Written by David Moody
Whenever I see those Facebook links about a ‘satisfying’ video or set of pictures, usually about neatly arranged things and referencing OCD type behaviour, I look at those posts and think that there’s nothing unusual about that. I like order, neatness and things that are done correctly. I’m not a neat-freak nor do I have white gloves but organisation is my friend. It’s the same with board games and driving, there are rules and they are there for a reason!
Then we have the Bible. The thing with the Bible, as an ordered sort of person, is what it says and what it doesn’t say and then there’s what people make it say. This usually happens through second hand Christianity, learned behaviour and low Biblical literacy. Another way to put it is that the Christian culture many of us find ourselves in has been set by others with little self-scrutiny of that for accuracy, depth or soundness.
I’m particularly talking about Biblical conundrums. Not version differences and not even interpretation, just stuff that is or isn’t actually written, like; ‘Mary on a Donkey at Christmas and three wise men.’ Spoiler: No donkey, not even December and the number of wise men isn’t given. When we live our lives for Jesus, following the Word of God is a massive part of that. Why does accuracy matter? Because a degree off at the start leads to bigger errors down the road.
Here’s some examples:
Inviting Jesus into our heart: This is salvation from Romans 10:9: "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Nowhere does the Bible talk about Jesus being in anyone.
Jesus sweating blood: Christ's anguish was no doubt strong and difficult in the Garden of Gethsemane but the Bible says his sweat drops were like blood, not blood itself. Luke 22:44. There are even commentaries that describe the medical condition, except it doesn’t say that.
Jesus is here with us: It is the Holy Spirit who is with us. While the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are intrinsically linked they are also individual and have clear roles. Jesus is currently at the right hand of the Father in heaven waiting to return and is interceding for us until then and drawing people to himself. Acts 1:9 ‘he was taken up before their eyes…’ Acts 7:55 ‘…and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.'
There heaps more like the blessing of food, (and us to your service…?) asking the Spirit to come and be where He already is and to fill us when we already have Him! This isn’t about being picky, it’s about being faithful to what IS not accepting of what isn’t just because people pray that way or have always spoken that way.
If something sounds odd, that could well be the Holy Spirit saying to you; ‘Are you sure about that?’
Maybe you have some conundrums of your own…