SSB Sunday Gathering – October 1, 2017

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

purple ribbons

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

-by Kathi

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Discussion: The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight

From Chapter 6, “From Paper to Person: How Do We Read God’s Words?

In this chapter McKnight strengthens his view that the Bible should be read as a story by noting that the when we read the Bible from an authoritative approach the relational aspect is neglected.

The relational approach distinguishes God from the Bible. God existed before the Bible existed; God exists independently of the Bible now. God is a person; the Bible is paper. God gave us this papered Bible to lead us to love his person. But the person and the paper are not the same.

The distinction between a person’s words and the person is an important one, but I am not sure we Christians have always made that distinction.

I am not going to go into all of the detail that he talks about in terms of a relational approach to reading the Bible, but I would like to end McKnight’s thoughts with this:

So, too, if we frame our relationship to the Bible in terms of authority, we will inevitably have authoritarian issues emerging as theology. Here is a conclusion that has taken me nearly thirty years to come to: without denying the legitimacy of the various terms in the authority approach, those who have a proper relationship to the Bible never need to speak of the Bible as their authority nor do they speak of their submission to the Bible. The are so in tune with God, so in love with him, that the word “authority” is swallowed up in loving God. Even more, the word “submission” is engulfed in the disposition of listening to God speak through the Bible and in the practice of doing what God calls us to do.

As I read this paragraph above I am drawn to think of Jane and how “pastors” such as Eric Davis have responded to the heartbreaking story of her rape experience and a Christian school’s response to her. While reading Davis’ responses, I gather that he reads the Bible with authority. He writes a lot about authority, such as the authority of pastors and elders over a church. Is anyone surprised to hear how Jane was treated by those in authority over her?

Sadly, these men and women who claimed authority over Jane neglected to see her in a relational manner. They focused on sin, rules and regulations, and tried to make it all go away.  They neglected to see Jane as a wounded person. They neglected to see Jane’s strength as she gathered the courage to go to the police. They neglected to acknowledge the trauma that Jane had faced.

I believe that Jesus wept over Jane’s treatment by those who claimed spiritual authority over her. Anyone who claims to read the Bible should weep as well.

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Psalm 17

Hear, O Lord, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips. May my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. As for the deeds of men – by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover.

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life.

You sill the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Proverbs 12: 2 – 3

A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but the Lord condemns a crafty man. A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

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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.

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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 – Purple ribbons symbolize Domestic Violence Awareness month

SSB Gathering – May 14, 2017

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

20170512_074145

-by Kathi

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12: 9-15)

Today’s Gathering is going to be different than the usual Sunday. Mother’s Day can have different meaning and significance to everyone. If you have a mother in which you have a healthy relationship with, love dearly, and who loves you back, we rejoice with you. If you are a mother and have healthy relationships with your children, whom you love dearly and they love you back, we rejoice with you. If you are a mother figure to incredible people in your life, we rejoice with you.

However, there may be some here in which Mother’s Day brings conflict and turmoil. Perhaps you have struggled to become a mother and it has shaken your faith and relationships with other Christians; we mourn with you. If you are an adult child who lost a mother and the grief is overwhelming today, we mourn with you. You may have an unhealthy relationship with your mother in which there was abuse or mental instability; we mourn with you. Maybe you had a good relationship with your mother, but your religious views and faith have changed which has changed your relationship; we mourn with you.

The following was written by my dear friend, Tracey. Tracey struggled with infertility and relating with women and families in the church. I think we can all agree that the church has placed motherhood on a high pedestal. Sometimes that pedestal is unreachable to women and that may cause added pain and grief to the reality of not being able to bear children. At the time that I met Tracey I was a church goer and can honestly say that I never once thought about how women who struggle with infertility felt in the church. She opened my eyes with her raw honesty and I am forever thankful for that gift.

Tracey has given me permission to share her words with you today. I hope that you find them helpful. No matter how you feel today, please know that we rejoice and mourn with you. Continue reading