Recently I’ve been a part of conversations and heard stories about Christians, who are potentially over-reacting to others who say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally. I’m certainly not a scholar on the issues of Biblical interpretation, but I want to attempt to bring out one point that may make peace with some who are being branded as Heretics.
When we hear others say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we need to ask them a few questions to determine exactly what parts of the scripture they are referring to. I’m not saying that some parts are the scripture are not inspired. I believe, as 2 Timothy 3:16 states that, “All
Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” I also hold to the verbal-plenary theory of inspiration for scripture.
However, we must remember that while the scriptures record exactly what God inspired, that some of what God inspired was intended to illustrate. And by nature some of these illustrations contain metaphors. The scripture is comprised of different genres that involves narratives and poems; songs and wisdom writing, personal letters and apocalyptic text. These varieties of text demand that we consider what is being said from God, in light of how it was communicated by the human writers. The Gospels are full of Jesus using parables (stories) and metaphors “the kingdom of heaven is like…” to get his point across. Often, after using some of these stories, Jesus well tell his disciples the literal meaning behind the stories.
I am aware that there are those out there who are saying that the entire scripture shouldn’t be taken literally and that is Heresy, but there are definitely passages where the writer/speaker themselves were not intending to be literal within the context of what was being communicated. So, In the future, when political candidates, family, friends, or co-workers say that we shouldn’t take the Bible literally, we should just ask them, “What Parts?” they are referring to. It’s their answer to that questions the will help us understand exactly where they are coming from.
Feel free to comment to continue this discussion or to clarify something I have written. To HIM be glory.
The guys at NorthPoint recently finished up a series entitled, “Letter’s to the Next President”. You can go to the site www.letterstothenextpresident.com and submit your own letter. Who knows, maybe come November the “new guy” will Google your letter and give you a call informing you of your appointment so some cabinet position! BUT probably not. Here is the note I submitted.
Dear Mr President,
Congratulations on winning the election! It was a hard fought battle. My daughter and I stayed up the night of the election watching the states change colors on the news casts. Blue to red, red to blue; not only does the electoral system work, it’s fun to watch! Even though my home state of Mississippi sent our votes to “the other candidate”, I would still appreciate you giving some attention to my top 10 things to “Fix” the first ten days in office. These should be real easy to fix!
- Please bring back $1.99 gas. Sorry I complained back then, but I remember it being 88 cents “forever” while I was growing up and I ‘m not that old!
- Create a new government position, “Ambassador to Wal-Mart” that makes sure their prices “keep falling”.
- Cut Taxes in half. I’m OK with you guys having a little, but give us a break.
- Implement a mandatory nap-time for all working Americans. We’re just all so tired. I believe we’d all be a much nicer to each other with this nap.
- Create financial incentives for “jobless by choice” Americans. You can do this by cutting of their “Checks.” Give the money that kept from the group above to the “jobless by circumstance” group. I know it may be hard to tell the difference between the two, but you’ll figure it out.
- Put criminals to work, not just in jail. Construction, Farming, or Retail (I’m joking), let them work off their debt. There are many who are more scared of a day’s work than the electric chair. Their thinking must be, well at least I get to sit down.
- Lock down the boarder! There is a legal way for everyone in the world to come here. We should welcome them with open arms, but those crawling through the doggie door need to get in line. If you want to get in line then visit http://www.uscitizenship.info/.
- Eliminate illegal drugs from our country by using satellite imagery, gps, and laser guided missiles to take care of the problem.
- Appoint the management at Starbucks to take over the healthcare system, as to create a customer focus healthcare experience. I know it will probably cost us a lot more, but I’m sure it will be a wonderful experience. We’ll want to go back.
- Give free i-phones to every American. OK, even the illegals can have one!
I know that most of these are a joke, but It was fun dreaming!
Looking into his eyes we sense the humility of the SERVANT. He draws us to himself because of his settledness, his peace. His peace is not dependant on his circumstances, because he chooses to be unconcerned about anything other than the moment. And at this moment he is more concerned with us than he is his agenda. We are his agenda. His Love, his concern, draws us closer and closer. Closer still, until we see our face reflected in his eyes. He wants to shape us to be like himself. We would walk away if we could, but we can’t. Then we hear him gently say, “Come, Follow Me.” Will we follow? The choice is up to us.
Monday I went out to “The Rock” with a friend to see if we could get our seats together for the upcoming football season. As I posted here, back in May, I purchased season tickets and joined the Eagle Club for the first time ever. We ended up walking around the seating area in the lower-level of the new South End-Zone. This photo was taken very close to the spot I had requested when I joined the Eagle Club. While in the stadium we received a phone call confirming that these were in fact our seats! It has me fired up about the upcoming season. With these new facilities and arrangements there is a lot to look forward to:
- No climbing up flights of stairs dragging kids. It’s only about 15 steps to our seats.
- Bathrooms and Concessions are close by (Did I mention no steps up or down to get to them).
- I’ll be staring directly at the largest TV screen in Mississippi.
- We’re sitting under the overhang which will keep us dry and cool-er.
- We’re the farthest away from the “loud cannon”- as requested by my daughters. This means I don’t have to hold my fingers in their ears after every score.
- A parking pass for the first time ever. This means we don’t have to arrive hours before the game unless we want to.
- Tailgating on pride field. They’re probably moving the Jr. Eagle Fun land over there this year and since we are parking there it will be perfect for the kids.
- Finally I can’t wait to see this guy’s offense take the field and #25 to run all over the place.
GO EAGLES! Can’t wait!
