Last time, we explored some of the many posts in the Bible that are so confusing – and sometimes, even offensive – that they prompt readers to exclaim Wednesday Thursday Friday (WTF)?!?
And I can’t tell you how many readers immediately responded with anger and incredulity at the presumptuousness, audacity and blasphemy of this exercise. (I really can’t, because none of you actually responded this way.) But if this WTF series does strike you as a bad idea, let me point out in so many words that I think this is an extremely Godly angle from which to look at the Scriptures.
I’m convinced that God wants us to actually read the Bible for ourselves – not simply listen to what pastors and scholars say about it. And when we bump into something in Scripture that rubs us the wrong way, it’s our responsibility (not merely our right) to engage with it; to push back and even to cry out to God for an answer about what on earth (or in heaven) She put these passages in the Bible for.
It’s also a good idea to read what the experts have said and written about these passages, to talk with other believers and to go so far as to ask your pastor what he or she thinks and feels about them.
For a time, I was reluctant to pull on these uncomfortable threads out of fear of unravelling the whole tapestry of my faith in the process. ‘I can’t wrestle too much with 2 Kings 2:23-24, because I might end up losing Jesus.’ That was my prison for a while.
But I don’t think that prison was built by God.
I think God is standing in the wrestling ring, just like He was with Jacob, waiting patiently for me to join Him.
The Truth of Jesus transcends any real or misguided misgivings we might have about the veracity and reliability of the Bible – either as a whole, or in the individual passages that tend to give us heartburn.
Whatever humanity got wrong when we transcribed God’s word, whatever was intended for audiences of previous millennia and has now become obsolete but lives on anyway and should now be viewed more as historical literature rather than timelessly relevant to all humanity, Jesus still saves.
So I invite you to continue with me on this brief WTF journey through the Scriptures – and then take one of your own.
My guess is that it will only sharpen your faith, not dull it.
Peace be with you.