I recently came across a blog post by a man who was criticizing another teaching pastor. The blog writer was angry that this certain teacher (rhymes with druxy) was telling people a ‘wrong’ interpretation of the bible. He stirred up fear, used a lot of old testament quotes and authors to back up his claim.
As I read, I had to wonder what’s the point? Why doesn't he just say, “I know better than you, so forget all the other pastors, teachers, preachers and bible scholars. Just follow me”
It's arrogant and makes me question if his god is more concerned with correct theology or about what we do with the life we are given. It made me think that if his version of god were in control, I would constantly be in fear of the quiz to get into heaven;
“Virgin birth. Strongly agree, somewhat agree, neutral, maybe happened, didn’t happen. choose one.”
I think what bugs me most about this, is that this blog writer doesn't mention having an actual conversation with the other teaching pastor. He never mentions asking the other for coffee or have a friendly exchange of opinions. No, he just bashes the other and expects all of us to follow his ‘more correct’ theology.
There is a gift and a curse of everyone owning a bible.
A gift, because we all get to read, study and follow the teachings of Jesus and know the story of God (and us). The bad, is that you can create any theory, thought, interpretation you want and say its true and use bible to back your opinion. And even convince others that your theories are true and they follow you. And sometimes they may even give you money!
So HOW you read your bible, is just as important as why you read it.
Here is what I mean:
“Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” John 6:56
Yeah. See Jesus is not a zombie/cannibal and is looking for us to literally cut chucks of his dead body off to eat so we can hang out in the afterlife. So we have to re-read with the understanding that he is using shocking visual imagery to wake us up to the truth he is telling us. He wants us to be all in, committed and changed.
There is a literal way of reading the bible and a literary way.
Jesus uses allegory, stories, metaphors and so on because we are more likely to see the bigger truth. God knows we are more likely to read twitter than a novel :)
Which brings me back to the blogger. He is fighting for his interpretation of the bible and the problem with that is that you will find people that think he is right and are willing to fight about it! But there are ones that totally disagree. And that is good.
Because one man, one person will never know everything there is to know about the bible or God.
“Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.” - 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 MSG
I think we are all accountable for what we know. I think it is important for us to live in the tension of believing different things than others and demonstrating a understanding or learning posture as we hope for others to do the same for us.
There is a huge difference between a defensive posture and a learning posture. Also a huge difference between being 100% certain you know the truth (and being arrogant about it) or a understanding that doubt, faith and honesty that you may not know everything is ok.
I am sure that I may have some different theology ideas. I am also sure that everyone may not see things the way I do. That is ok. I also think that Jesus cares more about the how I live than if I will pass the written exam. Oh wait, there is no theology exam?! (see Matthew 25:31-46).
the story continues…