28—orthopraxy (an introduction, which should have been #1)
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
Martin Luther is recognized for, among other things, the phrase “sola scriptura”, in English, scripture alone. The meaning is that God has communicated the truth that His people need for living so as to serve Him rightly through the Bible, and not the Bible plus any other tradition or book or secret communication that is to be held to be equal to the Bible. Over the centuries, between the apostles who were inspired to write the New Testament and the Reformation, many doctrines and practices grew up in the church that cannot be traced to any correctly understood Bible passage. Some have no connection to the Bible, and some were directly taught against by the apostles. The Reformation targeted many points of incorrect doctrine, and in the following controversy many such incorrect points were corrected in at least some of the church, a few points in all of the church.
The notable word I just said there was doctrine. We use the word orthodoxy to mean right doctrine. There is a similar word—orthopraxy—which means right practice. The Reformation said little about, and to this day there are practices in all traditional church organizations that cannot be traced back to a direction given in scripture for the people of the New Covenant. Some are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves, but if all or almost all of the church does a thing as if it is commanded in scripture, we walk close to crossing the line of violating the command of Revelation chapter 22 verse 18-19 not to add or delete from the Word. Many of the problematical practices came from the
Roman Empire forcing pagan accessories into the church. The idea of this series of programs is not to say to any organization, “You are wrong,” but for you, as a believer in Jesus, desiring to do His will, to consider in your spirit problems of faith not being dealt with by parts of the Christian subculture, to God’s glory.
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.