David an anti-christ, but the comment he made just might be.
The real truth is that we do not need anyone to teach us. Because in the Spirit we have His anointing to teach us about ALL THINGS and the FULL COUNSEL OF GOD. His anointing is real, not fake and it continually teaches us to remain in Him. Again, in Him we lack nothing!
Now there are a multitude of ways that His anointing teaches us including…direct revelation from the Spirit, revelation from the bible, nature and via the anointed words of other Christ followers. The key is to look and listen for His anointing in all things and all people. The Spirit will guide us into all truth in this manner. When I listen to people I am always listening for His voice, His anointing, and His truth in what they are sharing. When I am open and attentive to Him in any circumstance, He is able to reach and teach me what I need to know in that exact moment. It is crucial that we be surrendered and in the flow of the Holy Spirit at all times. When I am totally yielded to HIM like that I am able to discern the difference between His anointed words and all other types of words.
I guess what I am saying here today is that God is still speaking. In fact He never stopped. Even though David and others claim the Scriptures are the complete and “final revelation” from God. I say that God is NOT confined to speaking only through scripture. Jesus via His anointing and Spirit teaches us everything we need to know concerning the past, present and future. And He does not just speak through the bible and a select few humans such as pastors and elders. His voice can still be heard in almost everyone and every situation. The key is are we really listening? His sheep hear His voice and obey. Jesus is the One and Only true Shepherd. Please listen for His voice and follow only Him and no other today.
Kirk Out !
I have always loved the ideology behind all things Star Trek. Since the shows inception in the 1960′s it has always preached and presented a universe based on inclusion and equality of all life forms. Along the way Trek has even corrected itself to be even more inclusive. When the original series began the mantra was, “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Not exactly inclusive of females, but when The Next Generation premiered in the late 1980′s they humbly corrected that phrase to be the more inclusive and accurate, “To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before.”
The equality of all races, genders, social classes, and ages is a noble and lofty goal. A goal that some seem to be still threatened by. Even the Church has had difficulty living up to such high ideals. Paul, an apostle, addressed this important topic in his letter to the Galatians where he wrote, “In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.” (The Message)
In this post I am just going to focus on the need, no the Biblical command, to fully include women in all aspects of BEing the Church. Because there are still many churches out there that do not allow for the full participation of women in ministry or any sort of leadership. All this does is cripple the church by not allowing 50% of its members to fully participate in the mission of the church. That is like going into battle with both arms tied behind your back or both legs non-functional. It just does not make good sense.
Jesus NEVER marginalized women during HIS time here on planet earth. Some point to the fact that none of the original apostles were women, but that could be for any number of reasons and not male exclusivity. The fact is that in the book of Romans, Junias, a female, was called, “Outstanding among the apostles.”
In my relational Church experience over the last 36 years we have always valued women as full equals in life and ministry. Because of this we have been totally blessed with the fullness that only manifests itself when the WHOLE body is allowed to function as it was designed when we come together. For those of you who still struggle with the concept of every member, every gender, every age ministry….”I appeal to you brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) And to me, “NO DIVISIONS”, means “NO DIVISIONS” period.
Kirk Out !
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13: 7-8
Leadership is something that the Body of Christ needs; there is no denying that fact. However, leadership in the Body should be totally different than leadership in the world. Worldly leadership is about ruling OVER people from above them and giving them rules, commands and edicts. The Jesus style of leadership is about serving others from AMONG or even underneath them. Problem is that most all traditional/institutional “churches” don’t really follow Jesus in these matters.
Jesus humbled Himself and became a servant to all, even unto death. Worldly leadership is about ruling and Jesus style leadership is about serving. Believe me, leading and serving are two very different things. Jesus never served from a platform, pulpit, or throne. Jesus even bowed down before the twelve disciples when He washed their feet. If Jesus viewed Himself as our brother how can any of us ever say we are more than that to our peers and those we serve?
