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Starfleet Regulations By The Book

July 10, 2016
Greetings,

The following is part of an ongoing conversation
I have been having with a good friend of mine.
Concerning my view of The Bible and his concern
for me and my "Low view" of scripture. For 
the purposes of this BLOG lets call him Spock.

Spock said:

 " You would not have known that you have eternal life
  were it not for the (Biblical) writings you seem to 
  imply you don't need."

 Kirk replies:

 This is just flat out NOT a true statement Spock. 
 One can most certainly know by The Spirit these
 things, even if they never encounter a written word.
 One can know these things via direct revelation from
 the Holy Spirit.

 And to be totally honest Spock, no we do not need 
 a bible to be saved or discipled.  The Spirit is fully
 capable of communicating FATHER'S truth in love to us. 
 Now, is the bible a very often used way of HIS
 communication? YES! Absolutely!  But NOT the only way.

 Because if given a choice of The Spirit and no bible,
 or the bible and no Spirit....the ONLY choice that would
 result IN LIFE is choosing The SPIRIT. Because HE can 
 write upon our hearts all we need for life and Godliness
 through our knowledge of HIM.  And by the way, that
 "knowledge" is not just via learning, reading or studying,
 but rather through HIS touching our very essence of
 being with HIS Spirit of Truth and Love.

I know this to be true because as a four year old
child I first encountered Jesus and The Holy Spirit
long before I ever came in contact with a bible. Jesus 
held and comforted me as my earthly father abused
me in just about any way imaginable. Then Jesus led
and taught me about salvation, fellowship, love,
grace, mercy and the church. I asked questions and HE
gave me answers and HIS truth never led me wrong.
It was literally nine years later that I actually 
encountered a bible and all that the bible did was
confirm what HE had already been teaching me by The
Spirit all those years.  Plus I still hear HIS voice
even today.

Spock continues:

 "..this is what I fear for us who have come to Christ
  from whereever - IC HC, dog house or what ever, complete
 with the benefit of studying the content of the Bible 
 and the first Christians; and then recommend that If you
 have Christ you have all you need - forget the Bible..."

Kirk replies:

 Spock,  But Christ really is ALL we need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 ... and if HE leads one to the bible, which HE usually
 does, great!  But if not and HE does not always, great
 too!  You have never heard me say "forget the bible."

 Far too many times man has went to it and found what
 they wanted to instead of waiting for Jesus to teach them
 what they really need to know in any given circumstance.

 Spock, I will not dishonor Jesus who IS all I need by
 elevating a book to being a "need" also. HE is The Lord
 of Lords and not just the Lord of Lords when a book 
 is added to the mix.  HE is still LORD when the book 
 is nowhere to be found.

 Now having said that you know full well Spock that I
 read, know and meditate on that darn book as often
 as HE leads me. But picking it up on my own could be
 likened to a toddler picking up a loaded gun.  It is 
 dangerous!!!!  I want Jesus to lead me in my experience
 with the scriptures.  Instead of picking and choosing
 passages in my flesh on my own.

 I know because I used to do it that way because I
 thought and was told that that was the only way to
 know and serve God.

 WRONG!!!!!!!

 Intellectual exercise and pursuit are dung, seeking
 HIM and abiding in HIM is where it is at my friend.

 I don't understand how you or anyone else can call my 
 view of the bible "low" when I fully believe that its 
 value and authority is just below that of the Father, 
 Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.  I love and appreciate
 the written Word.  I just don't believe that it is greater
 than or equal to GOD Himself.  Seems to me that to elevate
 the bible, an inspired and created thing, to a place on
 par with GOD is nothing short of idolatry.

 If given a choice between an Old Rugged Cross and an Old
 Rugged Bible...I am going to cling to Christ alone and
 the cross for sure.

 Love and,

 Kirk Out!





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33 Comments
  1. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    I really appreciate your heart in this, Christopher, although I disagree with the way the issue is framed in your thinking, and the answer you come to. Yet I would love to hear more of the testimony of how the Lord revealed Himself and His ways to you during your childhood.

    • Jonathan, you certainly know how to disagree with love and honor and I really appreciate that in you.

  2. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    While bible maniacs do not want to hear it but I ask what 500 years of bible mania achieved for the kingdom? Only death, division and distrust. Contrast with what even a few days in the Spirit of God achieves! Yep, no contest

  3. lila1jpw permalink

    I too have had to contend with bibliolatry as I’ve called that idolatry of the bible.

    • Yes Lila, to some the bible can indeed become an idol. It is very sad when that happens. Thanks for sharing!

  4. daryl permalink

    I maybe do not have the same view as you concerning this,but certainly agree one does not need the bible to know they have eternal life.The Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God.Apart from the Spirit,scripture seems “foolishness” to the natural man. I found it interesting that John wrote several times of our knowing things by the Spirit…1John3:24,4:13,and goes on to continue to help or persuade those to whom he was writing,that they could be confident that they are from God,and know they have eternal life…so it’s kind of like a working together,he knew(by the Spirit),yet wrote down what he KNEW,so that other believers who didn’t have such confidence might be assured and know also. For them, his written words(which I consider inspired scripture)were to convince them of a reality that they already HAD,but maybe for some reason did not sense or feel.I probably am not explaining myself very well,but I guess I’m thinking that maybe for some the scripture is more “necessary” as they do not sense the Spirits presence,as others do,and so they get defensive or feel attacked.I hope you and your friend remain friends.

    • Thanks for sharing that daryl. I am certain we will remain friends because even though we may disagree we believe in the power of healthy dialogue. When the church and relationships are based on dialogue rather than monologue we all prosper and win in the long run. WE know our exchanges are in love and we are not trying to pressure one another into change with persuasive arguments. No, instead we simply share what is on our hearts and allow each other that freedom.

  5. "BK" permalink

    Jonathan and Daryl commented ‘ I don’t have the same view’ and ‘I don’t agree with how it is framed in your thinking”, or something to that effect, I would be curious what it is they disagree with? or don’t see the same? You have highly esteemed the Bible when read and anointed by the Spirit; you have said it is not a part of the God-head, or equal to Them. So,I am honestly wondering how they see things differently? If either or both of you don’t mind expounding a bit more so we could dialogue a bit? Thanks, “BK”

    • Good question BK. I sure hope we can converse on that one?

    • Jonathan Lindvall permalink

      Thanks for asking the question, BK, and for welcoming a response, Christopher. I wholeheartedly agree that if we had to choose between the Bible and the Spirit, we must choose the Spirit.y But that is a false dichotomy. In fact, God has given us both, and each is important.

      Thus I am concerned with how the issue is framed. I understand the reaction to the very real Bibliolatry of cessationists who deny that the Holy Spirit works or speaks today, except through scripture. They have actually inappropriately replaced the Holy Spirit with the Bible. We need to resist that false teaching.

      However, if we’re not careful, we fall into the opposing, but in many ways, equal, error. We can try to replace God’s intention for the scripture, with the Holy Spirit. I agree that if we had to choose between the two, we must choose the Spirit, the One who brings us from death to life—the One who enlivens and transforms our hearts.

      But there is a role God intended for the scriptures that we handicap ourselves in, if we refuse. That role is the shaping & transforming of our thinking. Certainly the Holy Spirit can do this without scripture when it is unavailable. Yet God has chosen to normally shape our understanding through scripture. My experience in cultures where access to scripture is restricted is that the church is often very alive, prayerful, and zealous, but that it easily falls into bizarre false teachings that would have been quickly resisted if knowledge of the scriptures was more widespread.

      So this is why I believe the issue is framed here in a way that is not only unnecessary and erroneous, but ultimately tragically dangerous.

      • Jonathan, I hear your concerns and they may be valid in certain circumstances, but that is not the Spirit in which I wrote this post at all. I am very glad to have both the Spirit and the bible in my life and I literally give away bibles until at times I have none for myself. However, I am quite used to being misunderstood in this area. My point is simply The Spirit is greater and more valuable than the written word, because even if you have the text you still need the Spirit to properly understand and apply it in the most excellent ways.

