Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

It Is The Very Word of God

Luke 11:28

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amOur denomination has a number of issues. One of the issues we seem to have is a different understanding of the Bible. For me – it is very clear – the Bible is the inspired – inerrant – infallible Word of God.

For some – the Bible is a good book where God’s Word can be found. Those who believe this way also think new revelation – new experiences – can supersede the Bible. The Mormons – for instance – believe the Book of Mormon supersedes the Bible. Others believe that the Holy Spirit is giving new revelation that supersedes the written Word. Of course – I do not agree with these understandings. I believe that the Holy Spirit will help us understand the written Word of God and that no revelation from the Holy Spirit will conflict with the written Word of God. The Holy Spirit will remind us of the teachings of Jesus and continue to teach us – but not in a new revelation that is contrary to the written Word. John records Jesus putting it this way – John 14:26 – But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Continue reading

October 7, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You Have Heard Is Said…

Matthew 5:21

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago

You’ve heard it said… This past weekend I stirred up a little discussion between a colleague of mine in ministry and a young student of the Bible (not that the colleague isn’t). I posted a meme that said – God is not going to rewrite the Bible for your generation. Stop trying to change Scripture when it’s written to change you.

A discussion or debate or argument ensued. The colleague proposed that Jesus rewrote the Bible – and that we can – through God’s leading I assume – rewrite and/or re-interpret the Bible today – to meet our current circumstance. The young student of the Bible believed the Bible was whole and what Jesus did was draw the people who heard Him back to the original meaning – rather that what they had come to believe. He believed the Bible was inspired by God – and God’s Word for us today and always. (either can correct me if I have express your views wrongly.)

I believe one either believes that the Bible is the inspired Word of God or simply a good collection of books and letters that we can interpret as we see fit. Here’s what the Apostle Paul felt about the Old Testament or as some call it – the old covenant.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. I – personally believe that God meant this for the New Testament/Covenant as well – but that is my take. Continue reading

August 26, 2019 Posted by | Bring, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The B-I-B-L-E

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Before anyone writes that Paul was referring to the Old Testament when he wrote this – I might agree with you that Paul may not have had a concept of the New Testament – but my view is that Paul and the other authors of the Bible wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and God knew all about what was to come and how we would read it!

In Wesleyan churches – of which the United Methodist Church is one – we have something called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.  Obviously there are four elements to this quadrilateral – namely Scripture – tradition – experience and reason.  This is a method used to understand God and God’s will and word for us.

Reason is the mind that God has given us to think and process information.  Experience is about the life we have lived – what we have learned through the trials and events of life.  Tradition is the history or collective experiences of the church – the culture – those who have gone before us.  Scripture of course is the Word of God – the infallible – inspired – inerrant word of God.

Scripture is seen as primary or the given.  The other three are supposed to be used to understand the base – the primary.  What some do not grasp – IMHO – is that if our reason, experience and the traditions of others differ with the Scriptures – Scripture trumps all three because it is primary.  If we have trouble understanding a Biblical concept – that does not invalidate the concept.

For instance – if the Bible says it is wrong to wear red – but our mind doesn’t see it that way – our experience says that we have known good people who wore read and there is even a tradition of good people wearing red – it is still wrong to wear red – because the Bible says so!  Does that make sense?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

The Bible warns us about using our own thinking above the Scriptures.  We can make most anything seem right if we think about it long enough – if we rationalize things.

Colossians 2:8 – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

2 Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

A song we use to sing – that is still on the mark today goes like this (sing as you read if you know the tune): The B-I-B-L-E – yes that’s the book for me – I stand alone on the Word of God – the B-I-B-L-E!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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June 27, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Theology | , , , , | Leave a comment


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