It is nice to see Bosco back with us, not least because, as in his latest comments on Geoffrey’s last post, he directs us to focus on an uncomfortable phenomenon over which it is easy to pass because, to many, his style invites a dismissive response. But I want to focus on what he says because, in the absence of a longer piece from Bosco himself (alas, he says he can’t post any more and as the system says he can, I can’t sent him another invitation, so we seem to be stuck with posts – though if he wants to put on in the comments, I can turn it into a post for him in his name), I want to put some of his comments into an attempt to see if I can understand him; I hope he will respond where I get him wrong, and comment on this.
Commenting on an earlier post of Geoffrey’s, Bosco wrote:
“as with Bosco, these folk mysteriously recognise each other’s voice.”
Close. We hear the shepherds voice in other saved folks. Yes, and to the unsaved it is a mystery.
He went on to say ‘My sheep know my voice’. In response to Geoffrey’s post about ‘Passing on the Flame’, he added:
That is what the unsaved are doing….is passing on the flame to their kids. making them twofold the child of hell as themselfs
Now, here is where, as being ‘unsaved’ in Bosco’s sense, I may well be unable to understand what is being said here, but let me have a go.
As I understand Bosco’s experience, he is saying that if we really ask Jesus to show himself to us, he will. This, as far as I know, is unscriptural, but if Bosco can show me where it is, I would be grateful. As far as I can see it is not used in the Bible and I can find no record before about the eighteenth century of any Christian using it.
I am not sure, but again, am willing to stand corrected if I am wrong, but I have a sense that Bosco makes a distinction between Christianity, which he seems to see as a ‘religion’, and his own personal experience.
But Pastor David Platt has argued that this idea is a fairly modern ‘superstition’ with no Biblical warrant – ‘a very dangerous thing’ to let people think they are Christians when ‘they have not responded to the Gospel’ – it is, he thinks ‘damning’. He asks where this fits with Christ’s message of preaching his Gospel. If Jesus had, he implies, meant to say that we should just say a prayer asking him into our hearts, he would have done so. But the notion that that is what he wants leads, Platt, argues, to a shallow, selfish faith which amounts to little more than an assurance of personal salvation, which usually fails to translate itself into St James’ description of ‘true religion’ or in Pauline missionary activity.
It seems, if I have got Bosco’s meaning right, that he is asserting that Christianity is unnecessary. All one needs is to really ask Jesus to show himself to you and he will, and from that point on the Spirit guides you. If that is what Bosco believes then he is right in asserting a difference between that and Christianity.
I would love to have Bosco’s take on this.