Sunday, November 05, 2006

Spirit and Letter

Over on the BRF (Brethren Revival Fellowship) website I saw this post by Craig Alan Myers today:
We oppose the practice of homosexuality for the same reason that we oppose short hair on women, long hair on men, baptizing infants, and telling lies. These are practices which violate the teachings of Scripture. The Bible is our rule of faith and practice. The Church of the Brethren should take a united stand against the evil of homosexual conduct, and that we should not take any steps that give credibility to the homosexual lifestyle. To call homosexual relationships such terms as "marriage" or "ritual" or "rite," gives them a credibility that is not called for. Jesus blessed and sanctified marriage between a man and a woman, and taught that God's intention is that. Our Annual Conference has affirmed that heterosexuality is "the" proper way, not "a" proper way. Anything else is beyond the pale of proper Christian living, and is properly termed a novelty.
The only appropriate response to this is a scripture quote from 2 Corinthians 3:
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ towards God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, chiselled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

The letter kills; the spirit gives life. Where the spirit of the lord is, there is freedom. In this BRF post the gospel has been turned into the law.


dave said...

Yes, we live by the spirit.

Can the Holy Spirit contradict the Word of God.

If God says one thing and someone else says something completely different claiming it is of the Holy Spirit, then I must assume they are mistaken or misled.


liberal pastor said...

We continue to hear the word of God in the voice of the spirit. The scriptures give us a place to begin in our discernment. But the spirit can speak in new ways.