Friday, June 17, 2011

Houses of Sand

Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

The problem with the doctrines and structures of men is that they are built on sand and not rock.

I've told that to a man before indicating that the words of Paul were not the foundation or pattern for marriage and family and he pointed out to me that the words of the apostles and the prophets were the foundation of the church, and I believe there is a scripture to back that up.

HOWEVER, looking at these verses in Matthew seven more closely, I see that the words of Jesus are even DEEPER than the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. They are the bedrock that the foundation is built on.

And men who teach false doctrine are guilty of building their doctrinal houses on sand, or their false view of Jesus. Perhaps they are applying the words of Peter or Paul as the foundation, but still their foundation is built on sand.

You have to START with an understanding of who Jesus is and what He expects. You CANNOT assume you know and start building with the Epistles of Peter and Paul. Even their words, the very words of the apostles, are worthless without the bedrock of knowing Jesus.

Ignoring the words of Jesus to obey a warped understanding of Paul is not the Gospel. It is picking and choosing words from a book on which to build a religion devoid of God or any understanding of Him.

This is why you make sure you put first things first and listen to the Voice of the Shepherd first and foremost before the voices of the under shepherds.


Incongruous Circumspection said...

Well said. I don't know if I've ever said this before on this blog, but, its perfectly alright to disagree with Paul. It's like disagreeing with C.H. Spurgeon or John Piper. Paul is merely a human being like us with a conversion story and an "as much as possible" understanding of Christ in the light of his culture.

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Mara Reid said...

You do understand that what you have said is total and complete blasphemy.

I give Paul's words more weight than Spurgeon and Piper.

But I also know that even understanding the words of Paul in his culture and his language and from his world view completely escapes the mind of most modern thinkers. At his best, Paul was not capable of speaking and writing in such a way that there would be no misunderstanding 2000 years later.

Jesus, on the other hand, the Infinite, He could see the end from the beginning and HIS words were measured out, not just for His time, but for all the times to come including ours.

So, yeah. I don't know if I disagree with Paul as much as I disagree with how men have translated and divided his words in our modern times.

And I agree totally with your last sentence. Paul, at his best, was still finite like all the rest of us.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I had a conversation about just that with my wife this morning.

Here's my take on the Bible, at the moment:

The counsels that put the canon together may have done us a disservice. Or, better said, the people who accept what the counsels put out as the canon, as being God's holy and unchangeable and final word, is a disservice to us, as Christians.

See, the people of Galatia had Paul's words of the gospel of Christ, prior to the letter he wrote to them. Paul said in Chapter 4 that they would have given their eyes to him because they were so grateful for the message. Then, they started to add to the gospel which solicited the letter from Paul about freedom.

So, what did the Galatians have to strengthen their understanding? The spoken word of those who knew Christ. The law of Moses that pointed to the need for Christ. Past prophet prophecies that had been written down or orally passed on about the person and time of Christ. And the letter of Paul to them about freedom in Christ. That's it!

There may have been other letters from other people or other respected individuals that gave them hope and knowledge, but we aren't privy to it because the almighty counsels didn't include them in the canon or they weren't written down.

Contrast that with the Corinthians who had bigger problems. Paul had to address things like sex with your mother-in-law and such. So, his letters to them were more about the practical application of Christ's message to our lives.

Two different groups of people. Two very different messages from Paul. One of unadulterated freedom. One of freedom within the bounds of restraint.

God's word is God's word. We know a little and we don't know enough. And God's word can be included in the Bible and I suspect much of it is most definitely NOT God's word but merely an historical record through the perspective lenses of the understanding of the time the words were written.

I could go on, but I want to gauge your take on what I have written. What say you?

Mara Reid said...

Sounds good to me.

I've heard tell that certain sects of Messianic (sp???) Jews reject the writings of Paul, altogether.
And while there is a side to me that understands why, because of all the damage done by men's private interpretation of Ephesians 5 and the like, still there is that part of me that is not willing to part with Ephesians Chapters 1-3.

I have Ephesians 1:3 committed to memory.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

I'd have a hard time giving up all the wonderful word like this contained in Ephesians chapters 1-3.

Incongruous Circumspection said...

Agreed. But there is absolutely no need to give it up! I'm sure you knew that.

I'm merely stating the fact that we, as Christians, can feel free to put the words of great past Christians through the filter of the historical words of Jesus Christ.