The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is a misunderstood tool in theology. In this podcast, I lay out a response to a recent video that used the Quadrilateral inappropriately.
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This is the more to the story podcast with Dr. Andy Miller. We hope you guys enjoy today's conversation. So what are we to make of the so called Wesleyan quadrilateral? Is that something that we should use today? If so, how should we use it? This is something that has come up recently, as a result of some responses I've seen on social media, and a recent video that has come out that people are brought to my attention, and several people asked me to respond to it. So that's what you're getting today. On the more to the story podcast with Andy Miller, I come to you from Wesley biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, where I serve as the vice president for academic affairs, and Assistant Professor of historical theology. So I'm so glad that you've tuned in, if you wouldn't mind taking a minute, just to subscribe or like this podcast, it means a lot to us. And really, one things I'm looking for is I need some folks to be able to leave a review on Apple podcasts that just helps us find more people find us and also have this offer, I have an email list that goes out where we share regular content, things are coming up, like in a speaking schedule, other content outside of the podcast podcast that comes out regularly, that I'd love for you to find. And here's what I'm offering, we have a tool that we use for interpreting scripture that uses what's called the inductive Bible study method, or we say IBS here. IBS sometimes can mean other things. But it means inductive Bible study. And this is the hermeneutical system that we use here at Western biblical seminary and choose at other places as well. It's based on a book that was written by 40 or 50 years ago by Dr. Robert Trainor, and it has been added to by Dr. David Bower, and we have a great group of people who think through this. And now I've adapted this tool to be able to be used for preachers and people who are preparing Bible studies and to be teachers. But it is something that can be incredibly helpful to you just interpreting scripture in general, and I'm offering that to people for free as a PDF. If you sign up for my email address for my email list. Now, if you're already on my email list, you can send me an email, and I'll send it to you as well. So I just want to make that clear. And this is something that will be helpful to us as we think through what we're going to talk about today with the Wesleyan quadrilateral. That tool for ministry and for proclamation, I think will be something that will help you. Now, here's what's happened, a very popular, well known speaker within my denomination, the Salvation Army spoke at an event. And this was a virtual event. So it's available online. And this event is called included. Now, I'll tell you just as I get started here, I looked into this, I love the word include what a great word included, this hits right at the essence of Wesleyan theology of the gospel call in general, and the savage sorry, my denomination, we have a very Wesleyan statement that says something like this, we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death, made an atonement for the whole world, so that whosoever will, may be saved. That's for everybody who so ever will. And that language drives us to that very famous verse in John 316, whosoever right that's available for everybody, of course, what we're talking about when we say this is the opportunity we have to repent of our sin. And whosoever will, may be saved, saved from what? saved from sin. Does that mean that we're saying that there's such a thing as sin, that there's sin exist in the world that we can willfully choose to disobey God, that God can save us from sin, save us from hell, but not just that, save us to something, save us to a holy life, save us to eternity save us from something. So I love that image. And I love the universal call that's available for all of creation, to participate in the renewal of all things, and particularly individuals within that creation, to experience God's call to the whosoever. So the word included or inclusion is a great word. And I remember when it kind of came, at least in my mind, in the popular parlance where it kind of came up, maybe I like the 2000s. But then I began to realize, of course, that this was being used as a way to not say, you know, come, come as you are, and maybe as sane and stay as you are. And unfortunately, the call to repentance doesn't always accompany the use of the word inclusion now. So that's I want to just highlight the fact that I believe in that broad call. And whatever we do, we recognize that we work in a broken world in a challenging situation. And people come to us with all kinds of problems. And we want to be sympathetic to challenges people experience in the way people particularly are working through the challenges related to human sexuality. But unfortunately, what has happened with this conference or this group, I don't want you to know that this group included, this group is this one pretty maybe there's others with
