Recently, I had a conversation with a friend as he shared thoughts about life and what he’s learned while he was at Bible college. It’s always a challenge when you attend at Bible-based educational institution because you have to use your Bible for spiritual formation and life-direction, as well as a textbook.
So as we visited, (I’ll cut to the chase) I realized this is where our conversation was going: ‘the Bible is a great book and all, but it’s not all relevant. You have to consider the context and some of it has lost all meaning because it’s not our context.’ And I get it, we’re not Jews, nor are we first century Christians anymore. We live in a day and age where our culture is completely removed from the cultures of the Bible, but here’s what worries me. When we begin to dismiss parts of scripture, we take license with the Word of God and it becomes a free-for-all regarding what we can choose to abide by and what we don’t. And we are short-sighted, not seeing the larger story of God.
The thing that has always bothered me is that we, modern Christians, regularly read more pop Christian media (books, blogs, email blasts) than we read the Bible. We happily accept that someone else’s opinion on what the Word of God says has the same bearing as what the Bible actually says. We will gladly read controversial authors, with their hyper liberal or hyper conservative writings and get all riled up about it. We also gladly read the ‘more-digestable’ authors and affirm their authority by saying, ‘now that’s good Biblical teaching’. But really? Is it really good Biblical teaching? Have you read the passages that they teaching through? Maybe you have… or maybe you’re just accepting their word as ‘gospel’.
Read it for yourself. We live in a very ‘popular’ Christian culture, with high-level worship, big name preachers and, in some circumstances, popular faith. But what if your popular faith leads you to Matthew 7 and Jesus says, ‘If you’re relying on that faith, I don’t know you…’
Read your Bible, pray every day…. and you’ll have more questions.
Don’t get stuck saying…”I follow the teachings of _______.” Because then you’re just stuck following a man… who is not Christ. Don’t empty the power of the cross with pop-culture Christiainty. (1 Corinthians 1)