I decided to take off blogging last week in honor of Jason Weathers. Monday, before the visitation service, I started developing flu like symptoms (a really bad headache, fever, soreness, fatigue, etc..) By Tuesday morning I wasn’t feeling any better, so I went to see a doctor. After a few test nothing was really conclusive, “Probably a virus” he said. The symptoms had not subsided by Wednesday and while bemoaning my condition to my wife she asked, “What is that on your leg.” I had not noticed it but there was a very strange looking insect bite on my leg. Back to the Dr. I went. He wasn’t sure what the bite was but prescribed an anti-biotic just in case that was the source of my sickness. From the moment I took the meds I gradually began to get better. After looking at it a little closer, my wife and I believe that I was bitten by a black-widow spider. The Sunday before we had taken our kids to “the country” and walked through fields, picket fruits and vegetables from a garden, and had a great time. It was probably at that time that I was bitten. Turns out you can’t feel a spider’s bite. Most people, like me, only find out they’ve been bitten once they develop the symptoms.
So out with my Aquaman T-shirt. Today is a new day. I’ve become someone I never thought I’d be. I am Spiderman. I’ll keep everyone posted on any unusually powers that I may develop. I already had incredible superhuman strength, so other that the ability to spin a web, I’m not really looking forward to them.
Dear the Weathers and Shows Family,
Thank you for using the Caringbride blog over these past several months to keep us all posted of the events surrounding Jason’s sickness. This has allowed us all to pray knowledgeably for you and Jason through this trial. All of us have learned to laugh and cry, hope and fear, through the daily reading of your story. Your faith has been tested and in front of ALL your friends and family, you’ve courageously past the test! Jason, Steph, Brad, Scott, and All of you have truly been a witness for Christ in the middle of these horrible circumstances.
Now with Jason’s passing, I pray that Christ Jesus himself will carry you. Heaven has become much sweeter for all of us. And so we grieve, we deeply grieve. I close with these encouraging words from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 (NLT. I’ve taken the liberty to insert Jason’s name so that we can all hold to this passage together.)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to Jason who has died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring Jason back with him.
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of Jason. For the Lord Jesus himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, Jason and other Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, WE who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then WE will be with the Lord forever.
We Love you all and continue our prayers for you,
Trenidy & JJ Davis
As I type this post there are two Men of God in our church who desperately need a touch from HIM! Both have been diagnosed with cancer and are suffering from the side-effects of these treatments. Tonight I watched the Hillsong broadcast which I had TiVoed(Salvation for your TV). I usually skip strait to the music (Sorry pastors). Tonight, when I saw the Hillsong United Band performing Healer I knew I had to post this. So Mike and Jason this one is for you, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”1 Thess 5:23-24 (NIV)
Saturday, after working in the yard all day, I was ready to go inside and relax. Then I noticed “Him” squirming over the side-walk and into a flower bed located in our front yard. Since I was wearing Flip-Flops and shorts (I didn’t feel man enough to take him on this way) I called my wife to watch the flower bed while I went inside and changed into blue-jeans, steeled towed boots and a hard-hat (OK I’m joking now). I called my dog Jake over to assist me in the search and destroy mission. I had a shovel, a hoe, and a .22 rifle.
I poked and prodded and had Jake sniff in and around the area, but nothing. Next I decided to fire a few rounds (5) into the bushes to see if I might kill him dead he would come out; but still nothing. Finally I decided to remove all of the pine-straw from the flower bed with the hoe. I was almost ready to give up when he made his move and that’s when I hammered him with my trusty hoe. We called the kids out in the yard and thanked God for ridding evil from our house. (This is all suppose to be a little humorous I’m sorry I don’t know what kind of snake it was (I don’t think it was poisonous) and I’m sure there are those who maybe upset I killed an innocent animal. I’m sure these snakes are somehow beneficial, but when it comes to snakes I’m not willing to risk it.
I took a day of vacation last week and we took the kids biking on the Longleaf trace. It’s a great place to go that allows the kids to exert some energy and (other than the gas to get to there) it’s free. Here are some pointers for biking with kids on the trace.
- Plan a relatively short trip. We traveled 2 miles from Clyde Depot to the Beaver Pond, and 2 miles back for 4 miles total round trip.
- Bring plenty of snacks and drinks (This will help with point three).
- Make frequent stops so their little legs can rest. This is especially true of kids that are on small bikes that don’t allow them to coast without peddling. “Dad my legs hurt really bad!”
- Take a First Aid kit. We had a three bike pile-up, where I ran over my daughter and a friend’s son! Not good.
- You may want to consider taking a weapon of sorts, especially if you go late in the evening. A knife is good enough for me, but if you are like M.D. you should be packing at all times.
Finally, Have fun!
The truth is that only God can do that. While we are commanded to forgive those who have sinned against us (Matt 6:12), we are never commanded to forget. Only God can choose to never remember. To the Israelites God said,
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34)
Dr. David Stoop has written, “One reason why God can forget is that there is nothing he needs to learn by remembering.” You and I, on the other hand, need to get to a place emotionally where we no longer hold a grudge over someone who has hurt us. But at the same time we must remember what happened in order that we may hold fast to the lessons taught us through the painful experience.
Remember forgiveness is both a decision and an ongoing process. As a Christian we decide to forgive up front, but it often takes time to accept what has been inflicted on us, and truly extend forgives to others. The power to do this only comes from the blood torn body of the Prince of Peace, who in the middle of pain being inflicted uttered the words, “Father forgiven them, for they know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)