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name, but is particularly geared toward the Salvation Army, my denomination. And they are focusing their attention to calling the Salvation Army to liberalize on human sexuality to embrace the whole LGBTQ i plus whatever you want to add there. And I'm very cautious with, you know, the fact that there's a plus sign ad, I'm not sure what all is included in that. But here's what happens is like if that if that is what the call is of this group included, I tried to actually I reached out to the website that's there, I sent an email twice, to invite them to have a dialogue with me, I'm still invitation is still there, I would like that to be just a very kind civil conversation, where we just have some clarity behind the goals. But what's happened is this conference happened just recently, and CIC you'll who that's a name of somebody, if you're new to the Salvation Army, you've never heard that name. He's somebody who has been a well known communicator, thinker, writer, speaker in the Salvation Army. And he, like me is actually a former Salvation Army officer. And in this, he's somebody who has written for years. And one of the things that has happened is he wrote a manual for soldiers in the Salvation Army back in, I think, in the 1980s. And it had some strong words, words that I actually agree with, about homosexuality, particularly homosexual practice. So what's happened as a result of the way he's processing, what he wrote is he's come back to apologize for it. And to indicate the way he's changed. Now, I'm not as concerned changes theology. I'm not as concerned with his entire speech. But what I want to talk about is the way the Wesleyan quadrilateral was used in that speech. So if you don't know this was a group of a way that people have talked about doing theology for the last 40 or 50 years or so. Albert Outler, who was a professor at SMU Perkins School of Theology, and was probably the prominent most prominent Wesley scholar of the past generation. And he had an article where he used this term to describe the sources and Wesley's theology and they are scripture, reason, tradition and experience. Maybe you've heard this before. And what happened when he did that when he had that article, The United Methodist Church was forming. Now when I say the United Methodist Church was forming. This is a combination of what was then just a Methodist Church and a comp combination of the Evangelical United Brethren. And those two denominations came together to form the United Methodist Church, which is in the United States. And now of course, is global. Okay. So when that happened, they embraced theological pluralism. And when they did that, they also endorsed in their Book of Discipline, which is kind of like their bylaws or doctrine. It's the what governs them as a church. When they did this, they also incorporated the Wesleyan quadrilateral as their way of as they say, theologizing. And this is what has happened through the years is like, so this has caught on in various places. Now, that is still in the current Book of Discipline, but the new Methodist church that's going to becoming a global Methodist Church is not as far as we can tell. And I have a podcast coming out soon, with one of the leaders of the transitional group that's leading the global affairs church, it seems like that will not be a part of their new Book of Discipline. Nevertheless, what has happened is that these sources in theology have been equated as being equal. So the word quadrilateral puts all these sayings from scripture, reason, tradition, experience, all on the same plane. And that would have never been something that John Wesley would have endorsed or thought through. And so the word quadrilateral really, is tragic. So I want to just read you a couple of things. And before I do that, before I do, I want to tell you about some sponsors. First of all, I'm so thankful to have the support of Bill Roberts, who's a financial planner, who is certified in all the ways it needs to be certified. And he really helps people develop a plan for retirement. And he's somebody who embraces and appreciates the ministry of this podcast, and one of the people who encouraged me to think about responding to this included video. And I just want you to know that he's somebody who's particularly good with helping people in their financial lives, to know how to get to their future. He's particularly helpful with people who are involved with Minhaj ministry and in Salvation Army ministry to like helping Salvation Army officers in this and you can find him at his website, William H. roberts.com. So I recommend him to you. Now back to the quadrilateral. I want to read just a few from a few scholarly pieces on the quadrilateral just to give you an idea for what Wesley scholars are saying about this. And I'm not necessarily just talking about evangelical conservative scholars, they might not even fall on an orthodox with an orthodox position with human sexuality, but they're just talking about what the quadrilateral how it doesn't really quite jive with John
