I Am Committed To These Seven Things, Week 66
In this message, Shawn McCraney of Christian Ultra Libertarians for Truth shares seven conclusions he has reached through his study of the Bible. These include the importance of being willing to do God’s will, the role of the Holy Spirit in understanding Scripture, and the significance of love in evaluating doctrines. He also touches on the divisiveness of doctrines, the notion of life as a proving ground, and the belief that religious affiliation is inconsequential to God’s judgment.
In this message, Shawn McCraney of Christian Ultra Libertarians for Truth shares seven conclusions he has arrived at over the years of studying the Bible and pursuing a relationship with God. He begins by emphasizing that all people must be willing in their hearts to do the will of God, as stated in John 7:17. He believes that individuals who diligently seek God with a desire to discover Him will find Him.
McCraney’s second point is that the Bible, when understood with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, teaches God’s children what they need to know. He describes the distinction between the “milk” of the word, which is suitable for spiritual babes, and the “meat” of the word, which is necessary for growth and maturation.
The third conclusion McCraney presents is that reliable biblical interpretations should be supported by the contents of the Bible as a whole. He warns against building theological frameworks based solely on isolated chapters, passages, or words. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of considering the entirety of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and interpreting it within that comprehensive context.
McCraney’s fourth point highlights the significance of agape love in evaluating the value of a doctrine. If a doctrine does not produce, encourage, or support agape love, he suggests that it should be questioned. Love, according to him, is central to God’s commandments and teachings.
Regarding believers’ behavior, McCraney observes that immature believers and non-believers tend to cause contention and division by engaging in judgment, condemnation, and criticism of beliefs and lifestyles. In contrast, mature believers grow in love.
McCraney then addresses the order of operation in God’s economy. He asserts that the Spirit is primary and preferential, as the fruit of the Spirit is always love. The Word of God, while secondary and deferential, brings faith and should be deferred to. He cautions against prioritizing the Word above the Spirit, as it could lead to justifying a lack of love.
Regarding church history, McCraney considers it tertiary at best and inferential. While acknowledging that it contains valuable insights from early church fathers, he also acknowledges errors and suggests that much of it can be subject to testing and inference.
In a somewhat controversial statement, McCraney expresses the belief that brick and mortar religion is unnecessary and inconsequential. He argues that God judges individuals based on their hearts and their actions in life, rather than their religious affiliation.
The sixth conclusion McCraney presents is that doctrines have a divisive effect. He believes that individuals are personally responsible for their beliefs and that true believers should allow others the grace to hold their own beliefs without criticism or division.
Finally, McCraney asserts that life is a proving ground, echoing the biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He believes that Jesus brought humanity back to a proving ground state and references Galatians 6:7, which states that people will reap what they sow.
In conclusion, Shawn McCraney shares seven conclusions he has reached through his study of the Bible and his pursuit of God. These conclusions encompass topics such as the importance of willingness to do God’s will, the role of the Holy Spirit in understanding Scripture, the necessity of love in evaluating doctrines, the potential divisiveness of doctrines, and the idea that life serves as a proving ground for humanity.