Anko Scholtens: Lay Leader of Reformational Movement (11)

Continuation of translation of Verbond en Kenmerken Prediking

. . . Indeed, neither can someone believe "by himself" nor can he examine himself "by himself." And where the demand of believing acceptance clearly comes to us in Scripture, we must fulfill this requirement and we’re not permitted to voice all sorts of objections and engage in examinations which stand in the way of this simple acceptance, this faith-obedience.

This leads automatically to the second objection, "But don’t the Scriptures require discriminatory preaching and self-examination of our spiritual state?" That’s of course a question of the greatest importance. When the Scriptures exhort us as children of the Covenant in this manner we must obey.

Now this is at once a great challenge. It’s difficult to approach the Scriptures open-mindedly. We’re so easily disposed to read with certain assumptions in place. Whenever folk are convinced, for example, that discriminatory preaching is necessary, they read Scripture with that assumption in mind. This, in my opinion, is clearly evident in Dr. Impeta’s brochure, Self-Examination Necessary!

When he lists on pages 29 and 30, for example, all sorts of fruit of the Spirit (he calls them marks), he immediately assumes that the Scriptures list these fruit in order for us to test whether we are truly believers and he makes no effort to justify this assumption (which would be really difficult).

When on page 31 he poses the question, "wouldn’t these marks be given in order for us to test our zeal and conscientiousness?" and then adds "that it is incomprehensible that someone who regards God’s Word as God’s Word would doubt there but for a moment" then it’s obvious that Dr. Impeta has assumed that self-examination is intended there, that discriminatory preaching is necessary and, on account of the Scriptures, is in fact required.

This is something he has resolved in his mind and this is the assumption from which he proceeds. This appears obvious from the manner in which he handles various Scripture passages. In terms of Hebrews 3:12, he writes, "One possible conclusion: examine yourself, how things are with you . . ." I would certainly not derive this conclusion; I would say that this is about living in covenant-obedience, the refusal to do so leading to your demise . . .

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