Thoughts Concerning Last Weeks Discussions

I guess I'll jump in on the discussions that happened after my posts last week.

I think everyone in this discussion would agree on this one. I just think everything gets lost in the wording, comes from different perspectives, emphasizes one thing more than the other.

God focuses on what we can do for him. It's true that he empowers us and what we do isn't by our own strength, but he doesn't empower us to sit around and be happy that we are right with God; he empowers us to do things to bring him glory. We shouldn't ever be prideful about what we do, but we also shouldn't be ashamed of doing. The things we do are never enough to make us right with him, but he does expect us to do good works to bring him glory.

"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

And on the counseling discussion.

I think that many people don't want a quick answer to their problems. I could easily show someone in general principles what God wants them to do with their life and how to fix their problems. I would pray with them for strength and specific guidance. Many people that go to counseling don't want that. They want to feel good and have their life the same way they have it now. A lot of problems could be fixed by a lifestyle change. I really don't want to waste my time on those people as a pastor, but I do want them to feel loved. Some people enjoy giving empathy. I'm not one of them. The sponges who would suck me dry can go to them. People that have a need that can be resolved in one or two sessions can come to me or other qualified people in the church. I don't feel a pastor should have a monopoly on couseling or any other task that a church does.

And on the all-sufficiency of the Bible.

I think I have an unpopular belief here because I don't think the Bible provides answers for everything in our life, but when we get down to it I think we just disagree on semantics. Principles are outlined in Scripture; however, many good and honest Christians disagree on how to live out the various principles. We've had this discussion before, and we'll probably have it again. God gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us in how to apply the principles. If not, then I don't understand the role of the Holy Spirit. If the Bible is all-sufficient, we should all just be Bible scholars in order to know God's will for our lives. I don't think that is the case.

For instance, what vocation God wants me to do isn't outlined in Scripture. Principles are, but specifics for my life aren't. Some vocations are shown to be off limits, but the specific vocation for my life is not there. How about another example? It is not outlined in Scripture how a Christian should act in a democracy. Should we force the pagans to adhere to our morals or should we be tolerant with the immorality of pagans? That isn't outlined in Scripture either.