Bojidar Marinov on having a personal relationship with Jesus

There is no special theology of “personal relationship with Jesus” in the Bible; that personal relationship is very simple: do what He commands. It is not based on emotions or feelings. It is based on the self-conscious commitment to do what He commands.

My two cents

Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I agree; I’ve never liked that personal relationship trope. The way I see it, when personal relationships become the nucleus of one’s orthopraxy, then its on the way to existentialism, and living your religion inside your head. This, I suppose, is what you end up with by having a relationship with someone you’ve never met.

It reminds me of a lesbian pastor who said that her relationship with Jesus was just as valid as the next person’s—she was only pushing the trope to its logical conclusion, the result being to water the teachings of Christianity down so much that orthopraxy is increasingly meaningless.

Let’s remember it’s by their fruits—not their thoughts—that you shall know them. A personal relationship with Jesus is fine, but that’s a matter between you and Jesus—it’s not of great value to anyone else who’s not you. Let’s see fig trees producing fruit for a change. If not, they’ll get destroyed.

Quote source

Marinov, B. (2012). Relationship vs. Purpose: How the Church Destroys the Christian Family. Available: http://americanvision.org/5555/relationship-vs-purpose-how-the-church-destroys-the-christian-family/. Last accessed 1st May 2012.

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6 thoughts on “Bojidar Marinov on having a personal relationship with Jesus

    1. Nah, not convincing enough.

      Just because someone is opposed to selected parts of his theology/orthopraxy, it doesn’t follow that other quotes of his should be ignored. In fact, I might use some of those quotes in future posts (in a positive way). Thanks for letting me know about them.

      1. This is not a mere issue of polemics over simple disagreements on theology. His conduct towards professing Christians in a public setting and his heterodoxy are the error that is foundational to any of his theology. You take all of it or none of it at all.

      2. That’s still not convincing enough. The all-or-nothing approach is a bit ham-fisted, I think.

        I don’t think you’ve demonstrated that his public conduct has an inextricable link to any and all parts of his theology. Using your logic, if his theology was 93% in line with yours (or even 5%), all of it would have to be ditched—which then raises questions about 93% (or 5%) of your theology. In that sense, his and your public conduct are not as relevant as you make them out to be.

        If he’s as wrong as you say he is, but then repented tomorrow, that has no bearing on the parts of his theology that are correct.

        That doesn’t excuse any of his character flaws that might exist, but at the same time it doesn’t buttress your line of argument either. It’s 3rd down and 7.

  1. Michael,
    have you even read my paper? This is not some exercise in arbitrary name calling. My conclusion about his public conduct towards the body of Christ comes from scripture. Mr. Marinov’s unrepentant conduct demonstrates that he is not a believer in Christ. An unregenerate man by nature rejects the law of God (Rom 8:1-8, 1 Cor 12:3) and therefore cannot reflect God’s nature in any of His ordained social institutions.

    Mr. Marinov cannot hate the body of Christ, reject admonishment, remain unrepentant, and at the same time promote the very laws that govern the body of Christ in public policy proclamations. He is no different than the Judaizers of Jesus’s day. They had the appearance of godliness, but they lacked the power thereof because they were dead in their sins.

    One can find conformity to God’s law in any system that rejects God’s revelation, however that does not automatically make that system orthodox. All men know God and have his laws written on their hearts/conscience (Rom 1:18-21, 2:12-29). It is the fact of Mr. Marinov’s conduct towards professing belivers that disqualifies him as an authority in the public sphere whether ecclesiastically or in civil polity (Exodus 18:13-23, Deut 17:14-20, 1 Tim 3:1-7). This is what the scriptures teach.

    From what I gather out of your posts, you have an understanding about the nature of man and sin that is not based on the teachings of scripture. You cannot seperate one’s theology, specifically what men are to know concerning God and what duty God requires of men, and the outward fruit bearing of a man. The outward actions of a man reflects his theology (Matt 12:33-37, 15:17-20), This is basic biblical anthropology.

    Please demonstrate from scripture your position that one’s personal theology or view of God can be separated from their public policy propositions.

    1. The answer to your first question is yes. It came across as someone who’s convinced himself that he’s right—but when others are less convinced, he becomes frustrated.

      You previously recommended against “post[ing] any of Bojidar’s comments.” You then linked to a paper which quotes him far more than I ever did. This after saying it was “all or nothing.”

      That aside, your citations are OK up to a point, but I think they ultimately prove too much. They put too much weight on the notion that Marinov must first be an “authority in the public sphere whether ecclesiastically or in civil polity” for his comments to make sense.

      I can still quote Marinov without recognising him as a public or ecclesiastical authority. Quoting him does not grant him the status of an authority, and I need not limit my quotes to any “authorities”. I’m unsure if you’re an authority, and if you’re not, I’m not sure if I should let your comments to go through. That way I’d be treating you and Marinov consistently.

      Taking your approach further, if I found a quote on Marinov explaining the evils of boiling goats in their mother’s milk, that would be fine—so long as it wasn’t published. On those lines, all that matters is the conduct of the person who speaks, and to hell with it being derived from Scripture in the first place. Accordingly, an (extrabiblical) elaboration on the same lines would be OK—but only if it was said by a Christian in good standing. This is your approach pushed to its logical conclusion.

      If a premise is derived from Scripture, it stands on its own two feet—not the feet of the proclaimer as you suggest.

      Now, onto my use of scripture, I noted that there were:

      • Murderers and genocidal leaders such as Moses (Exodus 2:12, 32:28 cf. Mark 1:44)
      • Oppressors and Christian persecutors such as Saul (Galatians 1:13-14)
      • Violent swordbearers such as Simon Peter (John 18:10)

      These three behaved worse than Marinov—yet their authority is enshrined.

      It’s ironic that you cited those verses in Matthew about the Pharisees, when a few chapters later, the Lord commanded them to be obeyed as authorities nonetheless (Matthew 23:1-3).

      On these grounds, I maintain that you can separate one’s theology from their pronouncements or actions; there are multiple scriptural precedents for doing so.

      I also think of John Calvin, who chased people out of town or put them to death over theological disputes—a gross misuse of God’s law. Using your hermeneutic, exegesis, and logic, everything taught by Calvin must be invalid.

      This is why I say your approach was ham-fisted. Was it Biblical? Yes; there were several citations. But were they convincingly assembled and have they been applied fully? Probably not.

      Back to my original quote from Marinov, I doubt he was the first to say it; I just happened to find a quote from him that expressed the point.

      But moving on, here’s an offer: if you can find me the same kind of quote—but said by someone other than Marinov—I’ll delete reference to him and replace it with your quote instead. That’s a weird way of doing things, but I think it’s the only way that will achieve your goal (if that’s what you really want)—and mine at the same time. Our goals need not be mutually exclusive.

      In closing, the premise of the original quote will not change.

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