This needs to be said. This may open the floodgates to break people free from the damage and bondage of the law-focused, behavior-focused, fundamental, religious, non-affirming church.
Jim Rigby, a Pastor, theologian, and one of the bravest, boldest men I know, has the guts to say it – and I want to share it with you today. This was a simple, powerful, poignant, and potentially life-changing post Jim made on Facebook.
I love the Bible and study it most days, but the Bible is not intended to be a substitute for a functioning human brain or heart.
I do not believe the sun rotates around the earth just because the Bible says that Joshua stopped the sun. I do not believe the mustard seed is the smallest seed even though Jesus said that it was.
The stories of the Bible can give communities a common vocabulary to talk about what it means a human being in the cosmos, but the Bible is not a reliable guide for science, or for history, or sometimes even for ethics.
The Bible says we are responsible for our own actions, which means we are also responsible for our own thinking. If the Bible can be wrong about astronomy and horticulture, it can also be wrong about slavery, evolution, women and homosexuality.
As the Bible itself warns, if anything (including our interpretation of the Bible) makes us loving, it is right; but if anything (including our interpretation of the Bible) makes us cruel, it is wrong.
You may not agree with everything Jim said, but please don’t miss the overall message…
If anything makes us loving, it is right; but if anything makes us cruel, it is wrong.
My counsel to you, as you listen to and process messages you may have heard from the church for decades, and as you read your Bible, is to proceed with caution. God is bigger than all of it, doing things we can’t see and don’t understand.
So breathe, look around you, look in the mirror, look into your heart.
Open up your ‘box-church‘ just a little and see what God does – listen to how the Spirit speaks to you and touches your heart.
There has been too much hurt and abuse and condemnation of those with whom we disagree or don’t understand, those who have been labeled by the non-affirming church as the “others.”
Err on the side of unconditional love and acceptance. There can never, ever be too much of that.
If you have to choose between love and doing what you think is right – choose love and you will always be right.