“Go ye therefore and construct church buildings and fellowship halls and put nice organs in your sanctuaries, and then you listen to sermons and beautiful music and sit around in Sunday School classrooms and talk about the Bible. And don’t forget to buy a church van so you can take the elderly and youth on nice outings.”
The scheduled post for today was more random silliness, but I’m going to save that one for tomorrow or Friday. I need to do this post. Wednesday is one of my Internet fasting days, so if you have a comment, I’ll promise to get back to you on Thursday.
I also need to explain the picture. I do not think the Bible is “goofed-up” in any way. I chose this picture because I think we goof up the Word of God by sometimes taking things out of context. I believe that the Bible — from Genesis to Revelation — is the Story of Jesus. Yes, it is more than that, but unless we understand and believe His story, what’s the point? Unlike most books, it is suggested that you begin somewhat in the middle, with the first Chapter of John, which is interesting, because in many ways, that is the beginning. (Sorry – does that make sense?)
So here’s my challenge:
To the non believer: Read the first chapter of John. Does it make sense to you? I’m not asking whether or not you believe it, I’m only asking if it makes sense. Or does it seem confusing? Completely ridiculous? Unbelievable?
To the new believer: Read Luke, Chapter 15. Who, if anyone, do you identify with in this story? Who do you believe the main character(s) to be? Not who you THINK you should identify with, or who your pastor or mentor told you was the main character. What does your gut tell you?
To the mature believer: Read Luke, Chapter 15. Same question as above. But I’m asking you to put aside your Bible commentaries and attempt to read the introduction into the parables and the parables themselves as if you are reading them for the first time.
I will be working on a post that I will publish next Wednesday. Until then, would you please indulge me just a little? I’ve heard and read the above passages so many times that I fear I have often skimmed over some very valuable teachings contained within. Please feel free to share any preliminary thoughts with me. I only ask that they come from your heart as well as your head. I would also ask that no one get into a discussion about the merits of one particular denomination over another or disparage anyone for believing or not believing in a Divine Creator. For the purposes of this discussion, I would very much like to focus on what unites us, not what divides us.
Back to more of my distinctive ridiculousness tomorrow.
P. S. – I will also be posting something about my experiences in the weird and wonderful world of church planting on Saturday. Please tell all your church planter buddies to stop by for a visit. I think us geeky church planters need to support one another!