"A New Sola "
John 8:26 - (Jesus said) "I have much to say about you and much to judge, but He who sent Me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him."
Most Lutherans are familiar with the three "solas" of the Reformation. As a refresher, they are: "sola gratia, sola fide, and sola Scriptura." Translated, that means we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone, which is based on Scripture alone.
Recently, there are observers who are suggesting that another sola is trying to insert itself into our spiritual lives. This sola is "sola feels." Sola feels is a new way of thinking that says, "My faith is based first, foremost and alone on how I feel." In practical terms, sola feels takes God's truth and makes it secondary to how a person feels. A few examples of sola feels would be the following:
The Bible says God created the world, but if I feel Genesis is illogical and simplistic, I can disregard that book.
The Scriptures say that some lifestyles and personal preferences are sinful and unacceptable to the Lord, but if I feel those verses were only written for -- and applicable to -- people who lived long ago and far away, I can live my life the way I want.
The Gospel of Mark quotes our Redeemer as having said, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). But, if I feel God would never send anyone to hell, I can forget Jesus' words and make it so His sacrifice to save us was totally unnecessary.
In other words, sola feels says, "If a doctrine makes me feel comfortable, if it goes along with what I prefer to believe, if it allows me to do what I want, then it must be true." On the other hand, "If something in Holy Scriptures makes me feel uncomfortable, if it tries to modify my lifestyle or threatens me, then it must be false."
Now you may think all of what has been written here is a great exaggeration.
It isn't. If you doubt me, ask your own pastor. There are very few preachers who have not had to deal with people who hold tightly to sola feels.
In confirmation, in Bible classes, in counseling, we often run into people who, having heard God's clear words of Law and Gospel, reply, "But my God would never do or say such a thing."
And, of course, they are right.
Their God would never do such a thing, but the God of Scripture would. Again and again, the Bible shares how the Lord hates and condemns sin. Then, even as the Triune God declares the wrongness of humankind's sinful thoughts, words and actions, He offers forgiveness to those who believe on His Son who was sacrificed to redeem us. And this, more than our feelings, is most certainly true.
THE PRAYER: "Blessed Lord, who has caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by the patience and comfort of Thy Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life which Thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen" (prayer taken from The Lutheran Hymnal).
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was written by John Stonestreet for Breaking Point on November 22, 2016. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.christianheadlines.com/columnists/breakpoint/post-truth-named-word-of-the-year
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible Readings: Job 3-4 Matthew 8:1-17
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