Walking Our Faith: Where do you stand – duct tape bible part 5 (column)
Walking Our Faith
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And we are told he did so in six days and rested on the seventh and it is exactly this language which has created proof for atheists that of course by our measure of 24 hours in a day, God certainly could not have created the entire world in six days and rested on the seventh, because we have the theory of evolution which tells us that our universe evolved over millions of years.
And so the faithful say, perhaps one day was actually one million years, in order to square the words of the Bible with science. But what if one day was actually one second? Because we read in the Bible that one second in the mind of man is one thousand years in the mind of God and one thousand years in the mind of man is one second to God. In other words, perhaps as Albert Einstein demonstrated, our understanding of time is still a work in progress and our minds yet cannot comprehend what God can accomplish in a definition of time that we cannot yet imagine.
Such is the mystery of this book we call the Bible. To my mind, science is not a challenge to faith but a celebration of it. I believe, for instance, the discoveries of quantum physics confirm the beauty of the mind of God.
Over the last five weeks, we’ve discussed different views of the Bible. Some feel it’s perfect, others see it as perfectly flawed. This week I’m sharing the last two pastors who responded to my question of why we should read the Bible.
We’ll begin with Pastor Travis Thomsen of Rocky Mountain Bible Church in Frisco:
“We are ridiculously Bible focused here at Rocky Mountain Bible Church, to the point that some have called us, ‘radical Biblicists,’ for our beliefs. Mind you, we are not doing anything radical here — simply believing God’s word in the most literal way we can. So, almost every time we have a service or event at the church, we are studying our Bibles.
“We are convinced that the Bible is essential to our walk of faith, so we study God’s word prayerfully, systematically and contextually to hopefully arrive at the exact meaning God intended when he inspired the sacred writings. We take passages like 1 Tim 3:16-17, 2 Tim 2:15, Matt 5:18, 24:35, Luke 16:17, 21:33 quite seriously so we cling to the Bible as the key to knowing Jesus, and he is the foundation for our faith. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, ‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will my word be which goes forth from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding (in the matter) for which I sent it.’ So, we know that God’s word has an intended purpose in our lives every time we open it.”
Pastor Calob Rundell, of Father Dyer United Methodist Church in Breckenridge, shares his view:
“The Bible is a big complicated book, with a long, complicated history. There are as many thoughts on how to read and understand the Bible as there are passages of scripture. A lot of it will have little to no deeper meaning to the first-time or casual reader. Some of the content is quite graphic and violent. Some of the content is poetic in a way that does not resonate with our current taste. Truthfully, there are parts of the Bible that are basically Game of Thrones episodes (minus the dragons … mostly).
“But, read the Bible anyway. Because among the confusing lists of who begot who, and who invaded what, and who went where, you will find words of life. You will find words of wisdom. You will find words of hope. You will find words from God.
“Start with the Gospels of Luke, Mark, Matthew or John. Or start with the book of Ecclesiastes. Or start at the very beginning. Just start and let the words of the Bible find you. And if questions start to develop for you, there are all sorts of people and churches in Summit County that would love to explore those questions with you.”
I don’t believe it’s my place to tell you where to go to church or how to view the Bible. But as this is an opinion column where I share my walk of faith, I want to share how I view the Bible. I believe the Bible is the word of God. And because it is a holy and complex book, it has been used throughout its history to raise and destroy nations. The very words that prophesied the coming of Christ were eventually turned against him. So, man’s propensity to use the word of God to harm one another and even himself, is certainly not news to God.
If the Bible was created by man for the enslavement of men, it would be good if we decided it was too dangerous to be trusted and should be put on a shelf as old superstitious tales for a less sophisticated time in history.
But I don’t believe that for a moment. I believe the Bible is the living word of God that speaks to us individually wherever we are, whoever we are. I believe the pages are filled with God’s love for us. I believe that when we open its pages and ask God to meet us, when we read slowly and thoughtfully, God speaks to us. To each of us, individually. This is my experience.
The Bible is indeed a divine revelation of the mind of God and perhaps it is only understood in each age by the limits of the human mind at that moment in history. But that does not diminish its sacred truth.
My hope is that you won’t believe me but will open your Bible and begin to read. Open your heart and mind and ask God to share the message he has written just for you.
Suzanne lives in Breckenridge. Her books are available at the Next Page Books and Nosh in Frisco. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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