The Last Word


“In the Beginning was the Word…”

My argument here is with the idea of equating Jesus with the Bible.  The two are NOT synonymous. They are separate entities.

Of course, it is a given that in some passages of the Old Testament, prophets would utter pronouncements said to be God’s word but certainly this is not all of the Old Testament.

Clearly, the New Testament was\is different.

Christ is the LIVING WORD.  The presence of Christ is Life itself.

The problem with utilizing the Bible as the ‘Word’ is that more often than not, Christ is avoid altogether.  In fact, Christ is often not even part of the equation when HE should be at the center of the discussion.

I think at least part of the problem here is that we skirt Jesus because it is so much easier to quote scripture than to live the life Jesus has called us to live.

It comes down to pointing fingers.  We can salute the Scriptures with all attention to it, back away from the situation and thus avoid responsibility as to actually doing something.  In this way, the entire onus falls of Scripture rather than on us, the Christian who claims to have the faith of Christ.

Another way of saying it is that this is another progression of either putting up or shutting up.  Post Hoc Ergo:  the fingers should be pointing to us, the Christians as we model our Lord, Jesus.

As any excuse is as good as another, we can’t have that.  We must blame anything but ourselves, thus, we blame the Scriptures as we only refer to them rather than become part of them.

Insomuch that Jesus is the LIVING WORD, we too are to be a reflection of our master.  We are also to be living examples of much more than mere words.  We are to provide service through ACTION.  IN this way, it too becomes alive and vibrant, independent of mere words to be judged on their own merits of goodness.

Finally, the accountability lies within us as Christians.  We can either quote or we can do.  The testament lies in what we do as an example and produces what others will also testify as our actions of our last word.

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11 thoughts on “The Last Word

  1. In fact, Christ is often not even part of the equation when HE should be at the center of the discussion.

    I think at least part of the problem here is that we skirt Jesus because it is so much easier to quote scripture than to live the life Jesus has called us to live.

    ^ Dingdingding!!! Well said.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Why do you say:

    Clearly, the New Testament was\is different.

    You are engaging in some hifalutin theology here, but you make that statement fairly early on in your case and you saying shorting after quoting John 1 (in part) which goes on to say the Word was God – God himself!

    Hear me carefully here, I am not insensitive to your case (I don’t think) but if the Word of God tells me the Word IS God, then how is it clear that the New Testament was/is different?

    I am fully aware of that fascinating statement by Jesus a few chapters later in John 5:39 – a verse which does seem to make a distinction (in fact comes very near making the distinction I think you are wanting to make with your overall point).

    So, let me make a distinction in my response as well.

    1) I THINK you are calling out Christians who don’t actually live the LIFE and SERVE the cause like they should – and who then also even find hifalutin theologies they weave together out of Scripture no less to excuse themselves. (This too earns the scorn of Jesus – certainly in texts like Mark 7:1-13).

    2) If I am correct about point 1 that you are calling out Christians in that way for that kind of purpose, then I am in full support of your point. But…

    3) I quibble with how you get there. With respect both to you and to Scripture – even points like are made in John 5:39 – I get very uneasy about driving wedges between Jesus and Scripture. I get nervous that in our rush to make worthwhile points on important issues, we can do unintended damage to our faith in other places by making such wedge driving quite casual.

    Later in your post, you said:

    Insomuch that Jesus is the LIVING WORD, we too are to be a reflection of our master.

    This to me is EVERYTHING. This is the very nub of why I blog and what Fat Beggars is all about. And your statement seems to allow that Jesus is the Word of God after all, which the text also says. Jesus is the very perfect reflection of the Father (John 5:19). And this makes sense of Scripture – certainly John (New Testament) opens with the same word the whole Bible opens with – a morphed quote of Genesis 1:1 (the same words your post opens with): “IN THE BEGINNING…”

    This is not an accident. This is not hap-hazard. This is intentional in every way. And as you read John’s Gospel, the writer wants the whole document to echo off Genesis – especially the creation account(s). In creation, God creates a little more cosmos each day for 6 days. At the end of each day, he pronounces that day’s work “GOOD”! (Incidentally, this means that during creation, God held Judgment. I grew up in a Christian tradition that looks forward to a Great Judgment Day (which is correct), but assumed there was only one. Actually, there are 6 – so far! (see Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31) We are waiting still for that most holy 7th).

