Americans approach our faith something like shopping at a grocery store. We take two items from aisle two, a few from aisle four and the rest from aisle twelve.
The early Church, the guys whom the apostles’ discipled, referred to this approach as “heresy.”
Unfortunately, my idea of doing deep Bible study was to read the Scofield notes or read notes from a Ph.D., who agreed with those notes. Why do we approach faith and belief in such a haphazard way?
The American pioneer spirit created the “born again” approach to all things religious.
Life on the America soil, strengthened the “alones” of the Reformation. Salvation comes from God alone. I am saved by grace alone. I believe in the Bible alone. I believe in faith alone.
I like that kind of salvation. Who wouldn’t? It’s all about me. I am the only priest I will ever need (cf. I Peter 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16. 10:19-22; Revelation 1:5-6). Did I mention tithing? If I tithe, there is a good chance I’ll reward in spades.
I’m no psychologist, but doesn’t this kind of Christianity foster sociopaths?
Salvation in both the old and new covenants is about a people. Moses hears God’s voice and becomes Israel’s leader. The new Moses, Jesus also hear’s God voice and becomes the Church’s high priest. Jesus leads and saves us as a people.
We need priests like Jesus. Here’s Why:
- Like the people in the Old Testament, “We are ignorant and erring.” Arrogance isn’t the soul domain of atheists (Psalm 14). Some Christians are more foolish than God haters who claim I John 2:27 as proof text for a completely isolated Christianity.
- Men of God make vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience. As Hebrews states, “No one takes this honor upon Himself.” Church is not about the priest but our High Priest Jesus. Mankind struggles with sex, greed and rebellion. We need someone to serve as our spiritual father.
- I need someone to look into my soul. My cardiologist understands my heart better than any man on earth. I can read the report but my understanding of the data needs someone to interpret it. If you are like me, I need someone to look into my soul and interpret my heart.
- We need Authority. If you are speaking on God’s behalf, you can say, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool. ” When you speak with God’s heart, “The word of God becomes living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”
- We must learn Obedience. Hebrews states, “Jesus is source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Martin Luther added the phrase “faith alone” to his translation of Romans 3:28. You will search in vain to find “faith alone” in any verse of Scripture.