What is our Center?
By Kokichi Kurosaki
One might think that with the Bible as the center of Christianity, the unity of Christians could be easily realized. Unfortunately, this has not proved to be true. This inability of Scripture to unify the Lord’s people proves that the LETTER of the Bible cannot really replace the living Christ as the center of our faith. The Bible speaks to us of the Life and work of God, and since “life” is greater than its manifestation, it cannot be expressed completely in any logical or theological form. Therefore, the Bible itself cannot escape being understood in many different ways. Thus we see how, in the wisdom of God, it is impossible to make the Scriptures the end or final authority in themselves, for they only express God’s authority TO THOSE WHO LIVE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE SPIRIT.
Let us pause to remember. In rejecting the authority of the Roman Church, the reformers turned to the Scriptures as the authority for their faith and actions. In the fierce conflict of the early days of the Reformation, it was natural that they should seek the security of some objective standard to meet the seemingly unlimited politico-ecclesiastical power of Rome. Therefore the position of the Bible as the God-inspired testimony of the apostles’ personal faith in Christ gradually changed and became the source of Protestant “dogma” and the criterion of acceptable faith. REPLACING THE ROMAN POPE, THE BIBLE BECAME THE CENTER OF THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES.
And so on the one hand there are the so-called fundamentalists who, accepting the Bible as the “infallible Word of God,” believe there is no mistake in the whole Bible, not even in one phrase or manner of wording. To them it is, in the most literal sense, the Word of God from cover to cover, and their faith is utterly dependent on its literal infallibility.
On the other hand there are liberals who try to compromise Biblical truth with science. Denying the spiritual in favor of the rational, or adopting the results of the higher and lower criticism, they reject the inspiration of the whole Bible.
There are yet others, though, who take the whole Bible to be the Word of God as do the fundamentalists, but in a little different way. They believe that the Spirit acts in the words of the historical records to reveal the LIVING Word. They recognize the Bible as the record of God’s revelation of Himself throughout history, climaxing in Christ–an inspirited record resulting from the activity of the Spirit in the individuals who wrote it. There is only one center of Christianity, and this center is spiritual fellowship with God through Christ–LIFE UNION WITH GOD IN CHRIST. When there is this koinonia–fellowship–there is the Body of Christ, the Ekklesia. The Ekklesia exists where there is this life-union with God through Christ. Only this union with God in Christ can be the CENTER of Christianity.
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