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Questions And Answers

November 27, 2014

Greetings,

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.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

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24 Comments
  1. dbrh44 permalink

    I dont see how, after such a clear explanation has been given, that anyone can argue with that. Perfect, Chris. Just perfect.

  2. I like this to an extent. My only questions are : what safeguards are there to make sure a person is actually “spirit-led” and not just wishful thinking or the bound self-will? and, have you read Luther’s view on scripture – I find it healthier than much on Christianity. I think in many area there is what I call, “bibliolatry”.

    • Mark, as far as “safeguards” go does the following help or make sense to you?…..

      The Standard; Or The Bible And The Spirit Of Christ
      Greetings,

      The following is something the Spirit inspired me to write several years ago, but I felt it might help in our ongoing conversation concerning being bible or Spirit led……

      I want to start by pointing out that *some* of us who have shared so far here at the BLOG probably really aren’t disagreeing about the root of the matter. We just differ some in perspective, or the way we have come to understand and explain what we feel God has revealed to us. And I feel this is just great. God has offered us all a “table of truth & love” to eat and grow from. Nice to know that it is always a banquet or buffet; instead of an Ala’ carte burger and fries served up by one clowns opinion (sorry Ronald). It is however very important that we all are talking about the same Spiritual meat.

      Now more comments:

      And so much of this is semantics.

      I too am what some would call a student of the scriptures, but what makes me uneasy about saying we must be a “student” is that it *can* tend to exalt our intellects. And also exclude those who feel they are not smart enough to be a good follower of Christ. Having humble and open hearts always triumphs over book learned smarts IMHO.

      Some folks say that the bible is, “the only standard of truth which we have”. And others call it “the final authority”. The reason this makes me cringe is that it elevates doctrine to the ruler and head over all, and tends to negate and destroy what I feel is every person’s reason for existence: RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD and ONE ANOTHER.

      Having the bible as “the only standard of truth” has not produced the type of fruit God desires in the plethora of institutional/traditional churches that have waved that flag proudly for centuries has it? Sure the bible is “A” standard of truth, but I just can’t elevate it to “The” standard. The bible is not God! And God is THE STANDARD. Sure the bible is one of the tools that God has supplied us with so we can understand the standard (HIM), but I cannot equate the two.

      Here is an interesting take on this:

      We all know that the bible says, that “every matter must be established on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses.” And I don’t think that necessarily means like I have heard taught, “Yep, I got my three witnesses. This scripture, that scripture, and this here other scripture quote. That’s 3 ain’t it?”

      I believe that it could rather suggest a checks and balances method that God offers us so we can avoid gross errors in judgment.

      1 John 5:8 seems clear (at least to me) here. It says that, “There are three witnesses (these three testify) the Spirit, the water, and the Blood.”

      Here we got:

      1. The Holy Spirit and His leading and voice for confirmation and all that entails, and many times The Spirit will lead us to the bible, but not always.

      2. The water, which thru my studies proves to be LIFE – but not in the sense of circumstances; but rather in the light of relationship with others who share this new life from God. Both the testimonies of those living and those saints that have gone home before us, i.e. – mutual accountability and the answered prayers of the saints. Some call this the hermeneutic of The Body.

      And 3. The Blood, Jesus himself and His testimony which is recorded in the bible. And Jesus is the Word after all. However, I don’t equate Jesus being the Word as the same as He being the scriptures. Jesus is much more comprehensive than that. The bible is not the fourth part of the Godhead. Jesus sits on the throne, not the Book! Hope I haven’t confused anyone, but rather given food for thought.

      And yes, I know I had to use the scriptures to prove my point 😉 And I agree that the bible is part of the standard of truth, but it is joined and supported by much more than itself. Which to me gives it even more validity and value than if it stood alone.

      One more point then I’ll git out of here. Folks are right when they say the Spirit is reliable, but we are not. We can easily be deceived by our own feelings and thoughts. People have used the Spirit told me so to do some vile things throughout history.

      But the same thing can be said for those who have claimed the bible as their only standard of truth. People have used the bible to enslave and dominate others for centuries. The KKK use it to promote racism and hatred. Think of the crusades and the inquisition where many were slaughtered in the name of the WORD. Women have been told to stay in relationships where they are battered and beaten because they were told the bible says so. The list goes on and on.

      Problem is we are human. We quite easily are deceived by our own feelings and thoughts about even the bible. Our interpretations of what we read in there can be grossly full of error.

      So I just can’t trust myself with only one standard of truth.

      Unless that standard is Jesus and the many ways HE reveals himself.

      Love and….

      Kirk Out !

      p.s. Does the bible reveal the truth of the Spirit, or the Spirit reveal the truth of the bible?

      And didn’t the Spirit have to reveal to the authors what to write? It is the same way today.

      I am thankful for confirmation from all the resources our source, The Lord, has provided us. I long for both the forest and the trees. What a view, it’s beautiful!

  3. Something that Evangelicals/Fundagelicals have such a hard time getting their minds around (because of a congenital lake of understanding of Church history) is that the Bible does NOT produce the Church (“ekklesia” if you prefer), rather it was the Church that produced the Bible.

