I address this to my fellow Christians.
We speak so eloquently about faith. Faith, the lifeblood of our religion, and the road that leads to salvation. It is such a simple principle, beautiful in its simplicity, really. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (with little or no tangible evidence to encourage you) and you shall be saved…isn’t that how it goes? So why do we waste so much energy on trying to convince people of the validity of the Bible? It seems “go out and preach the gospel” has turned into go out and make the Bible sound reasonable. We have faith, what do we need with debate? For that matter, what do we need with reasonableness?
When trying to encourage people to experience their own faith in Christ; I am of the opinion that the Bible is not our best sales technique. If you really read the thing you must admit it is pretty wacky, especially the Old Testament. It is full of instances where God goes on murder sprees and insists his subjects perform all manner of tests of faith; the likes of which Jesus himself refused to do when being tempted by the devil. It is a confusing book, written by clearly fallible men who had no more ability to see beyond their own place in history than the rest of us. It was written for a certain group of people for a certain time and as such is not always applicable to our lives today. It does not paint a very clear picture of God’s love. It is ok to admit these things. Faith in the Bible is not a requirement to experience a relationship with God.
I realize it is exceedingly tempting to use the Bible as a rule book which we can refer to when rebuking sinners, cheaters and heathens of all kinds. However, we are not judges and the Bible is not our reference material for sentencing. I promise God will work out all the judging. In the mean time we are free to concentrate on our own relationship with God and try to use our lives to inspire others to get to know God. When we do this, I think we will find no time left to pass judgment on whatever anyone else is doing.
When we place our faith on the Bible instead of where it belongs (on God) we find ourselves in unfortunate situations. In Genesis, for instance, we have a very shaky description of how the world/universe came into being and based on that we have decided to extrapolate an entire pseudo-scientific theory to counter evolution. Why? We have faith. All we need believe is that one way or another God is responsible for our existence, the details are supremely unimportant. What happens if at some point evolution gets a scientific bump and is proven to have occurred (as if it hasn’t been already). What do we do then? We will have to eat our words and it will be exactly what we deserve for putting the Bible before God.
We are our own best sales pitch for Christ. We do not need to prove what is written in the Bible. All we need to do is live lives in which our experiences with God are evident. Those of you who have experienced God know that once it happens you do not go on with business as usual. It is a fundamental life changing experience and that moment, that change…that light turned on in your brain is what we need to show people. Not the 4th verse of the 3rd chapter of 2nd Timothy. Are you catching my drift?
Does anyone else see the irony in how we have allowed the Bible to ‘hide our light’, so to speak? After putting away the golden calves and the sun god’s we have fallen victim to a false idol once again…the Bible.
Before you all go crying to your priests, or what not, please read on.
I’m not saying that Bible is evil or against God. I’m not saying the Bible is not a valuable book, indeed I’m not sure a more valuable book exists. What I’m saying is, it is NOT deserving of our faith. It is not a valuable tool in showing people Christ’s love. As I’m sure many of you know the most obvious examples of Christ’s love are the lives he has touched…yours and mine. The Bible has many great truths in it, many passages I can, and do, apply to my daily life. It is not without value, but if we do not keep it in perspective it casts shadows around our light. It gets in God’s way.
I wish I had better writing skills so that what I’m typing could be understood more easily. Suffice to say, I’m not attacking anyone. I just see what seems to be a problem and I thought someone may find some truth in my ideas. Good luck and God bless!