Alrighty! Let’s talk about the theology of scriptural authority for a moment. If you find your head drooping at this point, please click over to MonticelloLive or maybe even Engadget. I’d hate to be the guilty party that causes you to mar your monitor with forehead grease from a Notes-induced case of narcolepsy.
It’s been my observation through these recent dialogues that many Christians today appeal to experience as an authoritative source for matters of theology. The case goes something like this:
- I’ve experienced this (or have been around others who have), so it must be legit.
Other matters of Christian practice are also defended solely on one’s own authority. This argument goes something like this:
- I feel very strongly about this, and because I’m passionate about it, it must be right.
Both of these positions are unacceptable for the Christian. Matters of faith and practice should be based upon Scripture. Obedience to revealed truth trumps experience every time. This is not just an isolated flap in the wind. It’s a much bigger problem in American Christendom today than most folks realize.
My point is this: one should be wary of adhering to a position about Christian faith or practice that is not defensible scripturally. Our experiences and perceptions are too easily deceived. When scripture specifically addresses an issue, then the believer is bound to interpret his experiences through that scripture, not vice versa.
What do you use as your authority in making decisions? How often do you find yourself going with what would make you “feel better?” Or how about this, what/who do you turn to in order to receive advice and counsel most often? For believers in Christ, we miss the joy of surrendering our lives to Him each time we neglect to submit our ways to Him.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55.8-9)