Sunday, December 14, 2008

Airport Philosophy and Sola Scriptura

“Life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

Steve Ray (a Romanist) responds to the above airport signage, with the follow:
All of life is a profound journey but with very definite destinations: Heaven or Hell! If you’re on the travel through life ONLY for the thrill of the trip you’re in BIG trouble. You better set your sites on the ultimate destination — heaven! Nothing is more important. And remember that entrance gate to heaven is very narrow so plan well!
(source)

There's a bit of irony in Steve's comment, because Steve is leading folks on vacation/pilgrimage tours. Tours are really about the journey, since one's destination is the same as one's starting point: home (although obviously one could view a tour as made up of many little journeys to many little destinations).

There's a more subtle and important layer of irony, though. Ray is right about life being a journey toward one of two destinations, Heaven or Hell. And Ray is right that we should be preparing in advance, and that the entrance to heaven is very narrow. But Ray has left out the most important part, the Guide!

Who shows us the way to Heaven? It is God in His Holy Word!

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

How do we understand the Word of God? By the ministry of the Holy Spirit!

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

God is more than just a cosmic tour-guide, of course. The gate is so narrow that a camel has a better chance of squeezing through the eye of a needle than even a rich man has of being saved.

Luke 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (see also Matthew 19:24 and Mark 10:25, which say basically the same thing)

So then, how can anyone be saved? The answer is the grace of God, which gives life to the dead, which opens the eyes of the blind.

What is the way to heaven? The answer is Jesus, and him alone. Jesus declares, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

Certainly men are an important mechanism to help in this journey:

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

But not every preacher preaches the true gospel. There are many false teachers, blind guides of the blind. The scribes and Pharisees were such, with their human traditions:

Matthew 23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

Matthew 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

And that was not the end of such false teachers, as Simon Peter the fisherman/apostle declares:

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Thus, the Apostle John likewise warns:

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

How then can we tell whether a teacher is from God? We can follow the advice that Jesus gave to the men of his day, regarding his own ministry:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Any teacher, whether he calls himself a pope, a minister, a sunday-school teacher, or whatever title he may adopt, if he will not allow his doctrine to be examined from Scripture, he is not acting as Jesus' disciple, because the disciple is not greater than his master. If Jesus was willing to be examined by Scripture, and if Luke declares of the Bereans:

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Then, we should have an enormous red flag rise in our minds when our spiritual leaders insist that we have not only no duty but no right to question their doctrines. So take courage and stand up for the Word of God:

1 Peter 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

-TurretinFan

1 comment:

natamllc said...

This article reminds of the answer the guide gave Livingstone in the depths of the jungles of Africa, after wilting in despair if they would ever get to their destination:

"Where is the guide, the map to direct us on the right pathway to where we are going?"

The guide answered in rough terms, by me here, "you are looking at him"! :)

It is a hard one that God would raise up sinful men to be given charge of the souls of sinful men and both safely get to His Place of Origin!