It is clear that when we lead we should do it from AMONG the body and not from above it. Jesus made it very clear that there is one Father (Leader) and that we are all brothers. And brothers don’t use exalted titles when they serve either. Servants lead by example and not mere words. And they never use their service and gifts to leverage others into following their way. Jesus is our greatest example of being a servant who leads. Then came others like Paul, Peter, James and John. It would do us all well to imitate their faith. They did not Lord OVER people, they walked AMONG them and established relationship and dialogue with them. They did not sermonize or give orders, no they spoke plainly and persuaded others by their actions and words.
The outcome of their way of life was most times persecution and martyrdom, but that did not stop them from living out their faith as an example to the church. If Jesus Christ is truly the same yesterday and today and forever then His example of service and ministry is one we should still follow today. If that is true then none of us should ever act as if we are more than a older sibling and peer to those we serve. And we should never use a title, platform or a pulpit in our efforts to serve the body or those yet to receive Him. Jesus did not have many meetings, but He had a lot of meals and he always had excellent conversations with those who were seeking Him. If you really want to reach people with His message then simply come alongside them and share your life with them from the level ground at the foot of the cross. Only Jesus should be exalted. So I say follow me as I follow Christ, but remember we are all on a common path to Him. There is no special path just for Leaders. Always remember Jesus is the one and only True Shepherd and the rest of us are His simple sheep. No other human is ABOVE you! Martin Luther said it something like this, “All we are is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
Love and …
Kirk Out !
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts……….He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3: 2-3, 6
This passage shows us that what really matters in life and ministry are Spirit forged relationships. It is all about being Spirit led and touching peoples hearts. If we desire to give people life and well being we will do so by allowing the Spirit to guide our interactions.
Ink and paper do not give life to anyone and that includes even the ink and paper of the bible. Life comes only from the Spirit and the best way to communicate life is via relationships. The bible does have a role in the life of a Christ follower, but it was never intended to be the primary source of light and life. When we place the bible ahead of the Spirit and relationship with God and others the letter then kills instead of enhancing our life in Christ.
However, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16: 13) the bible then becomes perhaps the greatest resource in the life of a believer. There is a HUGE difference between seeing scripture as THE Source and Authority in one’s life, instead of simply seeing scripture as the great gift and resource that it is. Quoting scriptures may appeal to the intellect of others, but they do not give life to them.
If you want to give life then simply share life with others as you are being led by the Spirit of God. Touching hearts while sharing the Truth in Love is what it is all about. The most important thing in life is having a relationship with Jesus, but right after that is having relationships with others that are built on the Cornerstone that is Christ. Always remember that this is always a matter of heart and not just the head. Heart to heart relationships are birthed via the Spirit and are maintained by sincere Love. May the Great Comforter write truth and love on our hearts today.
Love and …….
Kirk Out !
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3: 2-6
In this passage Paul makes it abundantly clear that the Holy Spirit is much greater than the written letter. In fact the letter in and of itself kills, while the Spirit gives life. This is exactly why I say that we need to be Spirit led and NOT bible led. In fact without the Holy Spirit guiding us through the scriptures, we would not even properly comprehend what is written in the first place.
Please allow me to take that one giant step further? I contend that what the Spirit writes on our hearts is superior to everything else that is written with ink or on stone. In other words clear cut Holy Spirit guidance should be desired over and above either the New or Old Testament writings.
Note, I am not saying the bible is not vital or important. However, I am saying right up front that the leading of the Holy Spirit is more important than biblical head knowledge. Jesus made it abundantly clear that you can know the scriptures and still not know Him. The bible is awesome when you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you through it, but is a dead book of Law, death and religious bondage on it’s own.
We all need to freely offer up our hearts to Jesus and fully allow the Holy Spirit to write on them as only He sees fit. Direct revelation from the Spirit is greater than receiving secondary revelation from the great book. I agree that it is best to have both the Spirit and the bible in our lives, as long as we never forget that one is actually God and the other is just a grand book from God; and God has no equals.
Kirk Out !
P.s. Janet’s Mother passed from death into life with Jesus forever early this morning with Janet at her side. Please pray for her and her family?