Saturday, October 20, 2012

Secret Post On Being Biblical

There is a secret blog post that you can't let anybody know about (and I won't either) about being biblical.  Some secret blogger named Dan Allen (psst...don't tell anybody either), says this about how to use the bible to make people believe you're right:

A biblical view is a view that you can defend with Bible verses. The real goal is not to learn from and develop an understanding from the Bible, but to use the Bible to defend whatever it is that we believe. If you don’t like secular music tell people that it is biblical to only listen to Christian music, I mean, obviously Psalm 1:1 states that “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,” but if you think it’s ok, you go to Matt 15:11 and remind someone that Jesus said that “it is not what goes into the mouth … that defiles a man.” (but in this case we apply it to the ear).

All this reminds me of all the biblical beliefs I have been taught by the various teachers, churches and books by Christian(TM) authors throughout my Christian life.  You may know some of these.  Like that person who wrote that book on biblical child rearing.  His way of rearing children is biblical because he uses the bible to defend his views.  Never mind that his followers use the book as a rigid formula and never seem to understand that there are a great many children and families that fall outside of the small box the author constructs, and whose methods simply don't work for them.  Or that book written by that one author that tells wives how to be biblical wives, not just regular wives.  Should I call my husband at work to ask his permission to call him at work?  Hmmm. Life is full of questions.

One of the things you can do with biblical teachings is to collect one book that addresses each area of life, and put them all together and claim that you'll have a beautiful life if only you follow everything written in all of them.  That way you'll be living a biblical life, not just dreaming about one.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Asking Why

Many times in life we ask "why" of God for the circumstances we face or see in the world.  Is it wrong to do so?  What about the Psalmist who asks why often?  What about Jesus himself who asks why God has forsaken him on the cross?

Bill at The Billy Goat Blog looks at this question, and asks why it seems necessary to act in any other way than to be honest in asking God why because God already knows our thoughts.  By the way, Bill points out that it is not wrong to ask God why.

I used to struggle with why Jesus says on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  as we see in Matthew 27.  I had always assumed - mostly due to the way I was taught about this - that Jesus was merely quoting Scripture.  He was quoting a messianic psalm to show that by quoting a messianic psalm he was the messiah who was being referenced in the psalm.  David was really not asking God why about something, but was simply supplying something that the messiah would quote sometime in the future to show that he was the messiah.  Kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy by way of quotation resulting in a proof text.  (Kinda cool, huh?)

But then I started wondering if Jesus could really have asked why God had forsaken him because he believed that God had forsaken him.  In other words, I started wondering if Jesus were honest and human.

I've since concluded that Jesus asked why because he meant it.  He was human, and really did experience being forsaken.  That's what the atonement was all about after all, right?  He was forsaken of God so that we wouldn't have to be.  So he really was forsaken and really did ask God why.  And, as we know from other points of theology, Jesus was without sin, so we know that asking God why he was forsaken wasn't a sin.  It wasn't a sin for Jesus, so why would it be a sin for us?