      • Jonathan Lindvall permalink

        Thanks Christopher. I agree with you. Without the Spirit, the letter kills. I just want to caution us all to not go so far as to suggest the scriptures are unnecessary. In fact, they ground us historically to what Jesus taught, and make sure we don’t misinterpret the leading of the Spirit.

      • "BK" permalink

        Jonathan, I thank you for your response. Dialogue can usually show how close we really are and I find this is the case too. When I was in Africa we were meeting with a group of brothers who were church leaders in their area. They asked my husband and I to ‘please show them what is true’. What they said was this, “A brother came and showed us by the Word of God from the Bible what is true and we believed him. Then another came and showed us something different from the same Bible so we believed him. Then another came and showed us by the same Bible something different and we are confused. Please show us the truth”. We explained to them that it wasn’t our Bible teaching they needed or when the next one came by with something more persuasive they would be confused again. They needed to learn and recognize THE SPIRIT within them to witness to them what He wanted added or not added. That they can trust It to do just that. My point being error is possible in the ditch on both sides of the street….whether through spirit (notice it’s not capitalized) or by dead letter lessons in the Bible. It isn’t that the Bible is not good, the best book out there most likely….but it has to have the Spirit of Truth to make it alive. As we follow into error, whether by spirit or by Bible lessons, we learn the difference in taste; the difference between spirit and Spirit and we grow. Just like the child learning to walk who stumbles and falls but keeps getting up and more used to balance. Love, “BK”

    • daryl permalink

      For me,I have no problem calling the Bible or scripture the word of God,and Chris does,believing that only applies to Jesus. I am really not in dis agreement and know Chris has a high view of scripture.His incredible experience with Christ as a child has made a lasting impression on him I am sure,but i would not consider that the “norm”.I also don’t feel we need the Spirit to lead us to read,study,or meditate,on scripture…anymore than we need to feel led to help our neighbor,praise our children,show kindness to a stranger etc..A scripture that comes to mind that might help see where im coming from would be 1thess. 2:13….”and we also thank God continually because,when you recieved the word of God,which you heard from us,you accepted it not as the word of men,but as it actually is,the word of God which is at work in you who believe”.

      • Daryl, I feel we must be Spirit led in all we do, including our time in the scriptures. That moment by moment continual leading and connection is vital to our productive life in Christ.

      • Jonathan, I am glad we have reached some level of agreement. Yes, the letter kills.

      • "BK" permalink

        Daryl, I also thank you for taking time to dialogue on this. Although my walk isn’t as Christopher’s was (I come from prove it from Genesis to Revelation) I do have the same view as he. The Lord had to remove me from reading the Bible for a couple of years to help me be able to hear Him apart from the well worn trails of understanding I had and taught. Now when I read I find it living and alive and so much more than a guide book. I read I Thess 2:13 and have to say it really is not speaking of receiving Torah or the Bible. It was the anointed words Paul, Silvanus and Timothy had SPOKE to them while they were there. Not the words written in the letter they wrote, but the words spoken in the fellowship of the believers. In our day we have the compilation of those letters contained in the Bible, but we don’t have the sum of the anointed words spoken in the fellowship they were referring to. The Bible is a HUGE blessing, but Jesus said He would send the Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth, not a book. Like Christopher, I buy and give away Bibles all the time and encourage people to read them. I read and study mine more than most (although probably not more the ‘most’ here!). But it is the Spirit Who must anoint those words for them to go from good instruction to words of Life.
        Love in Jesus, “BK”

