SSB Sunday Gathering – July 30, 2017

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

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-by Kathi

Discussion: The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight

From Chapter 1, “The Book and I”

 What I learned was an uncomfortable but incredibly intriguing truth: Every one of us adopts the Bible and (at the same time) adapts the Bible to our culture. In less-appreciated terms, I’ll put it this way: Everyone picks and chooses. I know this sounds out of the box and off the wall for many, but no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, it’s true. We pick and choose. (It’s easier for us to hear “we adopt and adapt,” but the two expressions amount to the same thing.)

I believe many of us want to know why we pick and choose. Even more importantly, many of us want to know how to do this in a way that honors God and embraces the Bible as God’s Word for all times. We’ll get to that. First, I offer some examples of picking and choosing, or “adopting and adapting.”

The examples given for picking and choosing include:

  1. Sabbath – Observing the Sabbath meant not working from Friday night to Saturday night (Exodus 20:9-10; references also in Acts). Most Christians today observe the Sabbath on Sunday which includes worship and fellowship. True Sabbath meant resting from work.
  2. Tithing – The Bible does not insist that all tithe must go to the local church. Moses taught that the tithe was not only to go to the Levites but also to the alien, to the fatherless, and to the widow.
  3. Foot washing – Jesus commanded foot washing in John 13:14. How many Christians practice this regularly?
  4. Surrendering possessions – Jesus told his disciples in Luke 14:33 and Luke 12:33 that they must give up everything to follow him.
  5. Contentious issues – i.e. Calvinism vs. Arminianism, the relevance today of charismatic gifts, ordaining women, the type of music played in church, and which view of the second coming is biblical.

Do you recognize that there are areas of the Bible that you pick and choose to follow?

Why do you think people focus on certain areas in the Bible yet chose to ignore the rest?

Because all parts of the Bible were written during a certain time period and to a specific people/culture, how does one read it today for our time and culture?

***

Psalm 8

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim in the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Proverbs 11: 8

The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.

***


***

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 – Disney Springs, Orlando, FL

7 comments on “SSB Sunday Gathering – July 30, 2017

  1. Thank you for this, creating a way for us to worship and praise our Heavenly Father. Only He is worthy of our praise!

    “May he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you.”

    Thank you for this prayer. I leave tomorrow night for a missions trip to Jamaica with a small team from my church, and this is my prayer for us! And not only us, but for the whole body of Christ.

    It is a sad thing that much of the c(hurch) has been infiltrated by wolves, who devour the sheep and give Jesus Christ a bad name. Instead, we are commanded to love one another. Jesus said, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

    Father in heaven, help us today to love one another, not by might, not by power, but by Your Spirit. May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord, have your way in us, the sheep of your pasture. Amen.

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  2. Daughter of the King – Wishing you and your team safe travels and open hearts. Let us know how your trip goes.

    Like

  3. Amen! Daughter of the King—thank you for that beautiful prayer.

    To start the discussion on what we just read in this book—here’s some thoughts:
    I agree with him that parts of the Bible were written to certain people in specific time periods. We don’t have to bring doves (Leviticus 5:7) to the temple to atone for our sin. Christ made the one and only sin offering needed. We don’t have to build the tabernacle with a curtain separating us from God—because Jesus already ripped apart every barrier so we can approach God directly. That’s why we should focus our reading more on the words of Christ than the OT laws since the whole goal of our Christian life is to become more like Christ. (2Cor 3:18)

    The secret to understanding the Old Testament is that:

    “Those things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us. That’s because we are living at the time when God’s work is being completed.” 1Cor 10:11 (NIRV)

    Let’s study the book’s list of points:

    He conveniently ignores Romans 14:6 (BSB) where the Bible describes our freedom in Christ on observing days of rest:

    “One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

    This book is missing the whole idea: “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”
    Mark 2:27 (NLT).

    Here’s the logical fallacy—this book is saying that the Bible must only allow one way of keeping the Sabbath therefore the fact that various people observe days of rest in various ways—automatically proves that we are supposed to pick what Bible verses we want and ignore the rest!

    Does he give any verses to prove this point? We’ve already had a very long discussion on this topic on a previous thread, so I won’t bore anyone by repeating all those points here.

    Again this book conveniently ignores the full context of the verses. Jesus was dealing with entitlement mentality in John 13:14. He was breaking down barriers in society, putting everyone on the same level of value. He was making the point that ministry requires getting our hands dirty. He was teaching in a visual way they would never forget—vividly illustrating how He (the Word) cleanses everyone from sin.

