Aug 10, 2008

The Canon Is Not the Inerrant Word of God As the Church Teaches!

Then when will believers leave the principles and go on to perfection, and in what way does our exclusive dependency on the ancient canon hinder us?

If we take Jesus' words literally, all of what is included in the Canon cannot be the inerrant word of God as we have been taught to believe. At best, the Canon is merely a subset of the word of God!

Why is it important for a born again Christian pastor, evangelist, teacher and lecturer to raise this subject? I believe that the church is stagnant; it is feeding off of its internal organs (repeating the same behaviors and questionable texts over and over as if the Sovereign would not have advanced us any further in a 21st century context, Day 7 perhaps in a divine context).

The church has forgotten what was written in the 2000 plus year old documents, that the Sovereign would reveal more of itself in the future. Sincere church people are satisfied with gathering, singing, taking the Eucharist, performing the annual pageants, christening babies, performing marriages, raising offerings, having the annual picnic, going white-water rafting, organizing religious retreats, attending to customary and religious holidays…! However, answer the following.


Are we limiting ourselves by repeating past behaviors and limiting ourselves to a historically flawed text?

Is there more to what we ought to be doing, and more that we should comprehend by now that our predecessors would not have known or would likely not have understood during their time on Earth, men who saw but could not explain 'chariots of fire'?

What does God expect of a 21st Century Christian, a post-modern Christian whose spirituality is expected to have caught up with intellectual and scientific knowledge?

Are we letting God down, given our hyper-spirituality that is encased in a carnal church posture?

What would the Sovereign expect a post-modern 21 Century Christian to understand and do that his predecessors would not known or have done, 2000 years ago men could appeal to the Universe and cause moisture to fall from heaven?

Where should we be in terms of our capacity to know, to understand and to perform, keep in mind that we are far more advanced than 4BCE Christian happened to be?

Would the Sovereign expect that we would still be fighting among ourselves, thinking or talking on a 3rd grade level, okay for those in the 3rd grade, but shouldn’t we have knowledge, understanding and practices that far exceed those of our predecessors?

Have we grown up to the stature of Christ whole), or to a level of awareness that ought to become a group of humans who claim to be in touch with God in a 21 Century context? I think not!

Are we any different than the Hebrews that we often criticize, having said that they are stuck in the Old Covenant, and are incapable of moving beyond their ancient texts?

Are we stuck in an old Covenant ourselves, and as a result not even the Sovereign can move us past dancing, jumping, singing, raising offerings, taking the Eucharist or enjoying other religious activities and participating in historical/traditional religious behaviors, move over Shamans?

Part II

Before the Church can move forward to the next step, we must consider whether or not our primary literative source, Constantine’s Canon, is the inerrant word of God. Most Christians believe that it is, however, if you consider the words of Jesus - it is not! One minister argued on a prior occasion that you must believe all of it or accept none of it; in my opinion he went too far.

When you consider the disparate writers whose writings are included in the canon, and the number of biblical sources that are represented there, one can argue that while portions appear to be accurate and have both manuscript and spiritual authority, others are unsubstantiated and lack any support at all.

The Apostle Paul’s position in his epistle to his protégé Timothy, when he wrote that all scripture is “God-breathed…” suggests that we must consider what is and what is not by definition, scripture, including the Pauline letters.

Question: Did Paul consider the letters that he drafted and sent to disparate churches around the region to be scripture? Answer, I think not, and this is critical given that a major portion of the New Testament and what the church considers to be scriptures are predominately Pauline epistles. The Apostle himself even admitted that a portion of what he wrote in his epistle to the church at Corinth was not divinely inspired, he simply wrote by permission; Moses apparently did the same!

The Apostle’s position with regard to the next stage in the divine evolutionary cycle (which the church refers to as ‘the rapture’), as it is recorded in the book of Thessalonians - is not without flaw. Clearly, the Apostle 'misspoke'; he expected to be alive when the rapture occurred and to rise with those who were asleep. We know that the Apostle was summarily executed, having been beheaded approximately 2000 years ago, probably as a result of all of the individuals that he was responsible for their deaths.

How many Christians know that the Book of Revelations and other books that were included in the Canon were put there not by rote but by vote? The process of deciding which books would be excluded, or on the other hand which books would be included in the canon was based on which books received the highest number of votes. What can we learn from the Apocryphal writings that were excluded?

With respect to the Pentateuch, which was purportedly written based upon inspiration that Moses received directly from God, some of what Moses wrote was contradicted by Jesus. In fact Jesus commented on several occasions about positions that were taken by Moses and by others ‘of old times’, positions which were included in the Pentateuch. According to Jesus, many of the sayings by them old of old, including some of what Moses wrote (which have been included in the canon) that 'did not' originate with or come from God.

A perfect example of this would be those portions of Moses’ or others writings that were attributed to Moses regarding marriage, (particularly polygamous marriages) and divorce. Jesus said that in the beginning it was not so, which is one reason why the best of God's servants ought to be careful about what we, with the best of intentions, add on to what God said.

For even Moses, a man who ultimately ended up on the Mountain of Transfiguration, embellished and co-opted ideas from others at one time, which proves that everything in the canon 'is not the inerrant word of God', because it did not come from God!

Religious scholars believe that a lot of what has been attributed to Moses in the Pentateuch was apparently borrowed anyway. Again, Jesus said that what Moses wrote about divorce, 'in the beginning it was not so'!

