Good Folks, it is the first Friday of the month of July 2019. The Fourth of July was yesterday and according to plan, I will be having BBQ brisket, potato salad and frijoles a-la-chara.
In a recent reading of one of my devotional books I came across something [again] that I wanted to share with you. Enjoy.
By Bishop William R. Cannon (1916-1997)
God’s Revelation of himself and the deeds he performed are narrated in the Bible, which is the single source of our Christian faith. The so-called Wesleyan quadrilateral is not Wesleyan at all. It ought to be named the Albert Outler quadrilateral, naming as it does the source of our religion as the Bible, reason, tradition and experience. The latter three are really interpretive tools to help us understand the contents of the Bible. They supply no revelatory material themselves. John Wesley, in the preface to his sermons, said that God gave us a book which provides us with his plan for our salvation. The Bible tells us all we need to know, indeed, can possibly know about how to be saved and win a place in heaven. He, therefore, called himself a man of one book.
The Bible then is God’s gift to us, not a book humans have composed for themselves and given to themselves for their own edification. It is his chart for their happiness and satisfaction here, and their blessedness in heaven. Therefore, to change one jot or one tittle of it, to try to make it conform to some human interest, concern, or cause is to risk damnation. We are to receive it as it is written, with open hearts and eager minds, and through it to be instructed in the ways of God. To attempt to rewrite it or in any way modify it from a racist , feminist , liberationist, conservative, or any other perspective not its own is the most dangerous of all heresies and an abomination of desolation too awful to conceive.
It is time we heed St. Augustine’s warning against the juggling and misuse of scripture to suit our own predisposition. “If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you dislike, it is not the Gospel you believe but yourselves.” -Bishop William R. Cannon served from 1968-1984 as UM Bishop of the Raleigh, Richmond (Virginia) and Atlanta Areas.
In a time when the relevance of the church is called into question, much-more-so is God’s Word (Holy Writ). Scriptures have withstood the test to time. In areas of the world where preaching for faith, hope and love are shared, people are feeling a sense purposeful living; however, some believe that the Bible was written long ago for the people of that era and for their needs, not for today.
I started reading the Bible some 35 years ago when I said yes to God and accepted a call to ministry. I read, studied, prayed, studied, read some more and yet some familiar text have new insight and refreshment for the soul. I do not fully understand how this happens but it does. Someone years ago said that the Bible is a composition of love letters from God to the world, to you and me. Have you read yours lately?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.“
Jesus called Disciples and showed them the disciplines necessary to remain strong and faithful.
May the God of great Love bless and keep you, now and always. Amen.
Blessings from Duncanville, Pastor Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org)