I have many friends, particularly from an older generation, who believe that Christians today cherry pick Bible quotes and filter scripture through a pre-determined lens. I’m choosing to be pro-gay, choosing to be pro-immigrant, choosing to be popular to my liberal, worldly friends and therefore choose to pour through the Bible nefariously until I find a bent up theological argument containing enough truth to be convicting while still being theologically untrue. One reader even went as far as to call this post “literal garbage posing as “gracious love” Christianity.”
And he may be right. I may have read the story of Jesus wrong. I may cherry pick to fit the political narrative I wish, namely a pro-immigrant, anti-nationalism one. If I were, it wouldn’t behoove me to admit to it. It seems a waste a time to debate the existence of my own motivational morality. Instead, I’d like to offer another lens.
I have always tried to look at the world and see it as though it exists. I try to start there – with the looking and the seeing. I let the facts rise to the top. Non-homo sapien skeletons walked the earth. Intersex bodies are born. People are born into cults that traumatize them from receiving the gospel. I start there and then turn to the Scriptures, words that are not a God, with the help of the Spirit. I don’t believe the Bible has every answer carved into its scrolls of text. I believe it’s a guide for how to direct our thoughts and our questions into the mysteries the original writers could have never fathomed.
To find a way to integrate the Scriptures with the world as it exists is not a nefarious activity but a necessary strategy to coexist with Christ in the world the Godhead designed. I believe this strategy is not unlike the one the early followers had to employ to explain everything that had happened since Christ’s death. Understanding salvation was subject to this process. Did Jesus’ death grant us salvation or was their a second coming that would guarantee us life? What do we do with the ancient laws in Christ’s world? Need we still follow them to the letter? Is Jesus’ it or is there another way to get our salvation?
As God’s layers are peeled back more and more, we are tasked with adapting the Word to the World, not angrily stapling the layers of God’s gift back up and burying our heads in the sand. It’s a messy, beautiful, complicated, and dizzying creation. 31,102 verses give us a start, but even they can’t contain the multitudes of an infinite creation.
I’m starting a new category on this blog for questions. Things I’ve wondered about, things I’m struggling with my wonder in, and things I’m just beginning to question when looking at the world from a pew of ancient understanding. As C.S. Lewis wrote in “Is Theology Poetry?”:
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.”C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory as found here.
I have turned my face towards the rising sun. I’m not afraid of what I might see, only that I may be unprepared to fully master the deep mystery of God and creation. Journey with me, not to be convinced of my convictions, but so that we may run minds open into the Wonder together.
Have a question, topic, or scripture bugging you? Submit below or anonymously here and I’ll try and do a future post on it.