Bible Stories! Sanitized for Your Protection

January 24, 2012 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

Have you ever read through Genesis?  Have you ever read through Genesis with your kids?  You will see the stories differently, I assure you.  You will recognize that some of these stories are terrible (Explanation:  What the people do is terrible).

My 11 year old daughter came to me the other day, eyes big, shaking her head.  What had she just read?  The story of Lot and his daughters in the cave.  “I’m not sure I know that one.”  Let’s just say it’s about a guy and his two daughters.  The two daughters have a large quantity of alcohol and a plan for carrying on the family name.

My 14 year old after reading the story of Noah has two questions.  What did Noah’s son do that was so wrong and why is that story in the Bible?  “I’m not sure I know that one either.”  This is the end of the story of Noah, where he grows a vineyard, gets drunk and passes out drunk and naked in his tent.  One of his sons sees it, tells the brothers and Noah finds out and gets mad.

If you are not familiar with one or both of those stories, then you are a victim of what I will now call Bible Sanitization.  We pretend certain stories aren’t in there and we take famous stories and clean them up.  Many of you may believe that Jonah was happy when Nineveh repented.  He may still be mad about it for all we know.

Now I’m not suggesting that we put Ehud the left handed assassin who kills the really fat guy in the preschool rotation, but I am suggesting that we do damage when we ignore the “worst” parts of the Bible.  The Bible is not a story of a bunch of perfect heroes that we should idolize.  It is the story of one hero worth idolizing and a bunch of people just like us.  We see the best of them and the worst of them.

If we only know the best, we can believe that God will only use perfect or close to perfect people.  Men like Gideon who bravely fought an army with just 300 guys, trumpets and clay pots.  I mean, giant scaredy cats like Gideon who had to see not one but two miracles before he would do it, destroyed idols at night so no one would know and after his great battle led the people to idol worship.

When you read the Bible, you see an accurate picture of people, imperfect, sinful people, like the adulterer, murderer king who God said was “a man after his own heart.”  You also see an accurate picture of the devastating nature of sin and the effects that it can have on you and your family and ultimately your world.

We don’t need a watered-down Bible or a sanitized view of the world.  We need reality.  We need to have an honest view of ourselves, then we can understand the depths and power of God’s grace.  Then he can use us to do incredible things for him in the world, like Peter the guy who curses at people for accusing him of knowing Jesus.

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