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Wesley himself. So for instance, David Hempton, who is now when he wrote this book, I believe he was at Boston University. Now he's at Harvard. And he's written on Wesley. And he has this interesting point that he says on page 57 of his book Methodism empire of the Spirit. He says, To attempt to boil Wesley's theology down to a simple formula, such as the much peddled quadrilateral of experience, reason, trician experience, spectacularly misses the point, if Wesley's theology must be reduced to a model, one that offers better explanatory power than the quadrilateral is to see more, see it more as a moving vortex, fueled by Scripture and divine loved, shaped by experience, reason and tradition and moving dynamically toward holiness and Christian perfection. Any model that lacks dynamic that dynamic movement towards holiness, and its growth will within individuals and its dissemination throughout the world is clearly inadequate. Also somebody else who wouldn't necessarily probably fall with the label evangelical Randy Maddox, in his famous commentary, not commentary in his famous book on John Wesley's theology, responsible grace. He says this, Wesley's and this is page 46 of his book, Wesley is so called quadrilateral of theological authorities could more adequately be described as a unilateral rule of Scripture, within a trilateral hermeneutic of reason, tradition and experience, kind of in the same spirit of the talk that I saw this included talk. I remember a reflection of Scott Jones in his book, John Wesley's conception and use of Scripture. That's all in another article that he wrote he in he now serves as a bishop in the United Methodist Church. He said that a Methodist clergy person was interviewed in a newspaper and said, We go about our theology by the Wesleyan quadrilateral. And when I run the issue of human sexuality through the quadrilateral, Scripture loses three to one. Right? Now, what's being said, this is very similar to what chick Yule is saying in this passage, and in this talk that he gave. Now, even when that was presented, what happened is that it came from the perspective of leading with experience. Even in that video, what happens is he says, experience, tradition, reason, and then scripture, each time it was said, Now I talked to a few other people. Our own Wesley scholar in residence here, Chris, Lord refer indicated Dr. crystallographer told me that, in his view, and one of his specialties is looking at the sources of John Wesley's theology, you can find a great video that we produce, I'll provide a link to it about the sources for John Wesley's doctrine of original sin. But he says that Peter Brown was a person who helped Wesley develop this idea of including experience, of course, the idea of tradition, and reason, were a part of the broad tradition of like the Anglican Church that west we would have heard that this was in the kind of like, what is thought of is that Wesley included? The idea of experience like that was something that he added in now, Dr. Laura for helped me see that Peter Brown brought this and now Leslie was always clear. That experience was the least and the last, Chris says, source of theology, and it always came through scripture, I reached out to a few other Wesley scholars or people who function in the scholarly community, Beth Felker Jones, she said this to me, she just kind of I asked her just a couple lines, what do you think? Is this something that we should be using? Or if so how was it important to Wesley and she said, the quadrilateral can be a great tool for theology. As long as scripture is kept in first place, as different from the other norms. We're going to talk about that word norm in a second. Scripture is the word of God, tradition, reason, experience, help us understand that word, but can never be pitted against it. So as we think about the role of Scripture, reason, tradition and experience, it's helpful for us to find them and help them be put in their proper position. I heard a great illustration I think I heard Paul chill coat used to describe this first, he described it as a wind chime, where scripture is kind of like this, this foundational piece of the wind chime, and then hanging off of it. Our reason, tradition and experience, and I have a professor to who I've appreciated for a long time, Howard Snyder, he has an article where he adds creation there as a creation as a source of understanding God. But nevertheless, Scripture is the primary way that we understand how God has been actively involved in the world in the world, and how he has revealed himself like we have to remember we're talking here about a doctrine of Revelation. This is the key thing and how we then understand how God revealed Himself
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scripture and how we interpret Scripture, then these other sources help us understand Scripture. And I like to think of it I think I heard this illustration too with this wind chime illustration. So again, you have scripture, and then the various wind chimes that Knockaround the Holy Spirit kind of brings them together and makes beautiful music out of all that comes from it. Now, one thing to think about when we think about experience, I reached out to Dr. Ken Collins, who I think of is one of the best Wesley scholars of our time, certainly one of the most published and he said this, Wesley did, however, emphasize experience. But then he said this, like Wesley's actual words were perceptible inspiration, perceptible inspiration. And this didn't leads us to, like, how do we think about what a Wesleyan view of Scripture is? Now? Why would we, again, I've talked about this in the past, why would we care what the Wesleyan view is, that's it didn't matter as much. We want to know what God's view is. Now, I call myself a Wesleyan and evangelical Wesleyan and the holiness tradition, because I think that represents truth, the best. And as much as it represents truth, that's why I want to be a part of it.