    Now, within that creation account, God creates for 6 days. On the 6th day, he creates his crowning achievement – the creation of THE MAN. (Btw, the name ADAM is Hebrew for “the man”.) When John tells his Gospel story, he is in a sense depicting the 8th day of creation in which we get the even more truly crowning achievement – Jesus! Jesus who gets a crown placed on his head! Jesus who reflects the master! – to use your words which are absolutely correct.

    We might even explore how in fact God, the creator actually SPOKE creation into being. This would mean that ALL OF CREATION is the WORD of God. This would mean you and I are as well. But here I am now engaging in hifalutin theology too – a little higher than I am really qualified to offer, but which I dare to consider all the same.

    Sin and death invade THE MAN in chapter 3 of the creation story. These are not FROM God, thus some alien (dare we say?) WORD has crept in and interrupted the WORD God was speaking into existence. It is not even a true WORD. It is a false word. It is a parasite that is utterly dependent on the host – the TRUE WORD to even exist.

    That is all the further I am prepared, at the moment, to explore that bit of hifalutin theology. It is worth exploring, but this is just a comment on a blog, and I am distracted with other things at the moment.

    So, back to your post and my reaction to it. If my understanding of your overall point is on target, then I agree completely with your overall point. My quibble is in driving a wedge (especially doing so casually or cavalierly) between Jesus and Scripture. I know Jesus makes a distinction, but I do not think that distinction is a wedge, nor do I think it allows us to casually drive a wedge. On the other hand, I am continually surprised at just how high of an impact finding meaning in Scripture is illuminated by Scripture – thus Jesus is illuminated by Scripture! I do not want that to come under threat from casual wedges even if they support good points.

    And all of this is an exercise in the phenom I described in my recent post (Just Some Thoughts I Have…)

    I sure hope I make sense with this.

    Thanx

    Agent X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lord, I love your response. Remember, I attempt to provoke. Yes, to your points of 1 and 2. Jesus also charged the religious leader of the day for they also knew His word but failed to do it. I distinguish this as that which is alive and that which is dead. The living separates it. Christ is LIFE! Heck for at least a 100 years there was no new testament, yet we still had Jesus! Still do.

    Don’t get me wrong. Without the Bible I’d have nothing really to absolutely reflect on to know Jesus. My point is those who simply point to it, that is all.

    Actually, I’d love to get the clergy angry with me for saying what I posted, for then I’d take on their stance that gets almost nothing accomplished, but words.

    John also says that Christ was God, but then again that is another entirely different discussion. Even if Christ had not come to earth, he would still be Christ. Yet, because he came here in the flesh, simple minded people like me would know his LIFE for he gave it to us that we could reckon with.

    Again, I love your response. Of course, you are good in theology. I know that already and the others are good too. What separates it is life or death.

    Okay, before someone thinks I believe the church is dead, let me express I don’t honestly feel that way. However, there are a lot of dead souls in the church and to those I would rather quicken through Christ.

    Too, before you cast me out. I’d love to see follow-up with your post to mine as it was a great follow up. I love it. Thank you for your honesty and for you forthrightness. Know too, I will continue to throw things out for I believe we should do as Paul stated and that is to work out our salvation with each other. To that effect, I am not backing down from a single word I said. My purpose is to grow and to produce growth. I know you are there as well. In a word, don’t be angry with my words. We are back to words once again. LOL Thanks again. In Jesus. Tom

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    1. Yeah, I really didn’t think I was upsetting you to challenge what you offered. And again, I support your overall point; it is valid. I just think it is valid on other grounds. But valid it is, in my view.

      You said something new in your response to my response that I want to address. You said:

      Okay, before someone thinks I believe the church is dead, let me express I don’t honestly feel that way. However, there are a lot of dead souls in the church and to those I would rather quicken through Christ.

      Look at Revelation 2:5. This should concern those churches you MIGHT call dead – if you were to call them dead.

