Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
When Jesus walked the earth in the flesh, those who recognized him as the Messiah must have been seized by the conviction, "EVERYTHING this man says and does is important." Therefore, they wanted to record it all for future generations, and did their best.
However, earthly life dictates that a certain percentage of our actions and words are mundane and everyday, tied to the necessary tasks of living, such as eating, working, or repairing and maintaining machinery. In living on the earth, Jesus participated in these sorts of activities; therefore he surely uttered many a word or phrase insignificant to posterity, such as "Please pass the salt."
This fact does not diminish the crucial importance of his many teachings. God's wisdom as recorded in Scripture, and especially Jesus's admonitions, compel the attention of all who want to follow him. We are obligated to try to understand, and to ask the Lord for help when we can't.
But the importance of Scripture does not mean we should assume that every word that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recorded is equally weighted—or that we know what Jesus intended when he said it. An example of how wrong Christendom has gone on this is the story of the Last Supper (Luke 22:17-19). Christians have taken "Do this in remembrance of me" with utmost seriousness, interpreting it in almost every way imaginable, ranging from the relatively simple, everyday, "Remember Jesus every time you eat a meal," to the Catholic doctrine of "transubstantiation," whereby the bread and wine supposedly become the actual body and blood of Christ.
The Spirit that gave forth the Scriptures is the only sufficient teacher to guide us through the Bible, including the many things Jesus said. That Spirit does not contradict itself, as George Fox and the early Friends declared many times; therefore, not every interpretation of "Do this in remembrance of me" can be right. However, there is a point on which all Christians can surely unite: Jesus never intended that anything he said in the past, or that he now teaches us, to become a point of contention and division among those who sincerely seek him. So all who really want to know his will have to drop the attitude, "Jesus said it [no matter what it was]; therefore we are bound to follow his directions." We cannot omit the crucial step of listening for the true significance of whatever command it is, and he is the only one who can impart that to us, here and now.
Are you are interested in participating in a monthly conference call for the purpose of reading and discussing the writings of George Fox? Contact siteadmins at nffquaker.org for more information.
New Foundation Fellowship Annual Gathering, "Increase Our Faith" (Luke 17:5)
July 6-9, 2917, Harriman, Wyoming, USA. For more information. contact siteadmins at nffquaker.org
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