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Now, as we think about that, and as we move forward, from that perspective, I want to suggest that those of you who are in the Salvation Army, you have a pretty good article of faith about Scripture. And it's not even necessarily something that is the Salvationist way to use the Wesleyan quadrilateral. I know it's made its way into the Salvation Army. It's something that we can use. But unfortunately, what happens is it becomes a way to change the order, right? It's a way to bring something in that de emphasizes scripture. Sometimes that's okay, that we it can be helpful. Like Beth says, it's something that can be used, but want to be careful the Salish armies article Faith says this, we believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and they only constitute the divine rule of Christian faith and practice. Am I gonna come back to that? In just a second? I find some helpful conversations on this from Dr. Thomas McCall, who was formerly an evangelical Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. And now at Asbury Theological Seminary, there's a great dialogue between the Wesleyan theological journal between him and Billy Abraham kind of getting to some of the finer points of theology, but he said in really our understanding of divine revelation, but he leads this point, kind of like articulating what he thinks is the essence kind of his thesis statement, I believe, on Scripture is this is that scripture, a Wesleyan view of Scripture is that the Holy Triune God, it is a holy Triune God giving the Holy Scripture as a means of grace, whereby the Holy Spirit transformed sinners, into truly holy people, by uniting them to the incarnate Son, you hear that there's so much in there that we can think about the Holy Trinity this is this is God who has always existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, giving the scriptures the Old and New Testament, this becomes a means of grace in our life, and what's the purpose so that the Holy Spirit can work to bring us into a place where we can become holy people, we can become transformed sinners. And so the role of Scripture is, indeed, to point our way to eternity is a point our way to what it means to be saved. And I think the Salvation Army does a great job in articulating this and our first article faith. And that's why I kind of want to bounce back to this idea, because it's important. And before I do that, I want to highlight another sponsor, I think that'll be helpful. And that is Wesley biblical seminary, where I work. We have a dynamic growing seminary that's available online. So if you're listening to this in any part of the world, you can participate in Wesley biblical seminaries ministry and the work God's calling us to do as we are developing trusted leaders for faithful churches, like God's called us to this task. And we do this by looking at these subjects. We have courses in John Wesley's theology, and holiness theology courses in hermeneutics and biblical scholarship. We want to help train trusted leaders who can go to congregations and lead them in faithful ways. And so if you're interested in that, I hope you'll check out WB s.edu. And as I said earlier, that's one of the things that we're offering today is if you'd like to have one of these Bible study tools that can be used to help you get to the meaning of a text and how you can proclaim it more faithfully, you can join my email list at Andy Miller to third.com. And I'll send you a free PDF, something I think will be useful to you. Now, as we're getting into this, and as we're working through it, I want to just jump back to a few points that I feel like weren't stated Well, and that's in that speech I heard I don't know if his sermon maybe sermon I heard by chick you'll, and this is on that included site, this included group that hosted a conference with various speakers.
