Problem With The Bible
This post, “My Problem With The Bible,” by Brian Zahnd is definitely worth your time. Please check it out!
I have a problem with the Bible. Here’s my problem…
I’m an ancient Egyptian. I’m a comfortable Babylonian. I’m a Roman in his villa.
That’s my problem. See, I’m trying to read the Bible for all it’s worth, but I’m not a Hebrew slave suffering in Egypt. I’m not a conquered Judean deported to Babylon. I’m not a first century Jew living under Roman occupation.
I’m a citizen of a superpower. I was born among the conquerors. I live in the empire. But I want to read the Bible and think it’s talking to me. This is a problem.
What about you? Did you read or see anything worthwhile on the web this week? Share it!
A very thought provoking blog, to say the least. His perspective and some of the issues raised in the comment section by his readers define the tension I have been navigating in my own mind over the last several years.
I must accept that true humility and generosity, without all of the strings that many would want to attach, are essential characteristics of my Savior and Lord, and therefore I must strive to allow Him to build them within me. The poor, hungry, hurting, and homeless that He places in my path are my responsibility, to the extent that I do what I can to love and help them – not of a sense of duty, but because doing so is the natural and expected result of surrendering my will to His. And I believe it requires more of me than dropping a check in the bucket on Sunday morning. I think I have to have “skin in the game”. I think it has to be personal.
The tension comes with the tendency we have as Christians to overemphasize one important aspect of our walk with God at the expense of others. History shows us many examples of becoming so good at ministry to the physical needs of our society that we forget that ministry to their physical needs is the least valuable gift we have to offer – a social gospel. The simple truth is they can get food, shelter, clothing and help from other sources. We have to offer all of those things, and more. We have the good news that Jesus offers forgiveness and freedom, and we have to be quick to share that news as well as our physical help.
My problem is I suck at both. I’m not very generous, not really. I see all that I keep and don’t feel good at all about what I give. I have way more than I need. And I can’t really point to anyone who has come to Christ in the last 20 years after I shared my faith with them. Mercy and Grace are wonderful things.