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
Retiring in April 2022, Mark R. Elliott served as a Director of Missions (Associational Mission Strategist) in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska for almost three decades. He is a strong advocate for obedience and Biblically based disciple making. As such, he knows that making healthy disciples requires Christian leaders to be constantly pursuing spiritual maturity—be lifelong learners. Because of the time constraints of ministry, most pastors focus their reading list on resources that assist them in teaching and preaching the Word of God. As such, books focusing on church health, leadership development, and church growth tend to find their way to the bottom of the stack. With that reality in mind, Mark has written discussion summaries on several books that have helped him to personally grow in Christ and that tend to find themselves on the bottom of most pastor’s stack. Many pastors have found them helpful as they are able to more quickly process great insights from other pastors and authors.
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