I’m sure some of you are questioning my interpretation of the three parables in Matthew 25: Parable of the Ten Virgins, Parable of the Talents, and Parable of the Judgment of the Nations. I have stated that they provide foundational Biblical Worldview principles that speak to our responsibility to care for ourselves, and those who have genuine needs. I would also suggest that principles found in these parables are at the core of what has been called the Protestant Work Ethic—our responsibility to steward well all that God has entrusted to us.
To address those legitimate questions, let me lean into a fundamental principle of Biblical interpretation: let the Bible interpret the Bible. If I find a principle in one passage, I should be able to find it in other verses. If I can’t then I am probably misunderstanding the passage.
The Bible has a lot to say about personal responsibility and the basic idea of having a personal work ethic. Here is a sampling of those passages:
Yours in Christ,
Mark R. Elliott, AMS
Mark is in his twenty-seventh year of serving as an Associational Missions Strategist. He served in western Iowa for almost eight years, and is in his nineteenth year with HCN. He has a passion to see pastors and church leaders grow in their abilities to lead their churches. He continues to have a heart and desire to see new churches planted and God continues to use his strategic thinking skills in this area. Mark also has a wealth of experience in helping churches clarify who God has created them to be, and what they can do best to reach their community. He has had ample opportunities to help churches in times of conflict, and has seen God do exciting things to restore a spirit of harmony, returning churches to a time of fruitfulness. He also helps churches in transition by working with search committees. Mark and Phyllis who were married in November of 2018 have four children and three grandchildren. They will enjoy their combined 87th anniversary in just a few days.
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