Thursday, March 18, 2010

Late last night I received a phone call from a guy in our college group who was hanging out with a good buddy of his when he was shocked to hear the news that his friend was disinterested in the Christian faith and was no longer going to walk the walk. Startled, he called me and asked me some questions. He said that his friend just used to feel God but now he doesn't. He said that he once felt God's presence but now he doesn't.

I had this very same conversation with another college guy earlier this week in my office at church. Think about this theology for a moment. For the sake of the argument, if we base our theology on experience (which is what many [most?] professing Christians in America do) then what does that say about their theology? I felt God as I was singing the worship songs last week and reading my Bible, but this week I just don't feel God. I guess that means that God isn't with me anymore. That theology says that God was once with a person and then He abandoned that person. That is weak, flimsy, unbiblical, and super-subjective theology. And I would never want to believe that!

In Scripture we are never called to base our theology upon feelings. This is not to downplay emotions in worship and in the Christian life but emotions and subjective feelings ought NEVER to determine our theology. Scripture is overwhelmingly clear that we must rest our theology on the rock-solid foundation of God's unchanging (=UNCHANGING!) Word. This is why we believe in the immutability (meaning "God does not change"—ever!) of God. We believe in the authority of God's Word that does not change! What God spoke to Moses in 1400 BC is just as relevant to our culture today as it was to theirs then. What God spoke through Paul to the church in Colossae is just as relevant to our church today because God's word is timeless and unchanging. It is objective truth.

Sometimes in the Christian life we don't feel like reading our Bible. We don't feel like getting up early and praying. We don't feel like serving someone or having them over for dinner again. But this is the discipline of the Christian life. Sometimes the Olympic athlete doesn't feel like training yet another day, but he must in order to win the prize! So it is with the Christian. We run the race of the Christian life because we know there is a prize at the end. And we do so with joy and with great anticipation.

Therefore, do not live your life or never let your theology be grounded upon subjective human experiences (this was/is at the root of liberalism in the last few centuries). Rather, always base your theology on the unchanging, objective, and solid foundation of the Word of God.


Anonymous said...

There is a almost new practice now sweeping the planet. It is a mild sweep and unnoticeable at first but it picks up in scope...

The practice is to use 'Reason' as a guide to ones action and view of life contradistinct from the 'Faith' of our forefathers for the past 10,000 years that has been passed on to each of us.

Look for more and more of this kind of chats by the faithful!

One more thing: contrary to popular 'dreams' published frequently, 'Reason' and 'Faith' can not coexist in the same person. Sorry.

Cecil R. Williams

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