Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I Don't Listen to the Bible or Church

First, allow me to state that the irony (and/or sheer stupidity) of some of what I'm about to write does not escape me. I quite literally chuckled out loud as I was playing this post through in my mind and seeking Scripture references. You'll see what I mean (maybe) in a few moments (should you continue reading, of course)...

I Don't Listen to the Bible

Oh dear. Did I really just say that?

Allow me to explain...

I do not know Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so. While a pretty song, I disagree with those first two lines.

I do not love God because the Bible tells me to do so.

I do not avoid killing people, nor do I attempt to not hate people, because it's in the Bible (sorry for the double/triple negative there).

I do not believe in God because the Bible says to. I do not follow Christ because it says to. I do not pray because I'm told to. I do not try to listen for God's voice because it tells me I should.

I do not believe I am saved because it is written in the Bible.

I Don't Listen to the Church or those Teaching

All of what I wrote above... goes the same if I'm hearing it from my pastor, or from others within the Church, or because that is what the Church believes.

I Listen to God

Don't get me wrong - it is good to read the Bible. I think it is essential to our Spiritual growth. I also think it is good to listen to our teachers/preachers/pastors/priests. I believe they are also essential to our Spiritual growth. I also think it is essential to listen to different points of view on different subjects regarding Christianity, and even other religions. This doesn't mean we have to follow/believe these points of view - we just need to be open to listen.

And then, most importantly, we need to be open to listen to God. I do not believe Jesus/God loves me because it's in the Bible, or because a Sunday School teacher told me so, or even because a pastor who is my mentor has told me this. I believe it because God has put that faith within me.

I try to avoid sin (usually), not because it is written in the Bible, or because a man called by God says to avoid it, but because it is a desire God has put within my heart.

I try to follow in Christ's footsteps because that is the path God has programmed into my internal GPS navigation system.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) - The Word of God came before the Bible. And after the Bible. And today. 
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." (John 5:39-40) - We must turn to God. Not the Bible... God.
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." (1 Corinthians 3:6) - pretty self explanatory, in my mind. Yes, the Bible and teachers and the Church help. They are essential. They are builders. But they are not the foundation.
As I said before, yes, the Bible and Church are important. But God must be the foundation, otherwise you can read the Bible a hundred times over and not be a true believer or follower. You can go to every Church service and not be a true believer or follower. God's Voice is the one we must listen to - the voice that echoes through our very soul, mind and heart.

(Oh... and in case you didn't recognize the irony... I'm using Bible verses to explain why I don't listen to the Bible.... Clever me.... )

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