Have you been sucked into the philosophy of the day that the only real and good authority is in the individual? This is the second piece in a series in which I want to explain why some Christian people are abandoning the authority of the Bible and why you shouldn’t.
There is always the temptation to whittle the authority of the Bible down and it is not just because of the philosophy of the day of course. It could just be that our sinful hearts are not that keen on what the Bible says, or not that keen on being different to the crowd or not that keen on doing life differently to what our families have always done.
You can tell where you stand on the authority of the Bible by thinking about the way you make decisions. Analysing your decision making will tell you what is really in authority over your life. There a variety of influences on our decision making, but they can be grouped into 4:
Traditions – You decide to think or behave in a certain way because people you know and trust have always done it that way or believed that thing. (E.
g. You put the Vegemite in the fridge because your parents did!)
Logic/Reason – You decide to think or behave in a certain way because you have used the brain God gave you to work it out by gathering information making a choice. You might consult someone but in the end, you will decide using the brain and evidence you have. (E.g. you look at Vegemite and you note it is a yeast extract and because your yeast is kept in the fridge Vegemite goes in the fridge!)
Experience – You decide to think or behave in a certain way because of the experiences you have had in life. The pathway to truth is through lived experiences and you do what works. (E.g. you went to a friends house and they pulled the Vegemite out of the fridge and you thought it tasted awesome and therefore it goes in the fridge!)
Feelings – You decide to think or behave in a certain way because it feels right and thinking or doing things in that way made you feel happy or at peace. (E.g. the cylindrical shape of Vegemite just felt right in the cupboard so it goes in the cupboard!)
Now I hope you can see that no one really operates in one way to the exclusion of all others – but for most people, one pathway tends to dominate all the others. Which is it for you?
I hope you can see that there are problems with relying on any one of those as ultimate authority.
Tradition tends to pass down mistakes of the past.
Reason relies on our finite and damaged minds.
Experiences are open to interpretation and changeable from person to person.
Feelings change all the time based on health, weather, sleep, relationships and even the consumption of cheese on pizza!
Is there a better way? Let’s see next week!