Abductive Columns

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Questions Rarely Asked

1) Why does the body of Christ follow rather than lead in social reform—and then dishonestly claim leadership in reforms after the fact?

2) I have always wondered why the nature and practice of baptism and the Lord's Supper is left ambiguous in Scripture, yet stubbornly “cacophonous churches” are ever reluctant to practice open fellowship.

3) Why do we continue to ignore, make ineffective, and even usurp, the scriptural teaching of the priesthood of all believers—when we know better?

4) Why do so many Christ-followers pilgrimage through life without ever considering the veracity of unbelief; never giving it a fair hearing or allowing it to challenge their faith?

5) Why does the church speak of absolute values without every pointing to the scriptural examples of situation ethics?

6) Why do some faith communities object to wine drinking in moderation when Scripture indicates that wine is a gift from God (Psalm 104:14-15)? For decades the modern church has objected even with the knowledge and example of Jesus turning water into wine? Is this anything more than a holdover from prohibition?


At 11:28 AM, Blogger Josh Woods said...

Very, very good questions – ones I've pondered myself. I think problems like these stem from a stagnation in Christian thinking. In other words, particular "Christian" values are developed around particular societal norms, and then we become incredibly comfortable with those values. When thinking begins to shift, we object on the claim that the shift is unscriptural, when, in fact, our own values often imply more about the society of the time than they do a scriptural foundation.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Donna said...

I too have pondered these questions...and more.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger dave said...

A few years ago, I even had a youth minister tell me that Jesus made non-alcoholic wine.

I was just thinking about both #4 and #5 this very morning, oddly enough...

Great questions...

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Josh Woods said...

I was just thinking about the comment I posted earlier today and thought it may have been a little ambiguous. As I wrote, I was thinking primarily of question six – the question on wine and the holdover from prohibition. (Being from the south, I've always thought it odd that there is more opposition to wine than to tobacco use, even though tobacco is far more dangerous healthwise. Again, I think we tend to form our spiritual views around societal norms, and tobacco has been a staple product of the south.)

As for some of the other questions, I think that, as a church culture, much of our theology has been based on the idea that we can put all doctrinal ideas into nice labeled folders and then neatly file them away for easy retrieval. We become angry when we encounter an idea that doesn't so easily fit our theological filing system, and we dismiss it as "false doctrine." Either that or we read new ideas into it, in many cases even overlooking particular scriptures, to make it fit a little better.

I think that's why many churches, for example, refuse to acknowledge any biblical ambiguity surrounding the Lord's Supper; or scriptural references to situation ethics; or the priesthood of all believers; or open, honest discussion of issues relating to unbelief.


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