Before I start writing this post let me explain that this isn’t some Matrix-y there is no spoon metaphysical post. This isn’t a post that is trying to determine what is really is, it’s more about the words used to describe something, and in this case the text I am describing is the religious text primarily used by Christians. I am a follower of Christ and I read this text, I don’t have a full grasp on it, and I actually don’t think it’s possible, but here’s my thoughts on how the Bible is not the Bible.
It strikes me that the religious text Christians use is called the Bible, and yet apart from Christianity the word Bible is used as well. A brief perusing on Amazon has found me these Bibles; Boston’s Gun Bible, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible, The Cook’s Bible, The Dog Bible, Mini Car Bible, and so on.
The thing is, the way Bible is used for the above books are from the perspective that what’s contained in the compendium is the be-all end-all final word on the product, whether it’s about guns or fashion, these Bibles start and finish, and if you have the Bible that’s all you need.
Yet with my faith, The Bible as my faith’s religious text is not a Bible. What’s contained in The Bible isn’t a rule book, a be-all end-all, something that someone can say out loud with audacity “The Bible says it/I believe it/That settles it.” This last statement to me perplexes and bothers me to no end, really? The Bible says it, so you believe it, and that…*gulp*…settles it? I’m not going to tackle the verses some Christians use to clobber members of the LGBT community, instead I will tackle briefly Psalms 137:9 which says
How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.
If the statement of The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it, in light of the psalm written by David is “that settles it” a healthy response to the text? Well considering the book of Psalms is essentially a book of poetry about God, about life, about lamenting, and celebrating. David, who certainly had a way with words both in this Psalm and others, was probably writing out his frustration in a pretty grim way, about what was going on in his life and sometimes you gotta bring out the heavy guns with your language, and I am sure that when this Psalm was written the individuals who read it at that time “golf clapped” David for his latest Psalm I am pretty sure it rocked their minds.
So when you get down to it, the Bible is the story of God and it is the story of us…but story is it’s our story, and yet our story consists in our life and every up, down, twist, and turn along the way. Then there’s the instructions in how to live that comes from God through Jesus in which we’re called to not just be hearers of the word but doers of the word, to “go and do likewise”, to love God and to love others…That is what the Bible is about, our conduct unto God and others, about making life the quality of life for ourselves and others better, to go and make disciples. It starts with God and it also ends with God, The Bible is very much a part of it but it isn’t the be-all end-all, we have our lives to lead that should mirror what I think sums up what God wants us to do as found in John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Live a life of love!