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I feel like there was an equivocation with some words within our first article of faith and that is are these words
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and they connect us in the Salvation Army. And I imagine other denominations have this as well. It connects us to the broad reformation tradition. And that is, we believe the Scripture, the old New Testament were given by inspiration God and they only constitute here it is the divine rule. At that moment, in the video, what I saw was the Speaker taking the words rule and say, well, the Bible's not about rules, right? There's for and then kind of like contrast had various things that are seemingly inconsistent in Scripture. And I thought, that misses the point. When we use the word divine rule. We're connected to the idea that this is the norming function in the Bible. Now, sometimes we take solo script Torah, and misunderstand that word that by Scripture alone, one of the great solos of the Reformation, the Protestant Reformation, we do not mean new does Scripture which is naked, scripture, naked, naked by itself, we do acknowledge the great tradition in Christian theology. That reason is sometimes called the candle of the Lord, the Kingdom it is what enlivens us to be able to read Scripture, we were not like, in a place where we, we know we just buried to read at all, we have to be able to understand and look to the importance of using reason. The phrase that's classically used is nor Mata Normans. And actually, there's a longer phrase, but essentially, is the norming norm. So scripture is this divine rule like how, like how a ruler is used, this is really in itself, like in the savage from his first article of faith, a full theological method, because it does not assume and if we see that these words are part of that Protestant tradition, this does this supplies, a method in itself? For looking at how we adjudicate scripture? And how we understand it. So all together, we're pointing to this divine rule of Christian faith and practice. And what is it that we say in the Salvation Army, we don't say like that, that comes from the Wesleyan quadrilateral. Our Article of Faith came before that we believe the Scripture, the old New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and they only they're the only source. They're the only source of Christian faith and practice, they make up the divine rule. So I wanted to just offer that. And just as we think about this topic, okay. Now, the other thing to some people might already say, Well, Andy, you're just suggesting your interpretation, and you're making, saying it's, you're the one who's come to all the truth, I just want to say, on that point, I believe we are standing in the great, consensual tradition of the church, like we are aligning ourselves with what of the faith that was once for all, delivered to the saints. And then, of course, just a slight pushback there is like those who are accusing conservative orthodox theologians, thinkers, of saying that we're claiming that we found the interpretation, it sounds like you're coming from that from an interpretive lens yourself. Like there's an interpretation that you are making yourself. So let's just be cautious with that. Like we're trying to get to truth altogether. We believe God has revealed himself in the scriptures of the old New Testament, if that is indeed the case, if the canon is closed, God has revealed himself and we need to work as hard as we can to work through the tools like Kevin Vanhoozer talks about the biological method, getting to means of words, there are times so we can understand context, and that I believe has happened, particularly in areas related to human sexuality. And you can go back to my my conversation I had with Dr. Matt Ayers, where he talked about mixed messages in the Salvation Army. I think one of the interesting things that we have to think about is that even though there are different interpretations, it seems that the scholarly community as a whole affirms that if we take the Bible as the authority for our lives, that Scripture is incredibly clear on the subject. Remember that example I use a few minutes ago of Scott Jones, Bishop Scott Jones saying, Look, I took the quadrilateral and Scripture lost three to one. But there's assumption even that person from a more perspective, position that understands the scriptures, and this is what I came to. I'll just use this example again, where Bill loader and Robert Agnon were having a debate. And at one point, Bill loader said is a well known New Testament scholar. Well, I believe you and I affirm that Jesus would have been against same sex behavior. And Robert Gagne thought he had one I heard Robert Gagne tell the story. And then he said, I just disagree with Jesus. Scriptures voice is incredibly clear. Now some people have sent me some books saying, well, here this is but generally, the books that people have sent to me, don't come from a perspective where people see Scripture as the authority for their lives. They don't see it as infallible or an errant you don't like whatever language you want to use to define
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Find how you see scripture. And I'm not saying any one of those particularly but if we say the Bible is the authority for life, it is the prime authority, the norm in functional life.
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It's only those who I've seen, who have moved away from scriptures authority, who have then embraced a different view. Now, we can talk about that further. And I'm glad to be corrected at some point on that. Now, there's something too, I want to highlight, in that talk, came this idea of like taking laws, ceremonial laws, civil laws from the Old Testament, and using them as a way say, Well, if you're not going to eat shrimp, or you have different kinds of clothes, or you have any of kind of like, they're very particular laws, a missus the reality that there are different types of laws in the Old Testament, or throughout Scripture, but particularly like independent Duke, we have moral, ceremonial, and civil laws. And it's the moral law, the moral laws that retain their function throughout Scripture. And of course, one of the things we talked about in the inductive Bible study method that moves from a place where we start with observing making observations, then we move to interpreting, then we move to the evaluation phase. And it's in the evaluation phase, where we look at the big picture of what's being communicated in Scripture. And we look at the path of the movement of Scripture as a whole. And certainly on other topics, there is a trajectory in Scripture that moves towards greater freedoms, let's say, with relation to slavery, or the same thing as a case with women's involvement in what we see women in ministry. But what we don't have in Scripture is any movement as it relates to human sexuality. So just want to say like, there certainly are ways that we have to look at scripture as a whole and look at what the canonical dialogue or in this case, the canonical monologue is saying. Now, the thing just from that,
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of course, too, I want to go back to that method. So we observation, interpretation, evaluation, then we look at the interpretation of others, then we move to application and ultimately to proclamation. So as we move through those steps, when you get to application phase, that's where we look at, what is it that's being said and this time, and what is it and how does it translate to our time, and that's where oftentimes where we come into challenges.
