I almost want to make a series of blog posts about the "Pendulum Swings" of Christianity. Two important truths that sometimes get pitted against each other by those trying to live righteously.
Why not. I might never add to this series again, but at least I tried.
Pendulum Swing #1 - Spirit and in Truth: Being changed by a radical encounter with God while being grounded in the truth of God's Word.
I'm going to begin with the latter.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2nd Timothy 2:15
Being a radical, effective, relevant Christian doesn't mean ignoring the Bible. Jesus didn't throw out the scriptures when He came into town. He said that He came to fulfill them. He was constantly in the temple revealing truth in the scriptures. He quoted the old testament 78 recorded times. He spoke from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, and Malachi.
The Bible is actually the only offensive weapon given in the armor of God. It can divide soul and spirit, and it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. I'm gonna say that it's pretty important.
In our effort to avoid hypocritical and stale Christianity, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Keep the Bible.
There's a lot of buzz going around about religious "experientialism." Which is a fancy word for the desire for a "spiritual high." There's a real danger in seeking an experience with God without also being grounded in good doctrine. But to those that reject all experiences with God in fear of being floppy and emotional, I say that the experience with God is just as important as memorizing scripture. It's not an either/or thing.
Moses' life was changed when he had his burning bush experience with God. Paul's life was changed when he had his encounter on the road to Damascus.
What's the deal with the transfiguration? That seemed like a pretty powerful experience that strengthened the disciples faith in this Jesus they were following.
I think the reason the Pharisees strayed so far from God's Will was because they only knew the law of God. The words of God. But not the face of God.
They were missing the heart of God.
Moses said, "Show me Your glory."
David said, "I will see Your face."
It's not that we need a balance between having an experience with God and knowing the truth of His Word. We need both desperately. If you're missing one, chase after it! If you're doing good in both, go deeper! Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.