Friday, August 19, 2005

The process of picking and choosing from scripture

There's no question that most of what I know about Jesus originates in the Bible, although I've read much about him within the noncanonical Scriptures as well. Of course, much of what I "sense" is true about Jesus also comes from my observations, discussions, meditations, and readings of works by dozens of theologians and scholars. The totality of this is the core of my "Faith".

I have no problem looking at something that Paul or one of the Gospel writers wrote and saying... "Hmmm, I think he got it right about Jesus" and "Well, I think he kind of blew it... no way the Jesus I know would subscribe to that".

There is nothing that says that I am not free to pick and choose from the Bible. Yes, it may sound "convenient" (maybe perilous)... but that doesn't bother me much. Fear is no longer an active element of my relationship with God.

The Bible was never meant to be a single work that makes sense for everybody throughout all the ages... It is the end-product of many unique and diverse documents assembled, edited, and translated over many years by various councils, motivated by many things (not always God). Thus, I do not feel bound to the work in its entirerity.

Whenever I sense a writer in the New Testament going down a path that runs contrary to unconditional and complete love, forgiveness, and acceptance for all (... especially "sinners"), then my radar automatically goes up. It's that simple. Scripture is
a tool for helping find the way, based on the teachings of Jesus.

Some Scripture is more helpful than others. And some Scripture is completely unhelpful.

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