    (See verse 8-10). He was showing how much he cared for Judas. This is Jesus giving Judas a chance to change his mind. Trying to show Judas how much He cared for him, in hopes that later Judas would come to him for help, instead of taking his own life in shame.

    There’s a reason that Jesus specifically said this was an EXAMPLE to follow—not a command to begin repeating empty rituals.

    Now Jesus also said to “Eat my flesh and drink my blood.” People are smart enough to recognize when Jesus was speaking literally and figuratively. I don’t like how this book is saying in a very subtle way that people aren’t smart enough to recognize the voice of God speaking to them. To recognize that God’s law doesn’t just change for every culture—Thou shalt not steal—applies to us just as much as it applied to previous generations.

    This book is trying to undermine how smart you really are. Trying to get you to doubt your own discernment. The logical fallacy here is trying to say that because Jesus did one illustrated sermon—therefore you can’t possibly believe the rest of the Bible!

    This book makes a huge leap in logic here.

    The full context of Luke 12:33 is Jesus’ command, “Not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.”

    “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?”
    Luke 12:25-26 (NLT)

    Honestly, Jesus’ command not to worry about life is one of the hardest things to do!

    Now there were wealthy women traveling with Jesus, paying the bills so Jesus’ team could minister. “These women used their own money to help Jesus and his apostles.”
    Luke 8:3 (ERV) Did Jesus ever tell those wealthy women to sell everything they owned? Of course not!

    Again this book ignores the full context of both Luke 14:33 & Luke 12:33.

    Luke 14:33—Jesus makes the point that anyone trying to build a major construction project first sits down to count the cost. They make sure they have enough funds to complete the project. In the same way, choosing to follow Christ means we have to make sure we are serious enough to finish the pathway. That we will let nothing stand in our way. That we will not be like those who hear the Word but allow the cares of this life to cause us to fall away from Christ. (Remember the Mark 4 parable about the four ways that people respond to hearing the Word?)

    Plus, this book ignores Mark 10:29-30 (GW) where Jesus promises that anyone who gives up everything to follow Him will receive a huge return of stuff IN THIS LIFE!!!

    “Anyone who gave up his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the Good News will certainly receive a hundred times as much HERE IN THIS LIFE.”

    This author keeps ignoring any verses that don’t prove his point—he is picking and choosing to build his own religion.

    Logical fallacy—saying that because Jesus gave instructions to the rich young ruler, therefore none of us can possibly be allowed to own stuff. Nevermind that Jesus actually recognized we need stuff in Matthew 6:32 (GW).

    “Everyone is concerned about these (material) things, and your heavenly Father certainly knows you need all of them.”

    There’s plenty of room for a difference of opinion over issues like free will vs. predestination, type of music, second coming etc. How does that prevent us from obeying the words of Christ? Did Jesus tell us what music to play? Of course not! There’s a reason the Bible preserved song lyrics without including sheet music.

    Here’s the logical fallacy—this book is saying that because every church can’t agree on what type of music for services—therefore we don’t have to obey the words of Christ—that we can conveniently ignore any words of Christ that we don’t like!

    That’s like saying that just because we don’t understand the Law of Thermodynamics therefore it doesn’t exist. That we can just suspend the Law of Gravity whenever we feel like it. When we can figure out how to make our own planets and galaxies then we can start telling God what to do.

    God sets both natural and spiritual laws in motion. God’s law of sowing and reaping works whether we believe it or not. Do yourself a favor and put that law into motion for your benefit.

    “Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit.”
    Galatians 6:7-8(NCV)

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  4. Hmmm…..Wordpress just deleted my numbered formatting. Must be a computer glitch. 🙂 This was a five point answer to the list from the book that was supposed to be formatted as:
    1)
    2)
    3)
    4)
    5)

    Like

  5. Avid Reader, I summed up the examples – he gives full paragraphs to each point. McKnight’s point is that when Christians say “it’s in the Bible therefore I believe it,” what they are really doing is only following verses that fit what they believe. They’re not really following all of the commands in the Bible because some, such as Sabbath, don’t meet today’s church cultural standards. This chapter’s point is that everyone needs to admit that Christians pick verses in the Bible they deem as continued rules to follow while others deemed as not essential.

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  6. Avid Reader – – If you can tell me the first couple of words for each number: 1), 2), I will try to add them back in for you. WP certainly has some frustrating formatting issues!

    Like

  7. Julie Anne,

    Thank you!! But with all the really important work that you and Kathi do, the last thing I would want to do is create more work for you. Looks like maybe my comment didn’t actually need the numbered paragraphs after all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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