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One other thing, I just want to highlight a way that I see some inconsistencies, and I feel like now's the time to address this, maybe not. So in other podcasts that I've done is that there are still these mixed messages within my denomination that are being sent around the world. And these are challenging. One, I'll highlight just want to articulate this is like even in the Salvation Army in the United States, we have a clear statement on our website, and we often in a very public way, talk about the way we're debunking the myth that we in any way discriminate against people based on their sexuality, or any in any discriminate in any way in our service to people. But often, we don't say in that on that website, we don't articulate that, particularly within our church, that we affirm the authority of Scripture, and that we believe and this is true, unless somebody can show me that it's not within an official statement of Salvation Army, that we believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for a lifetime. Like this is this is what we affirm. And we say that in our articles of faith, as we say, we will uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life. And we also say this from the basis of understanding that Scripture is the divine rule of Christian faith and practice. Now, it's also in this I'll say, I've been pretty hard on this speaker, who it's interesting, when he was about my age in the 1980s, my grandfather, and he had some arguments. And now I'm the he was, and he might be the age of my grandfather. And here we're having this discussion. It's on this basis of Scripture in the priority scripture that I agree with Brother you'll on something, and that is because of the witness of Scripture, and how that's been interpreted through the history of the church that I believe the Salvation Army should reintroduce the practice of the traditional Protestant sacraments of baptism, and communion, and partaking of the Lord's Supper. So I just want to say that that's there. And some people that might be some people on a conservative side might be fearful. I'm saying, Oh, we're calling to change something, actually, that comes because of the way that I value the way God has revealed himself through the scriptures. And I understand that I'm working on this now on my second doctoral dissertation, thinking about the importance of what has happened historically, with way William Booth thought through his ecclesiology what it meant to understand his doctrine of the Church. So we're working through that, but there's a move I believe, within the Salvation Army to embrace the practice of the traditional Protestant sacraments and that's not a liberal move. That's, I believe, a biblical move. So there's that piece tomb. I want to bring up there's one more point that
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I wanted to bring up from chicks talk. And he said, Well, he knows some people and because he knows some of these people, and he brought up artificial insemination. And, and he said, I can't see that hurting anybody I see this couple of as a kid is maybe maybe a lesbian couple that had a kid. And I want to point back to a podcast that just came out two weeks ago with Katie Faust, and her organization them before us. And when we think about this, this issue, this concern that it doesn't hurt society, what we want to affirm is the priority of children, that every child has an in a desire to connect to their mother and father, we're not saying that that's always ideal. But what's happening in that situation is people are choosing to separate a child from their biological mother and father. And we need to prioritize children in this discussion, so I couldn't quite let that one go by as well. I wanted to bring that up. I want to highlight too, that there is a couple of podcasts that have already come out and some that are coming out. One, I had a podcast that came out with oz Guinness a few months ago. And look, he had this great moment where he pinned me right in the corner, I hardly knew what to say. I said, Well, you know, some people will say, faithful Christians disagree on these types of subjects. And he's not back at bay said faithful to whom?
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Not to God, not the scripture, not to the Lord.
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And I remember that moment, like, what are we being faithful to? Is this an area where faithful Christians disagree? This is this is the challenge. This is a challenging question. And I'm suggesting that the way God has revealed himself in Scripture, if that is the foundation for by which we enter into a world,
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we can't move away from Israel. We can't move away from his revelation.
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In this, I thought of something interesting.
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There's a great hymn that many Salvation Army churches will sing this Advent season. It's a hymn, that chick has written himself. And it says this.