  6. Dan permalink

    Jesus’ life and ministry was saturated with scripture. It oozes from His every spiritual pore. He rebuked His arch enemy the accusing spirit with it and He rebuked that spirit’s emissaries with it. His messages are full of it and witty allusions to it. It is the springboard for many of His utterances. At the age of 12, He confounded the hierarchy with His grasp of it. He read from it publicly in the synagogue. But then, it was different. Different than any man had read it before. As God, interpreting His own words under the perfect and undiluted influence of the Spirit of God, that scripture was put in a light that blew away and shattered to smithereens the understanding of that passage by those who read the scriptures constantly but didn’t know intimately the Author of them. Jesus placed a high view on scripture. On one occasion He chided them for not knowing the scriptures. Then He added “nor the power of God”. He was expressing the need to know not only the writings but also the power of the Holy Spirit. He was asserting the need for BOTH. Even after His resurrection, His dialogue with the two on the road to Emmaus was loaded with scripture. Paul’s life and ministry was saturated with scripture. He made sure that his workers had the same priority. He told Timothy to “DEVOTE yourself to the public reading of scripture”. Paul called each and every scripture profitable. He then listed all the ways it could be used profitably including “instruction in righteousness”. A servant of God needed it to be “thoroughly equipped”. He said the scriptures could actually make one wise unto salvation. But then, Paul declared in another place that those same scriptures could kill. In the wrong hands, coming out of the wrong mouth without the anointing of the power of the Holy Spirit to grasp them and utilize them, the scriptures are indeed a loaded gun with which many get their spiritual heads blown off. Whole families and fellowships, communities and countries are divided and even decimated. Luther, a man of scripture, hunted down the Anabaptists like animals and butchered them. The atrocities in the Christian country of Rawanda were evidence of scripture without the Spirit. Barbaric butchering occurred with a proverbial Bible in one hand and a machete in the other. I love how John puts it – the Anointing teaches you all things. The anointing teaches us scripture and “all things”. We need no man to teach us. The upshot of all this is simply that we need to be a “saturated people”. We must be people saturated with scripture and saturated with the Spirit.

    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Col 3:16

    • Thanks for sharing all of that with us Dan. Yes! May Jesus the Word dwell in us richly!

      • Dan permalink

        Yeah, it’s lengthy. Sorry about that. Once I started, I couldn’t stop writing. Good topic. The thought of reading scripture apart from the Annointing of the Holy Spirit scares me spitless.

    • "BK" permalink

      Hi, Dan. Scares me spitless too! Such life when read IN anointing. I did look up the verse about Paul telling Timothy to devote himself to public reading of the scriptures but it actually doesn’t include those last three words ‘of the scriptures’. I do believe when it says the Word of Christ should dwell in us richly it is speaking of the anointed word, and not necessarily a specific scripture. The anointing has spoken many things to me that brought me life but were not scriptures. And yes, sometimes it IS scripture. I hear you and your wonderful balance of the two edged sword as one uses the Bible so I’m not in disagreement with what you said. Just clarifying a couple of things as I read. Blessings, “BK”

  7. Dan permalink

    Christopher, I believe that you are one of those who are truly balanced on this subject.

    • No need to apologize about the length Dan, it was all great stuff. Scared “spitless”? LOL, almost fell out of my chair.

    • Dan, you are more than kind to me. I am always seeking that mythical thing called balance, but I want the Spirit’s balance and NOT man’s.

  8. Simply put, I agree and disagree Chris. What I write now I have believed and tried to live out for most of my life.

    Words are thoughts whether merely thought, spoken or written. Our (or other human’s) thoughts, God’s own thoughts, a demon’s thoughts. Whether they are written in The Bible or simply pop in one’s head, whether we speak or write them and blog ’em or whatever. So… if there is actual authority/power/control (there is of course) it can be used in love or abused to mis-lead and harm people. God acts (or does not) out of His Own perfect will but I would argue He thinks, speaks and acts perfectly always. We do not.

    I have no issue with direct revelation as such nor do I doubt your experience with Him as a child prior to Bible reading. Yet the practical, lasting authority of what I read in what we call The Bible seems to me the best practical source of inspired thoughts/words/indeed commands like ’em or not… and I find them superior to any other book on the planet.

    Further, I have long been convinced it isn’t so much what -it- says but what we say it says, mis-use, lousy interpretation (eisegesis rather than exegesis) and using “the law unlawfully” which is the problem. Don’t blame that Book for how people use it to control and misuse others. Blame the people.

    What does Jesus Himself say about the scriptures? “You’re wrong because you don’t know the scriptures nor the power of God” and “teaching traditions of men as though they were the commands of God” and so forth. The Book in and of itself in my view, is not the issue. People who use it to violate, manipulate, control and either get gain or maintain power, political, geographical, wealth, their little personal kingdom and such is THE deal in my view. But wait… (as they say on late night tv) there’s more!!