      I would be hesitant to call a church dead myself, but I would be quick to warn that such is quite possible if not likely. And then it only becomes a matter of semantics. Is a church of whom God has removed their candlestick still alive in any sense – or dead? I would think it is dead. And I believe America is in great danger of playing host to such churches.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No, no no you didn’t upset me. This is mistranslated via the printed page. Too, I don’t take all my arguments to print is all, so I do worry about pissing others off or offending as that is not my purpose. To provoke, yes, not to piss off. Forgive me if I ever do.

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  5. John 5:39-47King James Version (KJV)
    39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
    40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
    I see this as the difference between life and death. Death which is of this world. In Jesus, through regeneration I see no longer a birth so to speak, but us as Adam; a new creation. We are created anew by Jesus.
    John 1 2-27
    New Living Translation
    But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

    Therein, because of the scriptures, we have these promises: Promises of which we should base our life.
    The Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around. Too, the items such as housing, clothes etc. are made for us.
    The world thinks we are made for it: sales focuses on these things to induce people to buy.
    But we are to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all the rest shall be added unto you.
    Of course, here I am preaching to the choir. For all I’m really saying here is that Christ is the beginning and the end. As people who are often idiots, we get amused with our words and think we have done something.
    When the truth is: we can do nothing without Christ himself. I am advocating activity as opposed to simply knowing words.
    Again, my brother. You are the LAST I would say this to, but the first among others as there is a difference of quoting.
    The Old Testament, in that those words were for them: via chosen prophets. Today we are to go in prayer to the high priest alone and in corporate prayer.
    No, I do not let Christians off cheaply because they can so easily say we are not them. We are us and fully equipped beyond the high priests of old. God directs us through his holy spirit and they did NOT have that as a collective unit. It is promised to us as Christians through Christ as I demonstrate above. And what is the difference of the words? It is to WHOM they are directed. Christ directed His words to us. AMEN

    I thank God I have you to challenge me. This is all so very good. Thank you and I believe you will be blessed as a result. i am so proud to have you as my friend.

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    1. Thank you for your confidence. I hope I can return the attitude when you challenge me…. which I welcome. You have my respect even where we differ (and I am not sure we are differing here – at least not much).

      Now to your point (as I understand it), The picture you paint of modern church life looks to me very much like that of the Good Samaritan – at least part of that story anyway. The Priest and the Levite see the man in need, but they pass by on the other side of the street trying to ignore the needy man because they are already busy trying to SERVE GOD! (Which they are!) Everything they think and do is exactly right – except for they would serve God even better if they sacrificed the lesser service for the greater – which it turns out is the help the needy!

      That analysis only convers one slice of that parable, but it is a key slice. And, if I get you, you are saying that so much of what passes for good theology and praxis in our church life today misses THIS!

      If I am harmonizing with your post at this point, then I see where you are now picking up (not for the first time) one of the main strands I bark about on my blog all the time. You have your fine sanctuary, beautiful drapes, biblical liturgy, air conditioning and cushions too, but you don’t bring in the poor! And for all the great things this modern church does, and there are many great things, this is a vital thing she cannot afford to miss!

      Even more… to bring in both a whole other/new passage AND theological idea which actually takes this point and runs it for a whole other touchdown! Notice that Jesus identifies HIMSELF with the poor and needy we are leaving out! (Matt. 25:40). And that is actually a matter of JUDGMENT!!! It’s not optional… It’s not an extra!

      And this then, harmonizes with John 5:39 in a really weird backdoor kinda way. For all that church, liturgy and worship and all the great things the modern church does (and rightly so), if they walk past the bum on the corner, they miss Jesus! And that is something a church CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS!

      And I thing your post says that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your words are a complement to mine which another reason why we need each other. This good. Very good. Actually, I think we have hit upon something extremely useful as a book for the churches. Thank you, my good friend. You see, there are times when I’m full of it, but I’d rather think it through rather than sit on the sidelines just wondering. Come and let us reason together. Thank you again and yes, you hit the nail right on the head. Many times, I don’t expand because others drop by and I can’t expand and explain. Too, I used to write 3,000-6,000 word blogs but didn’t want to overwhelm people as if that’s all they had to do was read my diatribe.

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