Mr. Bill and Miz Mona

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I believe

Miss Mona sez:

I am in the middle of reading the Rob Bell book, "Love Wins". He has stirred up some amazing controversy.
So far I haven't read anything that makes me want to burn him in the village square, but, like I said, I am only halfway.
Isn't it interesting how people will react when someone disagrees with them?

There is so much going on in the world of faith and religion these days. I am not going to try and look outside the Christian mindset, that is way too big for me to address. I just want to talk about what I believe.

Are you familiar with the statement of faith known as The Apostle's Creed? "I believe in God the Father, Maker of the universe and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son...." That is how it begins. A really wonderful worship declaration song came out some years back that comes straight from it, real stomp your feet and exalt the Lord, fire in your belly kind of song. I love it! Never fails to fill me with joy and a sense of power and connection with believers though out history.

I have been doing the being a Christian thing pretty much all my life. Grew up going to the Methodist Church in my hometown in Oregon, Sunday School, memorized the books of the Bible, learned about the basics of faith. At 12 I got "saved" and baptized in a Church of Christ, rededicated my life at 14 or 15 at a crusade at the local high school and then again, a few years later at an Open Bible Church when I was 21.
Each of these times was a watershed moment in my life when I was trying to get a handle on some of the less than pleasant circumstances in my life. Since then there have been other times when I have reaffirmed my basic belief that God is God and I am not.

In between were many rocky, crooked paths that led me up into the bright mountains and back down into the shadowed places. Good choices, bad choices, deceptions and revelations all along the way. Here and there a wilderness or desert where I felt lost and forsaken. Sometimes I walked in the warmth of sunshine and blessing but more often it seemed grey and desolate.

As long as I can remember, I have loved to read. Fiction and nonfiction, silly or serious, I love books. I have never found it difficult to immerse myself in the world of the writer's creation. I have never lost the child's tendency to ask why and the route to answers , for me, has generally been through the pages of a book. Hundreds of them have I held in my hands and absorbed, page after page. Hundreds more wait on my bookshelves or in piles by my bed for me to find the time to spend in them. I do not always agree with what I read, even though the author may fiercely proclaim that what is written is THE TRUTH.

That being said, I want to talk about a very controversial book, that which we call the Bible. Ta Biblios- The Book.  One line in the Creed says, "I believe in the Bible, God's Holy Word."  In many church membership statements, people are asked to affirm their belief/faith in the infallible nature of the Bible. Huge battles have been fought over this book and what it contains. Interpretations and opinions abound, all vehemently defended . Which version should be read, translation, paraphrase, language...Many good people have died in the effort to see it get into the hands of others, much wrong has been done and justified by judicious excerpts and interpretations of it.

What do I believe? I believe it IS God's written and inspired Word. Infallible? Inerrant? Actually, yes, in that I believe that every thing written in it is there because God wants it there. Is it perfect? Yes. Perfectly able to teach us, change us, help us to understand the Person and character of God. Is it all literally truth? No. There is poetry, song, history, allegory, law...lots of stuff that is not truth of the empirical/scientific persuasion. There is the truth of the love song, the truth of a man's cries of pain and frustration. The truth of history and laws that were set down as standards for living. So much is recorded there my many different people from their personal perspective (Look at the four books known as the Gospels to see that illustrated!)
Is everything written there for us to imitate? Lord, no!! Much that is written is of the instructive, don't do this persuasion.

In my next post I want to talk more about this, my brain is tired now and it is late so I need to get to sleeping.
God bless and keep you !

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