Last Sunday I was reminded of a conversation I had a few years ago with a young guy who was seeking some answers in his life, faith and other areas. One of the main issues he couldn’t see past was the ‘Bible as the word of God, unchanging, flawless, and not to be added or subtracted from when it suits us’. His main point was that the bible needs to be updated to get with the times, that it was written in an era that society required these rules and that the continuance of ‘social norms’ back then were what was actually why so many things where considered sin and should now be ‘changed/taken out/updated’ to better reflect the ‘social norms’ we live in. (I’m not going to go into specifics because it isn’t really the point). One of my main issues with this form of thinking (apart from the fact that I believe a bible that would have this society as a benchmark in anything would be only good for toilet paper) is that it infers that God made mistakes, which to my mind is absolutely impossible.
I am happy for people to pick and choose from the bible what they wish to believe, because really it is none of my business how a persons relationship with Christ is (unless they let me in), that’s between them and God, (but I would warn them that they are on a very rocky road to not being a Christian at all. It’s kind of an all in deal) but I also have my right to my faith too and for me I am happy to agree that the bible is not a literal document, but I can’t agree with the notion that the bible is useless just because we are at times too lazy, too dumb, too self centred to spend the time studying it. Maybe it’s just about actually reading it.
Now please don’t hear me having a go at this young guy, I love him heaps, it has just been on my mind numerous times this week and that usually means something (I don’t know what yet, but I’m ready to be used by God if required).
If we look back in history to they times the verses in the bible were written we see a world that was so much simpler, yet so much more hard working, a world that was at work from sunrise to sunset, yet it was a world with far less distractions, far less ‘marketing on beliefs’. In this time people relied on God, thirsted for God, worshiped God 24/7, through their work, families, blessings and community. In this world people were far busier (in time), but more clearheaded. Today, we sit around for far more hours a day (mainly because our day can now go for 24 hours with things like online work, lights,heating, etc) but yet we spend this time filling our head with rubbish and being marketed to constantly from the moment we step out of bed. My point here is that just because we say that we are too busy what we really mean (in my opinion) is that we are just to occupied mentally (by our own choice) to spend that time to study God’s word and read beyond the literal. Should the bible really be updated just because we are too lazy to think beyond the literal words on a page?
My belief is that ‘every word of God is flawless’ even the ones that don’t make my life easier. The bible can be literally wrong because it has been written by the hands of humans, it’s translated by the hands of humans, it is read in the hands of humans, but the words of God, the meaning that is behind the words, God’s love that is in every word , are 100% flawless because they came from God. It’s not a matter of updating the book, its a matter of updating our understanding of the meaning.
Just a Thought.