I regret this already, but Kia, critic of All Things Christian, made a declaration on his blog that I feel compelled to address.
He says, “The trouble with saying that God illumines scripture for believers to “rightly divide”, is that there are so many different believers “rightly dividing” with different opinions on what God has illumined them to understand.The first indication that most Christians get that there is more to the story is when they start encountering and mixing with other Christians of different stripes and denominations.”
First off, Kia who has called me rude, disrespectful, not meek, not humble and assorted other projections, does ask a good question, or at least it would be a good question if it were actually a question. It’s not a question at all, it’s a declaration that tries to establish there is no God because Christians are divided, there are many different denominations, and that we all interpret scripture differently.
Not so much. Here’s something I find really astounding. There are Christians from other cultures, other parts of the world, and yet when we are all at the foot of the cross we are all on the same page. We speak the same spiritual language, we recognize the same God, we grasp the same biblical principles.
In the US, where we have sharp divides over politics, race, class, traditionalists versus liberals, grace versus the law, we still all meet at the foot of the cross and interpret scripture very similarly. I like to crack jokes about communion wafers versus bread, wine versus grape juice, but all these things are just trifles in the larger scheme of things. John 13:35 tell us, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
There are some great theological debates and biblical exegesis and I shall no doubt offend those who love that sort of thing, but really it’s all just vanity. Scripture is simple enough a child can understand it…. or so complex it takes a life time to unravel it.
There can be some varied interpretations of scripture in the sense that God deals with each of us as individuals, so what I may be needing to hear in scripture, what I may need to glean from those passages, could well be different than what someone else sees. That is because we are at different places in our lives, dealing with different issues and God is speaking those words to us so we may apply them to our own lives.
The bible is meant to be received subjectively. That does not change the nature of the bible nor does it mean it is not also supposed to be taken literally. It simply means we are to take those words inside ourselves and to meditate on them and allow them to shape us. That is ideal, when we can surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to reveal Himself…and ourselves, to us. The bible is not an instruction manual, like how to put together a piece of furniture from IKEA.
So Kia, you are rude, hostile, hard to love, you spread falsehoods about people, and yet I personally know of at least five Christian bloggers who have shown you grace and mercy, who have answered your questions, who have endured your attacks, and here we are still reaching out to you, still addressing your concerns about faith. You titled your post, “The most Unanswered Prayer that no one admits to.”
Your prayers have been answered, proving not only that prayer works, but that we are more than willing to “admit” to whatever deep, dark secrets you believe we are afraid to answer. Proving too that, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Love, Kia. Be very careful about rejecting that one. Life is too short for bitterness and cynicism. You may think you know the words of scripture, but you don’t know His heart.