Use Jesus to test beliefs

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I was impressed with John Glover’s honest and sincere questions about the nature of God in his letter “God spurs many questions” (Jan. 18).

As he stated, most of our beliefs are based upon how we were raised – which religious background or church affiliation we were parts of during our childhoods. Relatively few of us have taken the opportunity to examine our beliefs about God in the light of life’s experiences and our own understandings. To do so, as Thomas More pointed out, requires considerable courage because we may have to discard some of our preconceptions and reconstruct our own understandings of God and the Bible. Psalmists had similar struggles. Jesus’ No. 1 problem was dealing with the “church folks” who had all the answers.

I don’t believe God expects us as his children to believe the unbelievable. We would not expect that of each other or impose that practice upon our own children. The late Rev. Dr. John Claypool, beloved pastor and author, said it well: Faith is not blind. It must be based upon some reasonable evidence. Jesus never condemned Thomas for requiring proof of His resurrection.

Right or wrong, I have developed a simple test that I use to evaluate my beliefs about God. This criterion is Jesus Christ. If the statements and teachings about God from whatever source – including the Bible – are in keeping with the life and teachings of Jesus, I can accept them. Otherwise, I will leave them for others to debate. Certainly I know enough about God’s commands to keep me busy for a lifetime.

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soapy_725
43676
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soapy_725 01/29/13 - 10:44 am
1
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Many scriptures speak of a "purification of the church".
Unpublished

The fire that burns off all of the scum from the gold. The shaking of everything we believe that we may know the TRUTH. Traditions of Men have diluted the "faith once delivered unto the saints". The desire for wealth, political power and political influence has weakened the true message of salvation.
The inclusion of the "little foxes" into the body of believers has brought about many new versions of salvation other than Jesus Christ. Social Injustice as a mission statement has replaced "Go Ye therefore into all the world and preach the Gospel.

Jesus never denounced slavery, social injustice, political injustice. Jesus did denounce those who would use His Father's House to make a profit. Jesus did say "If I be lifted up I will draw all; men to me". We as believer's and the visible church undoubtedly have failed to "lift up Jesus" since all have not come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

Pragmatism says we have failed. The church is rich and souls are poor.
"The Pharisees loved money...."

GiantsAllDay
9419
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GiantsAllDay 01/29/13 - 11:12 am
1
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I've always wondered why

I've always wondered why Jesus killed a menopausal fig tree just because it was past the time in its life where it could bear fruit. Too bad they didn't have anger management classes back then.

LillyfromtheMills
13006
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LillyfromtheMills 01/29/13 - 12:10 pm
4
1
Not funny

GAD

Bizkit
30786
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Bizkit 01/29/13 - 12:53 pm
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I know free speech and all

I know free speech and all and anyone can comment-much like Wikipedia. But if you don't believe in a religion nor know anything about it then your opinion appears naive. The fig tree is a metaphor. Now read the bible-all of it because this story touches old and new testament and when you can intelligently discuss the story, then it will mean something. Jesus wasn't mad cursing but cursed the tree which slowly withered and died. The curse was not for his anger or pleasure but his disciples to note and learn a lesson. But ignorance often begats ignorance. So begat on.

GiantsAllDay
9419
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GiantsAllDay 01/29/13 - 02:45 pm
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Ok I see now

Ok I see now

Fiat_Lux
15122
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Fiat_Lux 01/29/13 - 03:49 pm
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Sure ya do.

But perhaps you're a tree-hugger who finds it repugnant that someone would have the insensitivity to use a tree as an object lesson, even if it was God-the-Son, and even if it was done for the good of actual people rather than plant-people.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 01/29/13 - 06:21 pm
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Good letter, Mr. Williams.
Unpublished

Good letter, Mr. Williams. May you continue to walk the walk of the Christian ideal.

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 01/29/13 - 09:31 pm
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Liked the Letter

I liked the letter and I think the point is clear. There is enough in the Bible that Jesus taught that if we follow them alone we will be busy enough to stay out of trouble.

BizKit, I disagree. The story of Jesus and the fig tree is not a metaphor. He was actually hungry and since the tree was not bearing food he cursed it and it died. He did this to teach a lesson to his disciples. The lesson was that if a disciple does not bear fruit then he is not worth much at all. True disciples will bear fruit. Those who call themselves disciples and don't bear fruit show they are not disciples and will be cursed. With that said, it was not a metaphor but a real fig tree that Jesus cursed.

grouse
1635
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grouse 01/29/13 - 11:10 pm
0
1
I love it when allegory is
Unpublished

I love it when allegory is taken literally....

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