How do we see the Bible? Is it a love letter, historical record, rule book—all of these?
Why do we strive to prove our view of the Bible as “right?”
Are we really in love with Father, or are we just paying fire insurance premiums by our rituals and traditions?
Love or Fear?
First, it’s beneficial to consider—Are we viewing the Bible from the perspective of God’s love for us or our fear of him?
If we’re afraid of God, we may see the Bible as a rule book, full of threats if we don’t comply. If we choose to fall ever more deeply in love with God, we may see the Bible as a companion guide through which the Holy Spirit can guide us in growing spiritually.
Digging a little deeper into this, in a church service during my teenage days, the pastor asked the congregation a question—Are we serving God to avoid hell or because we’re deeply in love with Father? This question astounded me at the time because all I had been taught hinged on threats of hell and rapture. It was a rather profound question for me at that time, and has stuck with me throughout my journey. In essence, are we following God out of fear of going to a place of eternal torment when we die?
Is God just a divine grandparent we visit because he gives us “blessings” for compliance?
Are we expecting Jesus to show up at any second as a divine police officer, therefore causing us to strive to be compliant at all times?
Are we trying to “hold our breath” as long as possible? Are we riddled with guilt because we inevitably have to take a breather?
Are we comfortable with Jesus catching us at our worse moment, or are we afraid that he will show up at the “wrong time” just when we’ve slipped up?
Can we truly love God if we fear him? Can we serve the master of fear and the Master of Love at the same time?
Who benefits when we cower in fear from Father—God or Satan?
Think of the first real experience of God’s presence. Now consider, he only wanted it to get better from there.
Are we living an ever deepening relationship with God that transcends any religious experience, or are we just holding out for Jesus to show up on a white horse to destroy all those other “evildoers” we point our fingers at?
Are we attempting to prove our righteousness at the expense of alienating “those other worldly/evil people” that won’t conform to our views?
What does this actually have to do with the Bible?
It would seem the Bible was written in such a way that we have to make some judgment calls for ourselves. And yes, I used the “J” word :D. The Bible isn’t as clear cut, black and white, as we would like it to be. We have to interpret, each for our self, the relevance it has to our personal walk with Jesus. We have to wrestle with scripture, ever asking questions of the Holy Spirit:
Am I following Jesus, myself, or someone else?
Is my relationship and love for Father growing or am I only living out of fear?
Am I truly willing to pay, no matter the cost, to grow spiritually with Jesus?
Am I comfortably complacent in my views, or am I ever challenged to know Father’s heart more?
We can go around in circles pitting verse vs verse. However, spiritually growing in love towards Father is what he desires. We can be “right” in all our knowledge of the Bible yet still be spiritually stagnant. In turn, because of our rigidness, we may repel those God desires us to reach.
As seen throughout history, we can twist scripture to mean whatever we want it to, no matter how unloving our conclusion may be. In this, we can easily make the Bible something it was never intended to be—a false idol that we worship instead of God.
Let’s challenge the default patterns we’ve been indoctrinated with. Let’s stop being conformed to those worldly patterns, but instead, transformed by the renewing of our minds. Let’s ask the questions we’ve been told to suppress because they’re doubtful and sinful. God already knows; he’s just waiting for us to ask. We can’t make God mad, otherwise, we would have a god we control by our actions, and a god we control is no god at all. This is one of my views—one of those lessons I’ve had to learn from the Bible as a love story and not as a “How to avoid hell” manual.
This is a safe place to ask those questions that have been buried, where all are welcome to be who God made them to be—human.
Welcome to the Church, where all are free to live and love in Jesus.