    ANY human’s thoughts can be and all too often are as flawed as some say various Bible texts are. Joe or Jane Blow can be as manipulative in their words as any bogus preacher in order to get what they want wrongfully, wield “authority” over someone or any group of peeps.

    Therefore if one can mis-use what most Christians refer to as the Word of God… they (we, I) can equally think wrongly, determine wrongly, make mistakes, mis-discern, judge unrighteously in our own head with zero Bible involved.

    My thoughts, words, writing, comments however shared (or simply unshared but lived out and believed as truth) can ALSO be used to manipulate, control, abuse others, no? I have neither the knowledge nor the faith to believe anyone but Jesus has ever walked the earth who -never- thought wrongly, never made a mistake or literally never sinned with their thoughts, words and deeds including in their relationships with God or other humans, ic, hc or xyz 🙂

    I fully get you are saying the Spirit can and does speak truth outside of The Bible. Of course. If all truth is God’s truth, if Jesus Himself IS the way, Truth and life… and He is indeed… I get that, Amen. It’s relationship to the God, the Person, Father, Son, Spirit. YES!!!!

    And yet- finally (aren’t you glad… I’m writing a book myself here, sorry 🙂 punchline:

    What does Jesus Himself say in the four Gospels specifically about scripture? How often does He quote scripture? What does He say about proper use and misuse of scripture? If your, my or anyone else’s view of what we call The Bible is other than Christ’s Own view we have a problem, because not everything going though our heads is God talking and of course all of us at times have been convinced it was and later regretted that we believed it was.

    Protecting, defending ourselves from the pain of “church” and/or “false leaders” abuse by a view of scripture other than Christ’s simply don’t work. Cuz we are giving creedence to other human views that at times are less than His. His? I’m convinced Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the best plumbline along with the rest of the Gen-Rev account, to decide if I’m hearing Him or the other two possibilities.

    This is why I come back daily to the best source of sifting through my own thoughts and sense of what God the Holy Spirit is saying to me and calling me to do.

    Absolutely LOVE YOU in Jesus and with great respect for you and those here my friend!!! -Glenn

    • Glenn, I have no problem with what you have shared here. The bible is the greatest book in all history and when used and discerned properly as led by the Holy Spirit is the best standard we have for life and Godliness in this life. Thank you Glenn for adding your portion here.

  9. daryl permalink

    Just wanted to add I was not implying we don’t need the Spirits leading…of course we do, As a christian who loves God,I feel going to the scripture is just a normal desire brought about by the Spirit in us. Many years ago I attended a 12 step meeting,where Jesus was(and is)our higher power,applying the scriptures to the steps as we worked them,with great REAL discussion.I was always baffled by those that had such “difficulty” going to the scripture,as if it was a discipline to acquire,an undesireable chore,homework you’d put off as long as possible. To me,it was life from the dead! I believe a hunger and thirst for the reading,hearing,seeing,meditating on scripture comes from the Spirits presence in us,a general normal leading ,and the Spirit often leads us to specific passages or teaches us something we had’nt seen before. Of course we should always be in prayer and do our best to yield ourselves to Him in our reading of scripture and all things we do.

    • I hear your heart daryl. Right on! Being clean and sober 37 years I love the 12 steps when viewed thru the light of the Spirit and scripture.

  10. Chad permalink

    I really appreciate everyone’s comments here. Seems like after conversation that there really isn’t the disagreement like it seemed at first. At least for me, I know that my view is the same as Chris’, yet I agree with what others are saying too (at least the vast majority of it). Maybe it is like different sides of the same coin and we might lead off with one side or the other based on our experiences.

    • LOL Chad! I was just thinking the same exact thing…..What disagreement? I don’t see it.

  11. "BK" permalink

    Amen, Chad and all. Again, I have to say this is the value of dialogue. To bring balanced ‘nutrition’ to the table. Great discussion, “BK”

    • BK, thank you for adding your portion of balance to the mix here. The years and the Spirit have given you much wisdom dear sister.

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