Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lenten Series #17: Getting it Off My Chest

My last two post have been long, I know; however, they contain parts of my life that I have been waiting to share and get off my chest for some time. I have written many papers for school, had many theological conversations with my fellow seminarian friends, I have led many worship services, preached many of sermons, but yet the weight of what sharing my beliefs were so heavy and I have been praying about how to share the with the world.

I must say, we can no longer look at the Bible to find a list of sins that are incompatible with Christ teachings. Instead, we must show how the Bible is a statement of God’s love and desire to be in relationship with a people who continue to separate ourselves from God and our neighbor. Does this mean we cannot call out sinful behavior to one another as Christian believers? No it doesn’t. I believe we still can do that, but the questions we ask will be different. We cannot say DON’T do this or that, but instead ask how is a behavior limiting us from trusting and pursing a deeper relationship with God and let’s not forget whether there is a hindrance in my need and desire for my neighbor?

For example, instead of us focusing on if homosexuality is a sin or not, we should be focusing on how and if any sexual relationship we are in is keeping us from fully experiencing God. Instead of focusing on if drinking is a sin, we should talk about how any behavior done repetitively in order to provide an individual with a quick and easy departure from reality will seek to take the place of God.

The Bible must not be worshipped. I like how my professor, Dr. Erskine said it in his lecture on sources, “the scriptures is not the revelation but the record of the revelation, Scripture provides for the community of faith a memory by which the community may recall its past.” The Bible, therefore, is a testament of God work and not the end of it. The church must then prepare to embrace and teach our congregants how to use the Bible as a testament and not a rule book. I know believe that the answer to every question is not in the Bible. The Bible is a guidebook and an exploration on how God’ reveled Godself throughout history. However, I am reminded again of Psalm119:11 “thy word have I hid in my heart, that I may not sin against thee.” This word is not the Bible, but it’s revelation from God. And how can this word be in my heart, and not be personal, and not take into account my experiences. It is impossible! For this same reason, Dr. Noel Erskine once wrote, “revelation is not he sharing of information but the communication of one mind to another... we know God only as God reveals Godself to us in the context of freedom of God” So it is through experience that revelations takes place, and it is through experience that God reveals God self to us, as God chooses. 

I have learned so much these past few years and I am continuing to learn. And let me say, I don’t know it all and am still learning and increasing my faith through exploration. May we take time to examine the scriptures by using the Bible as a tool and may it reveal God to us and strengthen our relationship with God and all of humanity. May we shun sin, being separated from God, by first examining our own relationship with God and our brethren. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope tomorrow to examine an issue that has been deep on my heart that prompted me to share these last 3 blogs.

Peace, Love and Prosperity, 

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