Thursday, September 30, 2010

The B-I-B-L-E

Scriptures.  The Holy Bible.  Old Testament.  New Testament. These 66 books that make up the Christian's revered words.  It's to these pages that a Christian conforms his or her life.

Non-Christians, at best, think these are good ancient literary works-- like Homer's Iliad.  For Christians, some believe that every word is inspired by God.  Others believe that most of the scripture applies, but maybe not all of it.  Still others might think that the canonization process (the means by which these books were chosen) were faulty and run by church leaders operating out of massive egos.

This may all be accurate-- but I believe that God selected these books.  I believe that the Word became flesh and lived amongst us (John 1).  I believe that scripture needs to be taken in context and to get a solid context requires much studying.  I also believe that many Christians today just simply don't know much of the Bible.  They rely on others to tell them what to think or what to believe.

I get excited when I talk to a fellow Christian that has a differing take on things than I do.  I actually love to hash out the different points and bring it all back to the standard that we ascribe to.  But all to often, instead of naming chapter and verse, they name some contemporary writer who wrote about this or that verse.

The Bible isn't meant to be read.  It's meant to be studied.  I have no problem with people confronting my position on this or that if they actually can back it with scripture.  I had one church lady come up to me after a screening of "The Imposter" and ask me why I had ruined the movie with the language.  (I had been very careful not to).  I asked what she was referring to.  "Johnny C said 'Crap'."  Well so did you just now I thought.  What I did ask her was "please tell me the scripture and I'll redo the movie."  Her immediate response? "Well, my church wouldn't like hearing that word."  I asked her again to name a scripture.  She didn't.  (Of course I covered this story in a previous blog).

We have a new principle added to our Band of Christian Brother's covenant.  Here's the wording:
I absolutely and completely accept and affirm that the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. And, furthermore I agree to submit to the Scriptures and change my conduct and behavior to conform to them to the best of my ability. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21)

I think the rare thing in today's Christian is the last part "I agree to submit to Scriptures and change my conduct and behavior..."   What???  I have to do something?  I thought it was "come as you are?"  God likes me just the way I am.

Well, that's taken out of context.

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