There are hundreds of other examples to support my position; many texts that are not only without manuscript support, I suspect that these writings arose from manmade ideas. And having said that,those texts which have manuscript support particularly the poetical, allegorical, chronological and historical writings were oftentimes not meant to be taking literally. Have you ever written a poem? Do you have understand what poetic license means?

Why is it important to discuss this in a post-modern era, and is it my objective to destroy someone’s faith? The answer is no, for on the other hand my belief and therefore my purpose is to help the stagnating church move on to perfection. We must place what we have, accepted as historical truth, in its proper historical context for we need to move on.

Jesus told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth, many believers trust only in the Canon; they are not leaning on the Holy Spirit. The churches reliance on Constantine’s flawed Canon as an exclusive source, will prevent believers from pursuing and finding what is actual and factual as opposed to what is historically flawed and limited. How much power does the corporate church have today, the answer is in the question?

Have I tread upon dangerous ground? Of course I have, particularly to those who are seeped in tradition, and the ones who believe that something is true simply because it is what they believe to be truth!

Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon

Addenda: Why haven't I included other theological experts who have written on this topic? I would prefer that you hear it from someone who is 'born again'. I don't have a dog in the fight, I simply believe that we need to move forward, the powerless and at times useless church as it stands today is devolving into mediocrity and social and religious conformity.

Remember this, when Jesus dispatched his Apostles before departing from the Earth, he instructed them not to go to the church prototype of the day, The Temple and the Synagogues. Conversely, he dispatched his people to a remote location where the Spirit itself would be sent in order to move the church forward and into truth - which is what we all ought to be seeking. Many of today's churches have become the equivalent of what Jesus told his disciples to avoid, Temples, Synagogues, Priestly Orders and all!

The truth will help to build faith and to uncover the Truth, it will not destroy faith, unless it is a self-devised or brokered faith!


Rev. C. Solomon said...

A believer had a query, and he sought an answer from the Canon. He explained to me, I went to the book of Proverbs, but what I read in the book of Proverbs seemed to contradict what I read elsewhere in the Canon.

I pointed out that the answer that he sought in the Poetical section of the Canon, would differ given that the Proverbs were collections of writings, sayings and aphorisms spoken and written by disparate sources.

I reminded him of what Jesus said about what 'you have heard by them of old times'. Folks, everything in the Canon is not scripture, neither does it derive from the Sovereign!

I am convinced that we would must leave the principles, and move onto perfection. Rehearing outdated proverbs and sayings can have a retardive effect, and leave us stuck in the past. Our predecessors if they returned to the Earth, would be anxious to hear what believers 2000 years later have learned and have to say. They would likely be disappointed to find out that we are stuck and repeating what they had to say!

Rev. C. Solomon said...

A pastor argued with me and said, "you cannot say that the Bible contradicts itself".

I told him that of course I can say that, because it is true. I reminded him that the Canon was constructed from materials taken from disparate sources. Clearly, folks, they individuals did not agree on many salient issues.

Paul confronted Peter on one occasion given his hypocrisy. The high-spirited Peter the Knife later grew in grace. The Apostle Paul learned to be content and to glory in infirmities and necessities. He even wrote, "I learned....". These folks were learning, they made mistakes just as we mistakes and are learning.

Some of these folks like Christian Americans who are willing to call fire down from heaven on unsuspecting nations using UAVs, hellfire missiles..., are like the Apostles were in the beginning, they wanted to fire up people.

Not only do some of these writers contradict the other, I suspect that were oftentime in error. The mistake that religious people make, that is an insult to other people is to try to make things agree when they don't. That makes the whole enterprise appear to be suspect!

Christians, we should be a lot further along than we are! Where would you be even in secular life, if all you read and rehearsed were your 3rd-grade primers! And essentially, that is what most of you are doing today with respect to Canon! Use it as a resource, but remember it was not the end all, if anything its purpose was to help you to get to the truth and to succour you after you did.

If you haven't moved beyond a text, and the word has not been written in your heart, you are still stuck at the principle/rudimentary level!

Rev. C. Solomon said...

Much like the Mosaic Law which was a schoolmaster (its stated purpose being to bring us to Christ), Christ came to lead us into the truth, rather than into a substitute religious practice or paradigm of its predcessors.

Jesus Christ was never interested in creating a religion for religions sake; his objective was to lead people to the truth. And what did he promise prior to his departure? He promised that the paracletos would come and guide his followers into all the truth.

Instead, most Christians have received and imbibed Constantine's flawed and limited Canon, embracing it as being the truth, the whole truth, nothing but and the only truth that they want!

The rest of us have to move forward into the truth, and hopefully someday the rest will catch up! Living in truth will place one in synch and concertation with the Sovereign, the Universe and oneself, it will also help either him or her to live in a new progressivism, as opposed to continuing to try to live in regression according to outdated myth and paradigms!

Did Christ change? No we simply missed the 'next stage in the divine evolutionary cycle' due to stagnation, primitivism, ministerial demagoguery and stagnation.

And isn't it interesting that much like today, Jesus and his band although on occasion visited and preached in the Temple and inside of the Synagogues, they were not the installed pastors and preachers? Jesus instead sent his disciples to a non-religious edifice where they would be endued 'anothen'.

I suspect that God's ministers of today, the ones that have been truly inspired are rarely found inhabiting church pulpits in churches that have taken on a self-sustaining purpose and drive of their own. In them, Jesus is the drawing card and the Canon is the manual that is being used in order to beat one into conformity!