I'm still working on how we are supposed to view scripture and utilise it. If you've been following my blogs you'll notice its been something of a theme lately.
So what's wrong with the bible, you may ask? Nothing at all! Its totally inspired by God and preserved for us as a reference - everything God intended for us to have as a written record is in it! No problem there.
But here's the problem, as I have expressed from different angles before. If God wanted pure unified doctrines and theologies that would have held His church together, to stand in unity, grow into full maturity etc, how come he didn't spell it out in black and white, unambiguously, no room for interpretation. Well, you may say, the original languages have changed and we don't know a lot of the original context - all that sort of stuff. But didn't God know that? Didn't he realise that over 2000 years language and culture would change so radically that we would loose the plot? Why didn't He take that into account? After all, He is sovereign, and nothing is impossible for Him.
But wait - there's more! Even in the first church, they couldn't get it right. All Paul's letters are addressing various errors, and there were divisions from the word go. So if all the New Testament is so perfect, what are we missing?
Now don't get me wrong, I'm still saying its completely inspired by God and is exactly what He wanted to be recorded for us. But if we keep struggling to agree on so much stuff (and that's big issues, not just little things that don't matter) we have to start thinking that maybe this is what God planned all along. Maybe he actually didn't want a completely unambiguous set of instructions that we could hold up, and no one could possibly misinterpret. He could have done that if He wanted - He's God!
Maybe He left us this jumble of documents in the hope that we would rely on Him for truth, and maybe we could rely on each other. Maybe His plan is that we trust Holy Spirit in each other. And maybe, just maybe, He's not that fussed if our doctrines are wrong. He could be interested in relationship above all else. Maybe all He is really interested about is Love, after all, that's what He is. Perhaps He purposely allowed the confusion and errors and arguments so we could see that its not about following a set of instructions, that its all about Him. Our restored relationship. About Jesus and what He did to reconcile all mankind.
Maybe the whole purpose of the bible is to bring us to the end of ourselves, so that we just fall into His arms and let His love envelop us and reveal the unbelievable unity we now have with Him, even better than Adam and Eve had!
And maybe when we read it from that perspective we will see His words in a whole new light. God in us, united by the presence of Holy Spirit in every one of us, filling us with His love.
Maybe I'm a dreamer, but who gave us the capacity to dream?
(I'll keep expanding on this theme as its probably the core issue for many of us now, as we argue things like the validity of scripture and battle with fundamentalism.)