Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Starting With The Bible
After a moment, one of the Christians present begins to speak. He speaks longer. His tone is different. He’s quoting verses…and more verses.Michael talks about those that stop with scripture and those that start. I'd put it this way - for some scripture is a laboratory manual and for others it is literature. But I want to leave this wonderful intellectual discussion for a moment and concentrate on these two people he described.
There’s a sense of finality and authority to this talk. You can sense a reaction, even before anyone says anything.
Then another Christian speaks. This person validates that the quoted verses are crucial and important for Christians to understand. But this person raises questions. She interacts with the scripture AND with the comments of the other participants. From ideas in the verses- like submission, for instance- she asks the group to explore what submission might mean in a non-abusive context?
The room relaxes a bit. This Christian wasn’t authoritative. She wasn’t ending the discussion. She was continuing it. She was curious. She didn’t have all the answers, but still had questions. She wanted to listen to others; to hear their insights and experiences.
The first drew negative response, the second positive. One was attractive, one not so much. Which one do you think was Christ-like.?
of course, the quick answer was the attractive one, but Christ often quoted scripture both authoritatively and in chastisement. And yet he remained attractive.
When it comes to being a good Christian - it is often not about the little things, but the big ones. In this case its not about how we use scripture, but who we are when we use it. Have we allowed the Holy Spirit to transform us sufficiently to be authoritative, even chastising and yet winsome? If not, I would suggest that perhaps we us scripture study as a means of holding the Holy Spirit at bay.
I know I have at times.