Tuesday, August 25, 2009

steel Bible covers

Recently heard in a sermon: "If there's ever an argument here's my position: the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it."

Really? Why do Christians so often feel like we have to draw these kinds of lines in the sand? I guess it's more polite than saying "you better believe what I believe because I really, really believe the Bible and anyone who says anything different from me just doesn't believe it as much."

But there's so much we really don't know. Greek and Hebrew scholars will admit this is true. The rest of us have to be extra careful.

When I moved from Texas to go to grad school in the Chicago area, many things changed for me. The biggest realization was that there were all of these Christians: Baptists and Lutherans, high church and low church, liberals and conservatives, egalitarians and complementarians, Calvinists and Arminians who all believed the same thing about the Bible - that it is the inspired and infallible record of God's revelation. All of them.

This was life-giving. It really set me free. I didn't have to be suspicious and skeptical of others anymore. Honestly, it made me a new person in a lot of ways. I came from a background that scrutinized behaviors and I learned to be one of the best at this. I hurt and offended a lot of people (including a lot of believers) by telling them that there was no way they could believe in the Bible's reliability and believe that women could be ordained to ministry or that adult immersion was the necessary form of Baptism.

I was the one who wasn't serious about the Bible. I thought God's truths were all mine. They never were. They were always and remain God's.

Cling to Christ, love God, and follow the Spirit. Hold everything else with an open hand.


Dan Martin said...

I thought God's truths were all mine. They never were. They were always and remain God's.

Just wanted to underline this statement with a hearty "Amen!"

E. A. Harvey said...

What a great feeling to find so many other former jack@ss Christians (that was for you, Dan! Ha!) who are willing to share where they were, where they are now, and the painful process that got them there. And here I thought I was the only fundamentalist who jumped ship. :-) It's so encouraging to hear stories and thought processes similar to my own. It makes me feel less like a wacko out in left field and more like a Christian who just wants to be intentional about thinking through difficult issues. Thanks.