During the course of today's sermon, our preacher related stories of her personal encounters with God. Nice, but where was the link to testing things against scripture?
As I related last week in a post entitled "Things Not Seen",
"Personal experiences and feelings become problems because all too often they can be shown to be contrary to scripture.
This is also how we discern the Holy Spirit; we have to go back and study scripture, and discuss things amongst others who have studied the scriptures.
The study of the Bible and Christian history therefore become vitally important, because ignorance of scripture and the errors that others have made in the past will lead us into the way of error ourselves with the inevitable consequence of a weakening or even the loss of personal and corporate faith."
In the present age when the reliability of witnesses, and the trustworthiness of leaders and governments are usually doubted, and when truth itself is a nebulous thing, can I believe these stories from 2000 years ago? For that matter, can I believe that Osama Bin Laden is really dead?
In a world full of conspiracy theories and mistrust, is it any wonder that people have a hard time accepting the truth that has been passed down to us in the form of Biblical witness?
In a world where authority figures are constantly being exposed as liars, self serving, or otherwise untrustworthy, can people put their faith and trust in a God of authority and power?
Or are people searching for a god more like themselves?
Addendum: 1 John 4:1-6 was in Monday's readings.
Testing the Spirits
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus* is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."