How is scripture actually being used

I was eating lunch one day and sat beside a number of Church going men (maybe accountability buddies) that were sitting close enough to me to hear most of their conversation.

They had a good conversation. Nothing I would disagree with individually They had what I consider to be a typical conversation for these types of meetings and the conversation turned to politics and how bad the world is. I did not disagree with anything being said whatsoever but I do consider this type of conversation to be pretty typical where we start to critique the world at large.

I realize in the entirety of the conversation I overheard there was not one thing I would disagree with. I was, however, concerned with the general focus of the conversation…. or the centrality of the conversation. Thats why for me the centrality of the Gospel needs to be internalized to me more than externalized.

As I read across several BLOGS and contempalete the conversation I overheard I asked myself why does the conversation always turn external in these conversations. I realize no matter how much scripture we understand there is a large gap between what we know and what do. Here are my theories why this occurs and why we externalize it instead of internalizing it:

1. By externallizing everything it takes the focus off of me and my sins.

2. We just feel better about ourselves when we criticize others or externallize everything.

3. We are afraid of real intimacy and showing people our real selves and we prefer easy intimacy as opposed to real intimacy with people and God.

4. We just like to use the path of least resistance with other people so by externallizing we don’t get our hands dirty with our own issues.

As I reflect on what Paul means when he says that in our weaknesses we find strength I believe that getting “real” about our sin, fears, concerns, etc is the pathway to intimacy with Christ and each other.

As I type this and reflect on my marriage relationship I realize I have been kinda floating relationally with Sue for two or three weeks. Our family dynamic and busyness has changed with our older daughter being home for the summer and the start of soccer for our younger daughter. This long seperation from intimate closeness with my wife (not physical intimacy) has caused me to be short tempered and emotionally tired. A good word is its making me wrestless. I need to have a heart to heart with my wife soon and we need to get “real” with each other. To talk about our fears and concerns and to regain the pathway of deep intimacy and being “real” with each other.

In Christ,

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2 thoughts on “How is scripture actually being used

  1. theoldadam

    Jon,

    I like the notion of the Word of God coming to us, externally.

    I like that because then I do not try and internalize it. I do not put the onus on myself and my performance, but rather on God and his performance.

    God’s Word of law comes upon me like the blade of a two-edged sword. It does it’s work in me, killing me as it exposes my sin amd condemns me.

    But the other side of that blade heals me with the sweet words of Jesus and His forgiveness given to me, without any other accompanying demand.

    I have a feeling that’s not exactly what you are talking about , but whenever I think of scripture “being used”, this is what I think of.

    I pray, Jon, that the relationship you have with your wife will blossom this Spring, and into Summer with much new, and lovely growth.

    Your Friend,

    Steve M.

  2. theoldadam

    Jon,

    I understand exactly what you mean. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

    I could not be a part of any congregation that uses God’s law in an external fashion like that.

    I think it’s much easier for a church, or individuals in a congregation to act externally towards others regarding sin, if they do not have a proper understanding of ‘the simul’…fully justified and fully sinner.

    Many of these groups put their focus on ‘sins’ instead of where it ought be… on’ sin’. Sins are something they can handle (especially if they are getting a steady diet of biblical principles (watered down law), or at least they think they can handle them, and thereby become prideful and judgemental.

    This is another great reason for the sacraments. To keep people off of the religious project game, and into the repentance/forgiveness paradigm that is the life of the Christian.

    Excellent post, Jon. Lots to think about here.

    – Steve

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