Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Ultimate Authority

Our bible study group at church is reading Renengade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus by Mike Slaughter. I'm up to lead the group next Sunday, so I'm reading Chapter 2 today.  Lots of thought provoking snippets here.

Have you ever considered that some of us - and maybe some of our churches - practice Bible idolatry, "acting as if the written word were the highest authority."?  Don't read that and think that either Mike Slaughter or I don't believe in the authority of the Bible, but is there one that is higher?  Of course there is.  It is God.  God is the highest authority.

Consider verses from John 1:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Logos is the Greek word in this passage that means Word, but with better clarity, it means Jesus, the Living Word.  To take liberties with the passage, we could read, "In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God." It's not really correct completely, but it might be easier to "get."

Consider the passage that some refer to in order to defend the supremacy of the written word over anything else; 1 Peter 1:23, which reads, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."  Here, again, the word is Logos - the Living Word.  The verse refers to Jesus as the enduring Word of God, and through that Living Word, we have been born again of that which is imperishable.

Slaughter suggests that when we are faced with difficult Bible passages, such as some of the very violent words in the Old Testament, or the edict to take and eye for an eye, that we stop, and we go to read the Red Letters of Jesus, and then we reread the troublesome passage through this lens.  Look at what is troublesome through the eyes of Jesus - the Living Word, and the ultimate authority.

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