November 5, 2003 at 6:32 am Leave a comment

Hey all…been a while, huh?? So, here’s my current thoughts:

I was in class the other day (Lutheran Confessional Writtings, to be exact. For all of you Baptists out there, that is a class where I have to read and learn about all of Martin Luther’s writings, and even memorize some of them…something for which I have much anguish…anyway…) and the discussion of ‘External Word’ came up…that is, that w/o the ‘Word’ (aka, Bible) the Spirit/Jesus/God does not come to us. This got me thinking…for one thing, I’m not sure I agree with that…I think the Spirit comes to many people, and many people are not Christian and therefore do not hear the ‘External Word’…The prof also was talking about what Luther called the ‘Enthusiasts’, that’s what he would compare today to Pentacostals/Baptists (that is, what one would typically think of as Baptist…think more SBC than ABC). These ‘Enthusiasts’ follow what my Professor calls ‘God within-ism’ that is, that God is inside of us and speaks to us from within, not from without (External word). Luther argues that External Word is the correct way of thinking, because that is what the gospels preach, that God comes to us through Jesus, and that he comes to us through the Word.

Now here’s where my mind got to thinking. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the 4 gospels that the church decided were the correct ones…but what about the other gospels that are out there? Who got to decide which ones were right, and which ones were heresy?? Well, that would be the human church, would it not?? My Professor gave an explination of why the gospels are true, and not just because they were ‘voted in’ by the church…unfortunatly, I have forgotten his argument…however, I didn’t agree with it. At some point, no matter what else was going on or what the gospels say, somebody had to decide what was ‘right’ and what was ‘wrong’. What did they base there decision on? Why did they get to make that decision? Is it possible they got it wrong? When I asked what the difference between Matt, Mark, Luke, John and the ‘other’ gospels such as St. Thomas, Mary Magdalene and others were, the response was this:

-Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John speak of External word

-Thomas, Magdalene and the other ‘gnostics’ speak of “God within-ism

Okay…so back to my original question…who decided which way was ‘right’?? And another one: What is wrong with the so called “God within-ism”? Is is so wrong to believe that God created us in his image, and that he loves his creation and wants to be a part of us so much so that he is? That God is with us to such an extreme that he is actually within us? My professors argument is that “within-ism” is wrong because people begin to equate “God within” with what there little voice inside tells them is right or wrong, and in so doing this, they can do whatever “God” tells them is right…they can interprete things however “God” (aka, feelings, emotions, beliefs) tell them to do. I agree with this to an extent. I think so people do take this to an extreme, and I by no means know what is God speaking to me and what is my own heart…that’s where the magical seminary word of ‘discernment’ comes in…one must make a descision as to what is God, and what is self.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents for now…So the basic questions up for discussion are as such:

1. Who got to pick what gospels are ‘right’ and why did they get to choose?

2. What’s wrong with thinking God loves his creation so much that he is a part of it, actually within his own created beings, speaking to them from within?

Ready…Set…DISCUSS!! 😀

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