    It’s probably not a healthy thing to subordinate the Spirit to the Bible or the Bible to the Spirit. Rather, in combination with Tradition (the Church reading, praying, interpreting together) the Spirit informs our understanding of what is read/spoken and our speaking/reading reveals the Spirit. Then if we think it’s important enough we write it down then future generations get to haggle over it. ;o)

  4. Mark, NO ONE is TOTALLY “Spirit led”. Not even those who think they are.

  5. What are the Spirits that are at war? And which of these speaks of self?

  6. The fallacy is that when we say, “The Bible says…” we are only sharing what we think we know it says, as if “it” said anything at all, on its own behalf, or that it could be stated so clearly and above dispute. If only we have the right translation of the right manuscript and the right hermeneutic and the right exegetical, historical, contextual approach, that leads to the right understanding, that…, then maybe we could assert with some degree of understanding what the text is trying to tell us. A certain degree of subjectivity is unavoidable.

  7. Duane permalink

    Hello, to this end I have done a lot of thinking and talking late night with a good friend from my SAC days. The philosophy that I have adopted and believe in is what is sometimes called the “three pillars.” In a home church, such as Chris has been talking about these pillars would be best used. On the last post that Chris had wrote about I talked about one of the pillars, that being wise Christian Council. That is important. The other two would be the Holy Spirit or Spiritual revelation and the Written word of God, what we are calling the Bible. How we know anything that is true in a Christian perspective is that all three of these need to not conflict. By that I mean that If we are revealed new information spiritually It should agree with the Bible (or not conflict with it) and valued Christian council. This lowers the importants of the Bible spiritually but not devalue it. It certainly does not raise it above the other two. It can be used in other ways as well. If one found that there was a truth coming from the Bible (from reading it) that was previously unrecognized or ignored (for some reason), to find out if it was truly wisdom from God they would use Spiritual revelations via prayer or fasting and spiritual council from someone considered wise in the ways of knowing Gods will. If those three things are not in conflict with each other the new understanding from the Bible could be something of import. Now towards this end the new bit of spiritual information should not conflict with other parts of the Bible as well. We all know how well that has worked spiritually, ignoring scriptural context. I would consider commentaries on the Bible a possible source that could be considered ‘wise counsel. That is my thoughts, hope it adds something to this discussion.

    • From Amen to you Brother for perfect Love from God himself to us all casts out all fear and we can walk confidently anywhere led to by Father, whether church or not, Just as Christ did, went out and prayed all by himself Father and him, got his instructions for the day and did as led, so the same is for each of us, and differently to each of us. Yet what remains a common denominator is Christ and we just love with Mercy to all, and say if told and if not just be quiet, for God is the one and only that can truly teach us error from truth Hebrews 8:11

  8. Curious does not anyone have an answer to my ?

    • Homwardbound, I read your question but still don’t have a clue what you are asking and where it’s coming from.

      Speak to me s l o w l y and with more information and perhaps I’ll understand.

      • Homwardb, is English your first language?

      • Okay I asked what are the Spirits that are at war?
        Put different is there another Spirit rather than God’s
        So if there is what spirits are at war with God?

        Now a new ? which one is leading me, I ask this in me and I think each person might need to ask that to themselves which Spirit are they listening to?

        And no, to English was, not now I speak a new language since born again, I am out of my mind in Love, Joy and peace in the Holy Spirit of Father through Son, Crist, which this world does not understand

        Thank you for asking, now maybe you can inform me the two Spirits that are at war with God?

      • Homwardbound, my understanding is that the “flesh” is in opposition to Christ. The “flesh” is our “natural” inclination to satisfy the self at the expense of all others and to exalt self above others. The Spirit of Christ is to give. The spirit of the fleshy person is to grasp and hold.

      • Thank you, well said. now is this Battle go on or are we delivered separated from flesh our first nature to our new one?
        And if we are then how do we win so to speak since the battle is not ours?

    • Duane permalink

      Homwardbound, you ask who is at war with God. I think that the answer is in Genesis. The angels that fell away from God. If you ask me if I believe in Demons, I do. Are they these fallen Angel? I do not know. But I read a Book once that illustrates this War of Spirits and the Book is called “This Present Darkness.” I think Demons and Angels fight the spiritual battles on Earth. There seems to be evidence of this all around.

  9. Great response volkmar1108 ! YOur definition of “the flesh” is spot on.

  10. Duane permalink

    Homwardbound, you ask who is at war with God. I think that the answer is in Genesis. The angels that fell away from God. If you ask me if I believe in Demons, I do. Are they these fallen Angel? I do not know. But I read a Book once that illustrates this War of Spirits and the Book is called “This Present Darkness.” I think Demons and Angels fight the spiritual battles on Earth. There seems to be evidence of this all around.

    • Duane that book excellent, by Frank Paretti, have you read the sequel Beyond this present Darkness. Anyway yes to what you said here and Eph. 6:12 reveals this as well as Galatians does 4:29 flesh persecutes God’s Spirit and is why Paul says to consider thyself dead to flesh and put no confidence in flesh Phil 3:3

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