Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Holy Scriptures are a Book of Love

As I was reading today’s Epistle reading I once again encountered a passage that seems to be ignored by so many so called Sola Scripture Christians....
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's First Letter to Timothy 1:18-20; 2:8-15 (RSV) - TIMOTHY, my son, this charge I commit to you in accordance with the prophetic utterances which pointed to you, that inspired by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, among them Hymenaios and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds, as befits women who profess religion. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
Women preachers, women teachers, women clergy, women bishops, women wearing gold, women wearing costly attire....if I didn’t know any better women would be total second class citizens in Protestant Churches....of course thankfully they are not.

So if Sola  Scripture Christians are not REALLY Sola Scripture, then why does the Orthodox Church receive so much grief that our Holy Traditions aren’t Biblical? Of course they ARE Biblical, but that has been a matter of interpretation.

There are more examples that are not about women, lest you think today’s blog is about keeping women down. This blog is NEVER about keeping women down...
  • Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (Matthew 23.9) YET....I’ve never met a single Christian who claimed NOT to have an earthly father.
  • And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. (Matthew 23.10) YET...there are many Protestants who are called teachers.
  • You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deut 4.2) YET....the ENTIRE New Testament is in violation of this passage.

My point today is NOT to favor Biblical literalism, but to wonder why so many claim literalism while ignoring so many verses. The answer of course is the holistic approach of the Orthodox Church. The Holy Scriptures are to be used to lead people into a deeper relationship with Christ. They cannot be used to bully people, guilt people, or otherwise control others. The Holy Scriptures are a Book of love.

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