Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what role does the bible play in your life?


Delirious said...

The Bible is very important to me because it gives me God's commandments. Most importantly it is a witness that Jesus is the Christ.

jON said...

at the risk of being slightly redundant here, which commandments do you see as being directed at you? and how do you determine that?

i do agree that it does give us invaluable information about jesus and his role in the greater cosmic story. and give us ability to put our confidence in that.

One Voice of Many said...

It plays the role of confusing the hell out of me actually. Earlier in life, I would say "it's my guide book to living". I don't say that anymore.

This is a major side-track but I'm reading some books by a scholar who reports many findings that indicate the earliest date of the Old Testament are around 400BC (the time of Babylonian exile). If this is true, the Jewish history was fabricated by backdating the texts to show a history for the people.

Consider IF... IF this is true, how would that affect the role that the Bible currently plays in your life; if it does at all?


wanting more said...

I don't think I've opened my Bible in 3 months...ot that I have a whole lot of time right now to sit and ponder, but either I'm "backslid" ;) or God is doing something very different right now.

I used to read it every day and practice "listening prayer" with different scriptures, but lately I have to wonder what portion of supposed revelation I fabricated myself!

I guess it's just more of God taking away EVERYTHING and replacing all of the crap with solely Him...sometimes even the Bible can get in the way of knowing Him. that I've written that, I feel like maybe that's His plan, but in reality I haven't gotten to know Him any better...if I even know what that means.

Delirious said...

Well, I often have this conversation with another blogger, because he feels that we don't have to obey the commandments, that they are "too hard for us". Once again, I'm referring to the big TEN. ;) I decided to put a poll on my religion blog to ask if people think the ten commandments are too hard to live. The only person so far who said yes, was my blogger friend. Most of us find that it is very easy not to kill, not to steal, not to covet, not to commit adultery, we find it easy to honor our parents, and so forth. But even if a person has a problem with one of the commandments, that is what repentance is for. And God can give us help to overcome our weaknesses.
I might add that in my religion, we believe in continuing revelation, that God speaks today through a prophet just as in olden times, so new commandments could be forthcoming.

One Voice of Many said...

I disagree that new commandments could be forthcoming. I also disagree that the Big Ten are easy to keep; at least when I have had these conversations with people that I know. It might be easy not to kill someone but how about being angry enough to hate them? How about staying angry at them and cutting off relationship with them, thus the cut off person might as well be "killed"?

As Jesus elaborated with "...but I tell you..." He wasn't adding or taking away from the Big Ten. He was taking them to even deeper levels. It's not about just the letter of the law but what goes on in the heart and mind that makes or breaks the issue. I, myself, find that keeping a 100% pure heart and mind is impossible.

Delirious said...

I would agree that keeping the ten to those degrees is impossible...thus repentance

Nate said...

delirous, which religion are you, mormon, muslim, or be hai?

Mike said...

Seems to me that there is some issue with being able to keep the "big ten" at all. For if you don't kill someone that is cool but then next week you go and lie to your wife about $20 you spent. Same same. I think that there is not one sin that is greater than another. It all is simply sin.

Valorosa said...

Michelle ... I would dare say that noone really knows what happened to the written word way back then. We have scraps of history about that time period and there could only be conjecture about that time.

So I wouldn't take what this scholar has stated too seriously. He doesn't know any more than you or I do.

What about this ... I have heard that the Jewish people recorded their history by carving it into staffs. ??? Do we KNOW this? No, but if they did it would preserve a great deal of their history.

There have been chariot wheels found in the Red Sea ... are they the chariot wheels of Pharoahs army? How can we possibly tell.

There is one thing for certain though. There is no other book on the face of this earth that is quite like it.

We will never find the answers we look for about the origins or the exact way it came into being.

I think it is supposed to be that way.

jON said...

hmmm. i think this is precisely the tension of thought that i was looking for in asking the question. which leads to more questions. which parts of the bible are "commandments" for us? and which were specific to those whom the commandments were originally given? or do ANY of them apply to us here and now?

the more i embrace grace, the less i personally feel that the bible is a list of imperatives for living. i'm not sure why that is, i just know that's how i feel. and while many have said that's because i am in a state of rebellion, when my inner being is genuinely examined, that is hardly the case at all.

the thought that the bible is a set of commandments to be obeyed seems foreign to me now. i used to believe this and try my best to live it out. i really did. but the more i study, the less i find this idea contained anywhere within the bible itself. so it makes me wonder where this idea comes from.

perhaps the "judaisers" that paul spoke of in his letter to his friends in galatia actually ended up winning out the day. winning the war of ideas with their thought that the cross is all well and good, but if you want to be "saved", you must also adhere to the commandments or "law".

we know how paul felt about that. he said this type of thinking renders the cross pointless. as a matter of fact, i believe he said, "if righteousness is gained through the law, then christ died for nothing!"(gal.2:21) he then goes on to give an excellent discourse of his thoughts on the difference between grace and law in chapter 3. if interested, it is worth your time to look up.

for myself, i see the bible as an "ear trainer". by reading stories of those who had dealings with the most high god, and finding myself in those people and their inner experiences and struggles, i find myself able to tune in better to the spirit of god in the here and now.

and she is saying and asking different things of me in the "now" than what she asked of the people from the bible in their "now" moments.

however, i do believe god is still speaking to us through various people in various ways the same as before. from people WAY on the outs with the religious and political systems who stand up not for tradition, but for things like love and justice.

Ruth said...

Wendy said:

There is one thing for certain though. There is no other book on the face of this earth that is quite like it.

Yes - that sums it up for me.

Jon - what you said about "ear training" that is what I mean when I say the bible is a "plumb line" for me. The more we read and ingest the character and ways of God, the more we are able to recognize him in the here and now.

Regarding the issue of which commandments are for who, I believe it comes down to an attitude in the heart. In Acts, Peter spoke to the Jewish people about that when they thought the Gentiles should be circumcised like them.

" 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?"

jON said...

"...sometimes even the Bible can get in the way of knowing Him.

i agree through and through. don't know why this didn't catch my eye earlier, but it is a very real fact in my own life. when the bible is used as a measuring line of absolutes, for me, i can get my focus off of god and his voice, and start focusing on rules and measuring up in the eyes of those around me.

"God can give us help to overcome our weaknesses."

i also agree with this. i think we all can at least give some sort of assent to this statement, although it may mean different things to each one of us. for me, and i think what nate has been getting at in several posts, is that when god wants to change something in your being, he will. he can actually change your desires to match his will for you.

which comes around to something that was discussed briefly about a month ago. letting god take care of it. not pushing so hard to meet what you think you are supposed to be in order to please god. but following the desires he has placed in you and allowing him to change your desires as he sees fit to be the person he wants you to be right now, moment to moment.

this way, it's not about me trying. it's not about me figuring uot who "god wants me to be" and then using all of my might to become that. he makes me that. i simply am who i am at any given moment, and he shapes me as needed.

do i ever make mistakes? you bet. but that's what the cross is for.

and the bible, as i said before, helps me to train my ear to the spirit that is seeking to lead me at any given moment.

Katherine Gunn said...

Hmm... it has (does) point me toward Jesus. But I realized a scandalous thing (at least it would be in my former circles): if it were proved to me that every thing about the Bible were fabricated and it was a fraud, I would still believe in God and Jesus. Why? Because my personal experience with them has nothing much to do with the Bible and would continue without it.