So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

Romans chapter 8, verses 6-7; from the New Living Translation (NLT)

Recently I had a conversation with a fellow United Methodist clergy on Facebook. It was focused on a post this individual had made. It was surprisingly civil (up to this point)–still, I couldn’t help but think: What are they teaching now in United Methodist Seminaries? Here’s the screenshot of that comment:

This person compared understanding Scriptures to a 3-legged stool. The top is the Scriptures and the 3 legs are tradition, reason, and experience. Thus, without tradition, or reason, or experience, one cannot adequately understand Scripture. The primary (and often times “sole determining factor”) way to understand Scripture is through tradition, reason, and experience. Now, before you call me that dreaded “fundamentalist”, hear me out. We do not study the Scriptures in a vacuum. There are traditions. We all have experiences. And God created us to be able to reason, or think if you prefer.

But it seems that many of our clergy are using reason as the final determining factor. In other words, if it doesn’t make sense to us, or if the culture tells us something contrary, then we are free to change or ignore what the Bible clearly teaches. This is what many seminaries are teaching. Not all of them, mind you; but enough of them are and the result has been the dilution and devolution of the power of Scripture to guide us and form in us the life of Holiness demanded by God for His Image Bearers. Go back to the writer’s analogy of that three-legged stool.

The writer is correct in stating that for a three-legged stool to be secure enough to sit on, it needs all three legs. And, by implication, those 3 legs need to be the same length. Otherwise it is unstable. But do not overlook the other implication–that Scripture (the seat of that three-legged stool) cannot safely support us until all three of those legs are the same length. In other words, Scripture is to be formed by OUR traditions, experiences, and reasoning.

Can I be frank with you? I know, my name is Randy. But I need to be FRANK with you this morning. Using the writer’s analogy of that three-legged stool, when those who are supposed to be our Spiritual Leaders are taught that human reasoning overrides the Scriptures and that we need to change our beliefs about anything in the Bible, then the result is the chaos and soon to follow destruction of the United Methodist, and any other church that follows the same primrose path. And to my fundamentalist friends, if you allow your traditions to determine your beliefs about the Bible, then your three-legged stool is just as unsteady.

Hear me out! Yes, reason, tradition, and experience are helpful tools when it comes to understanding Scripture! But they do not determine what is THE TRUTH! The Truth is set by the Bible for all matters of faith, life, and conduct. But none of them gives us the permission to change The Standard clearly set in The Bible! From my perspective, many seminary professors took a bite of that apple Satan offered Eve and Adam, and unlike Eve and Adam who recognized the shame and mistake, they “reason” that the apple is good, and that Satan was right. Is there any doubts now as to why the United Methodist Tribe is imploding? It looks like that three-legged stool analogy doesn’t work after all.


6 thoughts on “WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING???

  1. You will not know the Truth till you stand before Jesus Christ.
    You’re definitely a fundamwntalist Randy and if that’s how you feel, that’s between you and God and have nothing to be ashamed about.
    Jesus has all ready showed us that the scriptures are subjective and that only He can properly interpert them.
    Till then, we all should stop arguing about them and get back to the mission of loving God and loving our neighbours as ourselves.
    Those who had the most faith IN Jesus weren’t concerned with the Jewish traditions or scriptures.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I disagree that I’m a fundamentalist. I happen to believe that women are called to be preachers. So, that disqualifies me. But I do agree that only Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, helps us understand the Sacred Writ. Blessings and Peace, Stephen!


  2. The three legged stool analogy is from the Anglican tradition, but was never meant to override the clear meaning of Scriptures. Paul tells us in one of his letters that in order to properly interpret Scriptures one must be led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never contradict what has already been written under the inspiration of Himself. What see is folks who either deny the inspiration of scriptures or feel they have been “enlightened “ enough to override it due to their superior knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said brother. It is Sola Scriptura, not a three legged stool. Reason, tradition and experience cannot contradict the plain teaching of scripture. And yet, so many today, knowingly reject that premise. It is stunning. My most difficult conversations on social media used to be with Atheists. Now it is progressive Christians and Catholics.


    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.