Friday, May 05, 2006

Sola Scriptura And Orthopraxy (Part 2)

Sola Scriptura And Orthopraxy (Part 2)

Over the last one hundred years or so, many conservative churches hold the essential doctrines of a solid orthodox faith while leaving its practice. This is obvious when pastors and church leaders turned the members of their churches over to Psychologists and Psychiatrists for “answers, help, direction and at times medicine.”
"Over the last one hundred years or so, many conservative churches hold the essential doctrines of a solid orthodox faith while leaving its practice."

Frankly, I am sorry to say that many pastors have failed in the proper discipleship of the people of God. The failure has been that they understand, or only practice discipleship in teaching their people doctrines listed above or in the last post. Those doctrines are important and essential but not so important that they are to be taught while leaving out discipleship which would teach people how to work through problems that come up in life. God’s people need to know when and how to pray. They need to know how to overcome addictions. How to work with a proper biblical work ethic is vital training that Christians need to know. Also what is the relationship and responsibility of the Christian toward government and others that are in authority? Many pastors have turned much of their job over to outside counselors that may or may not be Christian nor biblically based for that matter. And what about helping those members that have anxiety, or panic attacks, or get depressed? Many pastors have never tried to find biblical answers to issues such as these which Christians often face. In these cases most pastors in my lifetime send these folks to others for help. It is in this aspect that sola scriptura is not practiced in many Churches. Remember sola scriptura is the doctrine that declares the Bible as the final and inerrant authoritative source in two areas: 1) doctrine, and 2) practice. Without discipleship in the areas Christians living then sola scriptura is not really sola scriptura. It is scriptural doctrine along with some sort of pragmatic and / or trial and error living.


For a true belief in and practice of sola scriptura the leaders of the Church will view the Bible as sufficient in discipleship in order to give direction, principles, and precepts in all areas of life and in all things regarding life and godliness. This will be their “philosophy of ministry” for it is the biblical directive of ministry.

To do otherwise causes the Church to be anemic and weak. Instead of helping the people live and practice godliness Church leaders focus upon many other things to do in the Church. I give many examples. Many focus upon just giving the gospel. I have heard some state that “soul winning takes care of everything.” Others either state or imply Christ is coming real soon, "It's too late to teach, just win them." Another extreme close to these extremes are the pastors and elders that say, "Hey lets get them saved, baptized, and into the church so we can fill their heads with truth and change in them will come by osmosis.” There is no practice side of sola scriptura with these folks.

"For a true belief in and practice of sola scriptura
the leaders of the Church will view the Bible as
sufficient in discipleship in order to give
direction, principles, and precepts in all areas of life
and in all things regarding life and godliness."

Other Churches that have taken the practice of sola scriptura out of their discipleship have have ado[ted doctrine that is very strange. They state that “ self is so bad, if you even try, God cannot use you.” These guys are known as the Keswicks, Quietists, and Pietists. Eventually, in time history has shown, as a group of people they are overtaken by the world around them. There is no practice side of sola scriptura with these folks.


Others take a different course and declare, "There would be no sins if you could just get people to feel good about themselves." Of course in time these folks end up liberal. Others however go down another path and resort to the “job of fighting”. Now what they fight can be anything from fighting liberalism and neo-evangelism to fighting other Christians that do things different than themselves. It is sad but thee folks take this as the test of “fellowship and true spirituality”. Eventually, in time these folks become angry, bitter and many times you walk away from them scratching the head wondering if they are fighting just for the sake of fighting. There is no practice side of sola scriptura with these folks.

Others take a different course …..
going down the path and the “job of fighting”.
Fighting about anything from liberalism and neo-evangelism
to true Christians that do things different than themselves….
It is done in their minds as the test of “fellowship and true spirituality”.

Other Church leaders, especially in this day, say that the church is boring, irrelevant, and predictable. Therefore it must be user friendly. These leaders once again as the others have done have removed themselves from the practice part of sola scriptura. They then start looking at a church growth and they research and survey the unsaved and backsliders about what the church needs to be doing. Anything can happen in the Church where this is the practice. And we can say for sure that there is no practice side of sola scriptura with these folks.


What about your church? Do they practice all of sola scriptura? Does your Church hold to the essential doctrines that have been stated in this blog series? I certainly hope so. Does you church teach you and the rest of its members how to practice applying the scriptures? Or is the “ministry” of your Church based upon pragmatism, mysticism, pop-psychology, or the scriptures? Do you truly believe in sola scriptura? Remember sola scriptura is the doctrine that declares the Bible as the final and inerrant authoritative source in two areas: 1) doctrine, and 2) practice.

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