Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.
Sunday mornings are changing a bit at the Gathering. I thought it might be nice to go through a book and see how our discussion goes. I’ll continue to add a verse and music.
Let’s start off with The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight. This is one of my favorite books on how to read the Bible and the silencing of women in the church. Let me know what you think of this change.
From Chapter 1, “The Book and I”
Throughout this process of conversion and reading the Bible, I made discoveries that created a question that disturbed me and still does. Many of my fine Christian friends, pastors, and teachers routinely made the claim that they were Bible-believing Christians, and they were committed to the whole Bible and that – and this was one of the favorite lines – ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me!’ They were saying two things and I add my response (which expresses my disturbance):
One: We believe everything the Bible says, therefore…
Two: We practice whatever the Bible says.
Why say “hogwash,” a tasty salty word I learned from my father? Because I was reading the same Bible they were reading, and I observed that, in fact – emphasize that word “fact” – whatever they were claiming was not in “fact” what they were doing. (Nor was I.) What I discovered is that we all pick and choose. I must confess this discovery did not discourage me as much as it disturbed me, and then it made me intensely curious (and it is why I wrote this book). The discoveries and disturbances converged onto one big question:
How, then, are we to live out the Bible today?
This question never has been and never will be adequately answered with: The Bible says it, and that settles it for me. Why? Because no one does everything the Bible says. Perhaps you expected this question: How, then, are we to apply the Bible today? That’s a good question, but I think the word ‘apply’ is a bit clinical and not as dynamic as the phrase “live it.”
Have you encountered the mindset, “God says it, I believe it?” If so, how did you respond?
Have you seen any changes in your thought process of the Bible and God over your life? Where are you now?
Do you still find yourself trapped in toxic thoughts of “how God wants us to live” or have you found freedom from man-made rules?
What advice would you offer someone who struggles to break free from toxic ideology and is trying to find freedom in Christ?
Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me,or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands – if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe – then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.
Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high.
Let the Lord judge the peoples. Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
according to my integrity, O Most High. Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure – you, the one who probes minds and hearts.
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day. If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
Proverbs 11: 7
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?
Photo credit: Kathi – Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast