Stuff Christians Need to Stop Saying #10

March 16, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

How do you wrap up a series?  You can kill off the main character and be done (Freddy, Jason).  The problem with that is, you can always figure out a way to bring him back.  “No, he didn’t really die.”  Lame.  You can wrap up the story, bring closure (Star Wars).  Then you still want to know what happens next and people write 7000 books about what happens next to the characters.  Most common?  Act like you’re closing down, and then see if does well and then bring it back anyway (Everything).

How does a math major do it?  Duh, don’t you have to stop at 10?

Set up:  Someone is struggling to figure out life’s purpose and meaning.  They are not sure what to do, where to go.

Response: When all else fails, reads the instructions.

I am going to start with the disclaimer here.  Read the Bible.  Reading the Bible is great.  God will speak to you.  You will be challenged, spurred toward growth, drawn closer to God, convicted of sin, inspired, many many things.  Don’t have a reading plan?  Use the Fellowship Journal.  Ok, are we settled? greatly supports daily, frequent Bible reading.

Moving on.  Read the instructions?  Really?  If the Bible is an instruction book, it is the worst instruction book, ever.  The table of contents is completely unhelpful.  It gives you names you don’t recognize and is not at all helpful in directing me toward the issues that I am having with life.  Regardless, if I start reading from the beginning, looking for instructions I am going to be confused and disappointed.  “Uhh, I want to know how to discipline my kids and what I read was a story about two naked people and a snake.”

Even the parts of the Bible that are instruction-heavy, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ and don’t apply to us directly (Acts 15).  The Bible is not an instruction book.  (It also is not a love letter) While it may serve the purpose of providing us with instruction and guidance and does reflect God’s love for us, to say that the Bible is an instruction book or love letter is to greatly minimize and diminish the power and beauty and depth of the Bible.

It has incredible stories meant to inspire us and some to scare us, with great models, terrible models and mostly mixed ones.  The Bible has beautiful poetry that will inspire you into a deeper love for God.  There are prophetic works of judgment and hope that can move us to a deeper faith in troubled times. 

The Bible is deep and rich and when you read it you will be drawn closer to God and will walk closer with him.  As you read and pray, you will notice the Holy Spirit convicting you where you are failing and encouraging you where are doing well.

However, if you approach the Bible as if it were simply an instruction book, you will miss out on the depth of relationship with God that you will get from study and interaction with him.  You also will be highly frustrated, because the Bible, like life, is just not as simple as reading the instructions on assembling a computer desk (Though I will confess the instructions for desk assembly are quite confusing). 

On the other hand if you approach the Bible as God’s Word meant to inspire us, challenge us and deepen us, and draw us closer to him, you will never, never be disappointed.

Men’s Leadership and Braveheart

Say it with me now, "They may take our lives, . . ."I am putting together a series for our Men’s Leadership class that uses scenes from Braveheart.  Something along the lines of Biblical lessons on servant leadership from Braveheart.  I hate title.  We’ll get a better one.  As the series unfolds, we will put on so people could go through it online or use it in other ways.  Anyway, what are the most inspiring scenes from Braveheart for you?

« Previous Page