Sola Experiencia

In general, scripture is not seen as sufficient, trustworthy, authoritative, inerrant (without error in the original manuscripts), perspicuous (clear, understandable), nor is it believed to be fully inspired.

Experiential highs, supernatural events (miraculous healings, glossolalia, prophecy, etc.), and subjectivism are all swiftly replacing the core doctrines on the defense of the canon. Sola Scriptura has become scripture and prophetic utterance; scripture and speaking in tongues; scripture and a personal feeling of closeness with God; scripture and feeling on fire for God; scripture and that still small voice; scripture and “90 Minutes in Heaven.”

Many in the church have been taught and believed the lie that there are a myriad of ways to experience God on our own terms. Beyond this, many have failed to examine beyond the immediate context of the single verse they are so apt to pull from their theological fanny-pack.

Truth has been maligned.

The locus of truth is no longer founded solely upon the scriptures – but within one’s self. Add to this postmodernism and the myriad of other things screaming out from the world – and it’s no wonder that biblical orthodoxy and orthopraxy is not commonplace. Truthfully, it has never been commonplace. There have always been many more on the wide road than the narrow.

Throw several people from different denominations in the same room and they can’t even agree on soteriology. They can’t regurgitate the gospel – the core, elementary teaching of the faith – in a unified statement. If the gospel can’t be articulated well or agreed upon, it stands to reason that no other doctrine can find widespread consensus within the church.

At the root of this is idolatry. It is an idolatry that esteems these spiritual or subjective experiences rather than the Word. It is the exchanging of gospel truth for the market place wares of this age. Again, it is the rehashed heresy of that old serpent that asked, “But did God say _____?”

You can’t continue on in disdain for the Word and love God. In the same manner that you cannot hate the brethren and love God nor can you be unforgiving and love God, it is a conditional aspect of being in the faith. Those who are His own know Him by His voice, and in His voice is all truth.

One may not grasp these things immediately upon coming to faith, but surely you cannot keep on denying the truthfulness of God’s Word, nor can one continue to bow to the idols of their heart, and love God. It simply does not work that way. But what about those who “nothing” the Word? I would say the same thing. I am hard pressed to find an example of a Christian who perseveres to the end and obtains the crown of life, who “nothings” the Word.

Denying doctrines on the defense of the Canon easily leads to a faith that is overtly subjective; based upon the experiential and emotional senses that delight the flesh, yet leave the heart blackened. It leaves room for deceptive voices crying out for place upon the shelves in our hearts where our shiniest idols stand proudly.

In this case though, you don’t “let go and let God” – you put sin to death. Just as the scriptures do not place commendation upon the one working to earn his salvation, they speak equally candidly to the lazy soul who excuses sin, banking on a “once saved, always saved” mentality.

We must ask ourselves if we truly treasure the Word. And then we must ask in circumstances that pit our emotions against the truth of His Word if we truly believe it to be sufficient for all aspects of life. If one doesn’t cherish the Word beyond all other earthly wisdom or even the seemingly miraculous events we are so quick to instill authority in, surely there is plenty of good kindle for the purging fire.

It’s folly to put such great stock in the miracle rather than the author of miracles. It’s folly to build doctrine off of things not found in scripture. It’s folly to sit on the fence and say, “If we can’t dismiss these things 100%, than we cannot land at all.” However, there is an even larger problem: it is downright damnable if the gospel is not taught – or it is taught in a false manner.

 

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