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The Nature of the Word Part 2

John R Gavazzoni

March 23, 2003

Thousand Oaks, CA

Having blurted out what I could no longer repress about what the Bible is not, it is required that I make a statement regarding what it is.

As to the matter of translation, I am increasingly convinced that we still have something of a mess on our hands, and that there is a great need for honest excellence of scholarship without theological agenda and bias before we have a text virtually free of theological tomfoolery. Having said that, I suspect, though, that God will to some degree leave us frustrated in our attempts to provide an accurate translation, so as to crowd us to a living relationship with the living Word.

Nevertheless, there is no question in my mind that the Bible remains central to, and the measuring rod of all literature that is set forth as having something to say in the affirmation and exaltation of "the only true God and Jesus Christ whom (He) has sent" (John 17:3).

I have to say that it brings me to the verge of tears when I compare the centrality of the apostolic community's joyful, celebratory proclamation, "He is risen," to the present obsessive-compulsive insistence of the evangelical in-your-face demand that the unbeliever recognize biblical authority. Gather together all the rantings and ravings of the "the-Bible-says" crowd, and you end up with more confusion than gospel.

It is one thing for the church, in its commission to herald the good news that death has been vanquished for all men by the death and resurrection of the Savior of the world, to reference the supportive testimony of scripture, especially when addressing those who are Bible-acculturated, but it is quite another thing to demandingly orient the preaching of the gospel and the communion of the saints around the translation, study, knowledge and exposition of scripture.

This has led to a domination of the saints by personalities who are very much in their element in the religious world of "book larnin,' but who may be virtual strangers to the living and operative Word of God. Give me, any day, the testimony of the drug addict whose face is aglow with the light of glory that released him from the chains of his addiction.

Residents of the Christian rehabilitation centre for drug addicts in Prokopievsk, Russian Federation.

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I thrill to the story of those who can say with the hymn writer,

."Amazing love! How can it be?"
by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)


Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray:
I woke -- the dungeon flamed with light!
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Often there is more of The Message in such testimonies than can be found in a thousand Bible studies, and certainly more than comes from some mealy-mouthed Bible teacher

Hidden beneath the sheep's clothing of new covenant buzz words is the wolf who seeks to feed upon the sheep. In all fairness, he, himself is the victim of the letter that killeth, who, in turn, has become a victimizer of those who have been seduced to wide-eyed admiration of platform personalities and their papal-like pronouncements.

The effect upon institutionalized believers is to keep them ignorant of the anointing within them that teaches all things. Yes, study your Bible, of course, we are told, but don't you dare become a whistle-blower exposing the shame of orthodoxy's nakedness.

The evangelical church has really degenerated to a lust-for-Bible-knowledge orientation. In the same way that Catholics look to the Pope speaking "ex cathedra," to be informed as to what they are allowed to believe, evangelicals, dumber than fence posts, swallow hook, line, and sinker whatever their pastor dictates as believable.

There is little difference between the Vatican's blasphemous claim to have the sole right to determine the meaning of the Word of God, with the average Catholic, in effect, turning his mind and soul over to the institution for brain-washing and evangelicalism's version in which the layman is intimidated into never feeling free to even suggest that his church or his pastor might be fundamentally wrong about fundamental issues.

I admit that there has been some discernible improvement in the quest to genuinely hear from God, some turning toward the light, in the switch from "the Pope says" to "the Bible says,"---albeit it while creating its own version of religious hierarchy---but when compared to God's perspective regarding that which is His Word, it is sadly off-center, and still falls far short of what it means to be Christ-centered. To be continued.

Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.

John Gavazzoni

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John R Gavazzoni
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