To start I want to give a special shout out to Robert who challenge some of the things I said in my post Christians are weird, get over it. This is going to be a series of posts clarifying some of the more controversial issues Christians are arguing about today that have resulted in our misrepresentation.
GROUND RULES FOR COMMENTS: 1) No proselytizing please. The point of these posts are to share information and educate one another on our beliefs not to gain converts. 2) Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. IE – be nice. 3) The discussion can go all kinds of places, so let’s make sure we stay on topic. IF I ask that you please don’t reply to a comment it’s because I want to post a more in depth post on it later, not because I think the comment is invalid.
Now we get to talk about the even more fun question that men like Phelps and Robertson employ to justify their…actions. Please read Part 1 of this series HERE to catch up on what I’m talking about.
The reasoning behind their absolute view of the world is centered on a series of bible verses that is coupled with the unwavering belief in something that I like to refer to as the Sufficiency of Scripture.
The Sufficiency of Scripture argument goes something like this. The Bible is the Word of God. God is perfect and infallible. Therefore anything that comes from Him is also perfect and infallible. The Bible therefore is perfect and infallible and everything we need is contained within its pages. Whether that is salvation, ethics, or a recipe for dinner (Exodus 12) everything you could possibly need for any circumstances is written down in clear black and white.
I’m not saying that the Scriptures aren’t perfect. That’s waaaaaaay too controversial, even for me. What I am saying however is that the Bible alone is not nearly enough for any Christian to walk with God. It’s a good starting point, but it isn’t the be all and end all and there is no such thing as the Sufficiency of Scripture. We need a lot more than words on a page, no matter how important those words are.
People have complained about the obscure nature of the Scriptures saying things like “if these are instructions from God shouldn’t they be clearer?” The answer is “no.”
The real instructions come from a combination of Scripture, and a relationship with God. The clues and information provided in the Bible is a starting point for an insane scavenger hunt. It’s a lover’s game designed to build and strengthen our relationship with God.
It isn’t the final authority because Jesus is that authority.
It isn’t an instruction manual for all it’s a book. The only definitive and clear thing that book says that is perfectly crystal clear is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that through Him we obtain Grace and eternal salvation. The rest is minutiae. The rest are details that we pursue in desiring a deeper relationship with our God and with each other.
There is no such thing as an infallible reading or interpretation of the Bible because it is reliant on a dozen things or more. The bible is dependent on the reader’s relationship with God, it is dependent on the community of believers coming together to read and understand it as a community. We so often think of the Bible as a compass or roadmap for us to reference and yes it can serve that purpose.
But first and foremost, the Bible is a love letter from God, to us. It isn’t about objectivity, or proof, or ethics or anything but God saying, “I love you my children.” For more on that and other reasons we read the bible, check out this post.