Thursday, 10 November 2011

Words for Thought

I posted this in Facebook but thought I might put it here as well for the odd passerby!

So Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples split up and spread the gospel with amazing passion, Paul got zapped, and things got even more outrageous - spreading like wildfire for years with no written doctrines, handbooks, tracts, Torah, just a simple powerful gospel that was the love of a passionate Father wanting to pour that love out on his children.
So they started to get the odd letter tossed around when one of the apostles found something not going to plan. We really aren't too sure about what they were responding to, we can only surmise that from the letters themselves. There were some accounts of Jesus life from a few different viewpoints floating around. Some of the letters were details on the work of Jesus and all its implications. All had a purpose and an intended audience, but they were all over the place. No one used them as doctrinal statements, but over time they began to be venerated until a couple of hundred years later it was decided for the sake of unification and sorting out who was in and who was out, as well as defining orthodoxy, the church fathers of the day decided to pick the best of them and bundle them up together.
So the first church had no bible. Some of the Jewish converts still liked their Torah, but nothing at all for those Gentiles. Seems they had to rely on the Holy Spirit. Maybe they knew something we didn't? Maybe there was a depth to their faith that we have lost? Maybe the whole revelation of Jesus death and resurrection, unity with God and trusting that relationship was all they needed - gulp! treading in thin ice here!
Of course our wonderful Father inspired those amazing documents we now have - they contain descriptions of the depth of his passion and how that was made real in us. But maybe he never intended them to come first? Maybe they were meant to be supportive to the life of the indwelling Christ, the words that confirmed what we should already know in our hearts, the touchstone of the simple truths of the gospel.Is it possible we've got it round the wrong way? Could it be we are trying to figure out this awesome life in Him by a handful of letters rather than using those letters to bear witness to the Holy Spirit in us? Maybe we are so scared of the personal responsibility that would bring, that it outweighs the freedom? And possibly we just can't handle the thought that its not our problem to "guard the faith" - maybe God can do that better without our help?
Hmmm, can't help wondering...