Updated: Mar 26
This week has been amazing as four full days have now been filled with interviews from two different requests, both unsolicited, as well as several amazing "Cabin Talks," though a couple of these were in places other than my backyard retreat.
It's been hard for me to get over the beautiful spirit I have felt in the room as I have shared my heart with a transparency until now never fully tested.
Then this morning, I dove into a book recieved only last evening from John Rinehart of GospelPatrons.com.
(Later insert, I consumed his book in only two short days), I sensed an awareness and even a reinforcement of what has been quite troubling to my spirit.
Rinehart in his book by the same title, "Gospel Patrons" shares how a little known businessman named, Humphrey Monmouth came to the aid of William Tyndall who was "unlocking the Latin" version of scripture at the risk of death, given that the Church of England had at that time forbade any further translations.
Monmouth was soon imprisoned and died only after Tyndall was burned at the stake. Later Tyndall's work won the eye of the King and still later the KJV became a reality.
I am now encouraged, even compelled to push further into what seems to be happening in my own spirit after 50 years of reading this mysterious God-breathed text.
In my lifetime I have been afforded multiple translations, and have served with men and women holding numerous denominational takes on scripture, all claiming validity for their point of view across this now quite diverse Institutional Church in America.
All this has been brewing in me since the morning of December 28,2008 when I heard the Lord whisper these words, "My Church is in Foreclosure."
I am now gaining hope, as more and more believers seem on the cusp of breaking through another ceiling of prohibition which the Institutional Church has reinforced perhaps unintentionally by deifying the fallible writers of scripture.
You might read that again!
These men and women were just like you and I, their own humanity so apparent, as is clearly revealed by their struggles, yes, same as we, well captured even into the New Testament.
Let alone for now Moses and the harseness of the Law, let's focus for example on the gender bias of women in ministry in Paul's day.
Paul's bias has now been rightfully explained away by the more progressive churches, though some still bicker in their efforts to protect scripture's infallibility.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing the clear sanction and anointing among women as they pair up in pulpits with their husband, having been earlier confined to leading some less visible women's ministry or "quilting circle" of sorts!
Something seems amiss with all this, let alone the years when scripture was used to sanction slavery, now seen as an abysmal error on the part of the church, thanks to men like Newton, Wilberforce. Even local hero and Moravian, Jan Hus are a part of the stirrings as I read Rinehart's storyline.
I still assume ever word written in scripture to have been from God...yet the real intent is to capture our human struggle, secondly to establish a clear thread from Genesis to Revelation that points to the Christ, the remedy for our struggle. Love this Book of Books!
Yes, this "God breathed text" so mysteriously captures we humans and our flaws as much as it does the heart of God, thus revealing our need and God's remedy...the Gospel of Christ!
The Spirit (The Word) by way of this amazing tool of text has through the centuries been able to speak a fresh and personal "Word" to mankind as each believer has read and heard a Word from the Lord for their particular day and age. Words current to our lives and our culture, often words which would have been a stretch for those early writers to have even conceived, void of today's knowledge base.
My point being that the doctrinal hard stop of "infallibility" that was meant to halt heretics, hinders the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who now so blatantly see the flaws of religion, especially when our often fallible interpretation is held so firmly as the Word of God, long after the heart of God, by the Spirit has been revealed.
Again, hope stirs in me as I talk with genZ and others, with a margin given for their language and spiritual expression, as a love seems to captivate their hearts during our "Cabin Talks", even though this generation is now rapidly abandoning the Institutional Church and even the Book itself. Still yet, I sense a desperate longing for a life like Jesus lived, though unfortunately different of late as modeled by many American Christians.
As I continue to unpack my thoughts and life learnings, I too, as the aforementioned pioneers of faith, may risk the loss of personal relationships, even among those with whom I have shared life for decades.
I must be true to where this journey seems to be taking me, as heretic-like it may now seem.
To be continued...