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The title of it is the light has come. You know, it starts by saying Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, quoting Isaiah nine. I love this passage. I just want to point us back to that passage. Do we believe that the light has come in the person of Jesus Christ, that Jesus spoke about sexuality in Matthew 19? Do we believe that God's revealed shown us who he is in the person of Jesus the light, if the light has come, when we listen to the light, when we put ourselves in a position to listen the way God has revealed himself through the scriptures of the old New Testament, that's my call here. Like, let's go back to Scripture. This is the Salvation Army way. Now. It's okay. If people want to move beyond that. If we want to move beyond the fact that God has revealed himself in salvations. All around the world, more than a million of them have covenanted themselves. To the articles of faith was outlined 11 Clear artists face we've talked about one of them pretty significantly here today. We also talked in the past, about statements that unite us the the I Will statements like I will commit myself I will support financially, I will stay away from things that can slave my body, and I will uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life. This is what unites us because it's connected to a God has revealed himself because the light has come Amen. Not only is the light come, but I love the last verse, it says, the light will come, there will come a time when Jesus will return. And this is why I want emphasize like when you look at this, the trend of liberal theology that ends up promoting experience, tradition,
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and our ability to reason above scripture, what I've often found is there's not an embrace of Jesus's return. Now, maybe that's not the case for everybody who would ascribe to those beliefs. But I believe Jesus is gonna return and he's going to put everything right and all the kind of challenges that we experience right now. And I recognize that some of the things that I've talked about here today, recognize significant challenges in people's lives, they're dealing with sexuality as the moral revolution is hitting us on the face. And I just want to encourage, I want to encourage people, particularly people who are holding on to the truth that they signed, when they became soldiers in the Salvation Army, or when they embrace the doctrine of their church or when they signed up to be a part of the denomination. I want to encourage you to hold strong to that which has been delivered this faith once for all delivered to the saints. Because the light has come and the light will come. And all that's wrong in the world will be put right.
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Chicken did by talking about his dream for the church. So I thought I'd give my own dream for the church. I you know, I love chicks, right, in particular, that moment where he talked about, you know, with full abandonment, like hippies in the 1970s. I wasn't alive in 1970s. But I got what you're saying there. I dream of a church that preaches the full gospel boldly. I dream of a church that calls people to repentance. I dream of a church that calls people to embrace the promise that comes in that they can experience a sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit in our life where there's never a time where they
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Have to sin. I dream of a church that leans in to the historic faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, I dream of a church
Unknown Speaker 35:10
that embraces the beauty of God's creation in the complementary nature of the human body. And that picture that it presents for us of where we're going in eternity as Christ bride, I dream of a church that stands up for all people, specifically the most vulnerable, and I'm thinking particularly here of the unborn, I dream of a church and I dream of the Salvation Army where our members and soldiers are engaged in the whole the submission where we proclaim that good news that the Lord Jesus Christ has by his suffering and death made atonement for the whole world. So whosoever will may be saved, that we can be saved from our sins, that we no longer have to live in a place where we are dominated by same. Instead, we can live in victory. Why can we do that? Because the light has come.
Unknown Speaker 35:58
Thanks for checking this out. I know that I've talked about some sensitive topics today. But I'm thankful for the opportunity. And for those of you who've been interested in this podcast, in this ministry, you have I want to encourage you to a podcast is coming out, and next few weeks one with Dr. George Yancey. And his book is called one faith no longer in in that in that book. And in that interview, he looks at the sociological data, and really focusing on what's happening with liberal and conservative Christianity really is functioning as two different religions. Now, he's not saying this theologically. He's just saying, what's happened now is we're functioning as two different religions. And I'm sorry to say like, that's where I believe we are.
Unknown Speaker 36:41
And I think we're at the point where leadership and denominations need to make a clear call. And this is the opportunity for discipline, so that we can be in a position to embrace what God has called us to be. So I think we're there and I encourage leaders in my denomination, to think through what it means to really exist sociologically as really two different faiths, one faith no longer but actually, maybe, maybe subscribe to this podcast and then check out George Dante's interview. It's coming out in a few weeks, and we also have Keith boy yet coming on to talk about what's going on the now Matt Einnahme United Methodist Church. Jay Warner Wallace is coming on soon. And next week, my kids are coming on so I think you'll enjoy that too. Thanks so much for checking out the mortars story podcast. God bless you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai