Sean Scott's Blog

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Desert Island Theology

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I think Christianity, to a great degree, could be revolutionized if believers had what I term “Desert Island Theology. What do I mean by “Desert Island Theology”? What I’m not talking about is a theology that is learned at a bible school, through Christian radio, through dead saints from past era’s, or even from modern preachers. This is what I mean by Desert Island Theology. Imagine if you were stranded on a desert island. You have no knowledge of anything Christian. You have no knowledge of what a church “service” should look like, you have no knowledge about how a Christian looks in behavior or what a Christian believes, etc. Your memory has essentially been erased of everything it knows to be Christian both in teaching and practice. You are stranded on this desert island and you have nothing but your food, water, and your bible – the Word of God. If you were to read your bible, having no prior perspective to taint your understanding, do you think you would see things differently? I’m almost certain that you would.

Could you read the bible and come up with the modern worship service and leadership structure, just by reading the scriptures? Could it be possible?

Could you say that gifts of the Spirit have passed away and are not longer in operation? Would that be possible by only looking at scriptures?

Could you say that women are to preach and teach men in the assembly and have authority over them? Remember, you have no denominational or current cultural influence. You only have God’s word.

Could you find tithing taught in the New Testament, after the crucifixion where the law was nailed to the cross?

I could go on and on……

I can only imagine how many wonderful truths and practices would be “re-discovered” if more people had some Desert Island Theology. The great thing is, you don’t have to go to a desert island to think this way. It should be, and can be, your common practice when reading the word of God. Simply throw out any preconceived ideas you have about a biblical subject, anything you’ve read about it, or what you’ve seen practiced, and start reading the word of God with a clean slate in your mind. You will be surprised at how many issues are cleared up when you can really look at the word of God alone and see what it says, without any other doctrinal influences.

This is one of the practices the Lord taught me when I came out of the institutional church that I was born again at. Of course, prior to coming out of the church the Lord had showed me many truths that put me at odds with that church. But after I came out, I had to essentially unlearn what I had learned and re-read the scriptures as if I had no knowledge on any biblical subject. What an eye-opening and blessed experience it was and continues to be.

So today I’m promoting Desert Island Theology. Not that it needs to be your only method of theology, but it certainly should be your primary one. As I said above, I’m sure there would be a revolution of sorts in Christianity if people approached God’s word this way and believed it for what it simply says.

If you have never approached God’s word this way, then I encourage you to do so staring today.  I know that you’ll be blessed by what you discover.

Written by Sean Scott

August 23, 2012 at 4:46 am

19 Responses

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  1. Exactly, if we follow this DIT, in the same way we will avoid bizarre and absurd doctrines like second blessings, third blessings, and all sorts of systems etc. Pre-conceive ideas are hindrances to study further.A caution : How can he understand trinity for instance?. What would his knowledge be on this issue? Muralee, sri lanka

    Muralee

    August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  2. Agreed brother, this is exactly how God deals with me. In fact at this present time he has had me withdraw from other Christians in order to teach me without any outside influences (preconceived doctrines).

    Your email is one of the very few that I will read or respond to in this time.

    Yes brother you have a true anointing to teach.

    God bless you and your household,
    Kenny Atnip.

    Kenny Atnip

    August 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    • God Bless you Kenny…..

      IN Christ,

      Sean

      Sean

      August 25, 2012 at 3:46 am

  3. Sean,

    This is a very good word for the areas that you mentioned and also for areas of personal Christian character. I find that if I let myself slide in a little matter that the justification for that comes from not having a desert island view of Gods call on my life. Instead I compare myself by a lukewarm church age and I feel pretty good even though I made a compromise, but if I get in the word and look at the issue all I can say is God have mercy on me a sinner.

    I do enjoy reading what other saints write as the Lord has given us a body to help build us up too. There is a season for the wilderness for many of us but it is not to camp out until Jesus comes back (unless someone has the absolute leading of the Lord to do so).

    Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    Love you brother – Jim

    PS – I am already setting up the website for Desert Island Theology correspondence Bible school. Special discount for those who sign up early.

    fleebabylon

    August 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    • “I do enjoy reading what other saints write as the Lord has given us a body to help build us up too. There is a season for the wilderness for many of us but it is not to camp out until Jesus comes back (unless someone has the absolute leading of the Lord to do so).”

      Amen brother, I do too. I certainly wasn’t implying that we should never learn or glean from other believers, but that we should always try to understand the word first without other influences. I also don’t believe that a believer has to be apart from other believers to think this way. It’s really just another way of trying to encourage believers to be Bereans.

      God bless you brother…..

      Sean Scott

      August 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      • Deleted post.

        Sorry brother. I put my reply under the wrong comment. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

        Sean Scott

        August 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      • who are you quoting there brother?

        fleebabylon

        August 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm

  4. Sean,

    Adam and Eve were on a “desert island” of sorts and had no Bible to read from or history to turn to in order to understand what God had to say. All they knew was “of every tree you may eat, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.”

    They had some ideas of God based on what God told them:
    1. God was their provider.
    2. God was their authority.
    3. God was their moral standard.

    Also having this knowledge, and possibly being near by when God gave the command to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Serpent came and tested their theology, or their understanding of God.

    He challenged if God’s provision was really good enough? “Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? Genesis 3:1”
    He challenged if God’s authority was final. “You will not surely die. Genesis 3:4”
    He challenged if God’s was the moral standard. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:5”

    God gave the command to Adam, Adam relayed the command to Eve, Eve was tempted by the Serpent. Instead of returning to her husband, who received the command from God himself, to seek out answers to the questions she was being asked, she formed her own opion.

    Genesis 3:6, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”

    I think this can be seen clearly here that, when left to ourselves, we will make the wrong choices. I believe God has set in place a system of accountability and a method of testing what we believe to be true. Eve had Adam to turn to for accountability and confirmation, but she didn’t take advantage of it. I think our false doctrines and heretical teachings come from people who are looking for a new perspective of scripture instead of testing what they believe against what has become foundational in church history. For example, Joseph Smith, David Koresh, Jim Jones, and the many others who may have taken a “desert island theology” approach.

    “Could you read the bible and come up with the modern worship service and leadership structure, just by reading the scriptures? Could it be possible?

    Could you say that gifts of the Spirit have passed away and are not longer in operation? Would that be possible by only looking at scriptures?

    Could you say that women are to preach and teach men in the assembly and have authority over them? Remember, you have no denominational or current cultural influence. You only have God’s word.

    Could you find tithing taught in the New Testament, after the crucifixion where the law was nailed to the cross?”

    I don’t believe you need a desert island theology approach to the questions to find the answers, I believe they have been clearly communicated through the Bible and through teachers and preachers in Church History.

    One question I will leave you with:
    If you were on that desert island, having no pre-conceived notions or ideas about the Bible. Would you write down what you came to believe about certain things you read? And if you did, would you want someone to read what you wrote down to try and get an understanding of what they’re reading also? Or would you tell them not to read your works and go find their own desert island? There’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek there brother.

    Miss you guys and glad you are feeling better.

    God Bless…

    Robert

    Robert

    August 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    • God gave the command to Adam, Adam relayed the command to Eve, Eve was tempted by the Serpent. Instead of returning to her husband, who received the command from God himself, to seek out answers to the questions she was being asked, she formed her own opion.

      I think this can be seen clearly here that, when left to ourselves, we will make the wrong choices.

      That’s exactly what the Catholic Church says. 😉 They say that we need the “church” to interpret the scripture for us. Should we all go back to our supposed “mother church”?

      Eve had Adam to turn to for accountability and confirmation, but she didn’t take advantage of it.

      The Berean’s were noble not because they turned to their “teachers” but because they searched the scriptures.

      These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
      (Act 17:11)

      I think our false doctrines and heretical teachings come from people who are looking for a new perspective of scripture instead of testing what they believe against what has become foundational in church history.

      Kinda like Martin Luther? He’s guilty of what you’re talking about. He kinda looked at the scriptures and rejected what had become “foundational in church history”. Maybe he should have listened to his “teachers”. 🙂

      Could you say that gifts of the Spirit have passed away and are not longer in operation? Would that be possible by only looking at scriptures?
      I don’t believe you need a desert island theology approach to the questions to find the answers, I believe they have been clearly communicated through the Bible and through teachers and preachers in Church History.

      Unforutantely a lot of Reformed teachers and preachers have come to the conclusion that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased…not because of what the bible teachers, but because they try to make the bible line up with their experience.

      If you were on that desert island, having no pre-conceived notions or ideas about the Bible. Would you write down what you came to believe about certain things you read? And if you did, would you want someone to read what you wrote down to try and get an understanding of what they’re reading also? Or would you tell them not to read your works and go find their own desert island? There’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek there brother.

      Actually, I think you’re missing my point. If you remember in post I said, “Not that it needs to be your only method of theology, but it certainly should be your primary one.”

      God has given the church believers with the gift of teaching. I’m not opposing that or saying it’s not needed. I’m saying people need to not just accept what they’ve been taught, even if it’s been the tradition of the Church for hundreds of years. People need to go to the scriptures and see what it says.

      May we remember what Paul said:

      For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Act 20:29-30)

      Sean Scott

      August 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      • I believe they have been clearly communicated through the Bible and through teachers and preachers in Church History.

        The problem with looking to the “church fathers” is that I’ve seen every doctrine under the sun back up by the writings of the “church fathers”. I never look to the church fathers, or church history, to teach me about doctrine or practice. God’s word never exhorts me to do that. I always look to God’s word.

        Solo Scriptura, right?

        Sean Scott

        August 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      • Also, It may be helpful to read Jeff’s last post on this same topic from the Sermonindex thread. I’ll post his reply he wrote to a lady there and put a link to it at the bottom

        Diane,
        You missed the intent of the article entirely. Though Sean tried to qualify it by adding that he was not speaking of being free from a Body, you didn’t seem to truly hear it. His intent in this article isn’t the “lone ranger” of pride who doesnt need the Body. I know this not only to be “in theory” on “Internet forum threads of quick ideas”, but real life, as I am in true NT fellowship (not “Internet fellowship”, but the kind laid out in the NT) with him. We are all accountable to one another, we judge/test things and sharpen each other, we use out gifts to deify the Body as a whole, etc., so if you think pride is the motivation for what he is speaking, in love sister, you have not discerned accurately.
        The point is God gave us “all we need to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus” by His Spirit and through His Word. In fact, Desert Island Theology proves my very point & yours whether you see it or not: if you read I Corinthians, you see a NT, New Covenant pattern for what real Body Fellowship, the assembly of the brethren, the ministry of the Holy Spirit & His gifts in our midst, the true offices of the 5-fold ministry should look like, etc. So, no one is advocating “lone ranger” Christianity, but a dedication not to except traditions of men in leui of God’s Word.
        I love Charles Spurgeons writings, Oswald Cjambers, Andrew Murray, William Gurnall, AW Tozer, Leaonatd Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, Art Katz, etc., but they are not ultimately my example to follow. Christ is. None of these men were perfect. Only God & His Word are flawless. They were great men of God who were made in His image, who were transformed into Christ’s image, who became more like themselves & more like Christ, etc. But Diane, you know what happens when you make a copy of a copy, right? It gets more distorted, no matter how “great” the copy before was.
        The Giants of the faith, many in Glory will be people you have never heard of. Not teachers/preachers in affluent societies whose worst persecution was mental and a little financial. Many will be unknown poor, cast out of society, hungry, battered, torn, & beaten saints who never stood in a pulpit and preached to masses, but who gave their whole heart/lives to Jesus and exuding the fragrance of Christ and hid in caves, lost family members, gave themselves to Christ even unto death (re-read Hebrews 11). Those saints didn’t cry out in their prison cells for the writings of men like Spurgeon, Whitfirld, Wesley, etc. great as those men may have been. But they just wanted a Bible, & His Spirit, & possibly some fellowship with other believers, & the chance to share the Gospel if God ordained.
        And frankly, it’s not pride to say that I don’t care if the church has had this “super-pastor” who controls everything in every “service”, & tithing buckets have been passed around and OT passages from Malachi have been mis-preached out of context for 1,500 years, & theologians have written entire libraries of how the gifts passed away with the first generation church. I don’t care at all what 2,000 years may have/haven’t produced. That may sound proud to you, but I’d you knew my heart, and the heart of others in this hour, you’d know it’s actually a humble hunger before God that says “God, just take us back to your Word by the Spirit, free us from the traditions of men some before us drank in rather in ignorance or not, and make us into what pleases you Lord!”
        True, there are proud, bitter, arrogant, critical ones who have a different heart than that, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath-water. Let’s throw out the unbiblical mess we have picked up over the generations and fix our eyes upon Jesus together with His Spirit to lead, guide, & teach us according to His Word, which is a light into our feet and a light into our path. Our feet are dirty walking through this world and need Christ to wash them. We are a generation I believe about to see trials and tribulations of overwhelming proportions, but only a Bride TOTALLY dependent upon the Lords leading will not only survive, but thrive, though it be through hardship and pain.
        He’s coming back for a spotless Bride dressed in white. He’s not coming back for a harlot or a church following traditions of men (good men or not). It’s only ones with this “Desert Island Theology” mindset in the last few years (which the Spirit of God has given/awakened) who started questioning things like:
        1.) tithing (as opposed to NT giving freely and cheerfully as each one purposes in his heart).
        2.) like women teaching and having authority over men (which Paul specifically forbids in several places and even makes the statement that “anyone who claims to be a prophet or any such thing should acknowledge that what he speaks is from God and not from man. But if he chooses to be ignorant, let Him be ignorant”).
        3.) and questioned the whole way we assemble/fellowship since the reformation (in the catholic image no doubt) with everyone in theater style listening to one man preach with no prophetic input/sharing, with no gifts manifesting (unless that one man has them) and the great disconnect between what we have done for centuries and what Paul lays out in the Corinthian letters and other places.
        4.) and on, and on, and on.
        Where did these crazy “Desert Island Theologians” get theses wacky ideas that go against centuries of church history/traditions? From the Word of God! Just like before Christ’s first coming, a remnant of true seekers knew, something is incomplete in our current synagauge experience. Christ came and wrecked their traditions and showed them the meaning of the scriptures they had always had.
        Again, He is coming again soon and seeks to have a Body Who hears only Him, who follows Him, who loves Him, Who loves His Word, and who wants Jesus to be glorified beyond all else. And ditching mens traditions, nationalistic pride, rights to our own lives, and suffering greatly for His Glory will be understood because they know from His Word there’s a cross to bear and we must stay dependent upon Him always. We are always blind to things and unless God opens our eyes by His Word/Spirit, we will never see? Are we willing to see How “off” we have been about so many things for so long, & yet think it nothing to cast them off, repent, & let God fully have His way in our midst?

        http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=46392&forum=34&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=1

        Sean Scott

        August 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

  5. Just like the men that started man-made doctrines and traditions it can and will still happen on the desert island, too. It may take 400 years but desert island traditions would be developed by those on the desert island who don’t like doing things God’s way. Afterall, man-made doctrines and traditions of men are created to justify the lifestyle of “being saved in sin” and not “being saved from sin”. No life of righteousness or holiness. No sanctification, only justification. Eventually, you would have the Desert Island “Traditionals” and the Desert Island “Originals”.

    Pilgrim

    August 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    • Hi Pilgrim,

      I understand what you’re saying. What I was trying to point out with my post was that if people would simply get their eye’s off of tradition, off what they’ve blindly accepted, and really did let God’s word be the only authority on a matter, then a lot of what people believe regarding certain biblical topics would change. Just another way of trying to exhort people to truly be Bereans – instead of letting teaching, tradition, and experience dictate their doctrine and practices.

      Sean Scott

      August 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      • I realize what you were doing and I think it may help some to stop and ponder your ideas. Yet, it all comes down to the heart and why men slant the word, adjust the word and outright change or ignore large portions of it.

        Some men are convinced that their traditions ARE the word of God.

        Thanks for the article.

        Pilgrim

        August 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  6. 1 Corinthians 2 comes to mind here. The word of God is spiritually discerned, according to the text.

    tagzilla

    February 13, 2013 at 1:15 am

  7. I recently wrote a post very similar to this about a Desert Island,, but i just saw this now, it is uncanny.

    ian vincent

    February 14, 2013 at 12:39 am

  8. RE: “…you know what happens when you make a copy of a copy, right? It gets more distorted, no matter how “great” the copy before was.”

    That’s what happens.

    ian vincent

    February 14, 2013 at 12:42 am

  9. I received this in 1999…& it fits in with the desert Island, & what the Lord is about to accomplish.

    I call it, THE SHEEPGATE….
    http://brideinthewilderness.blogspot.com/2012/03/sheepgate.html#comment-form

    ohhelplordjesus@yahoo.com

    Thomas Ray Watkins

    February 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    • Hi Thomas,

      I’ll check it out.

      Sean Scott

      February 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm


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