One of my favorite things about writing is, at the end of any given month when I haven't been inspired to write
about anything in particular, when all of a sudden … boom … there it is! That's what I'm supposed to write
about! It usually happens while I'm in the shower (sorry to those of you who know me personally for any images that
may conjure) and then I hurry to my computer and start writing like a banshee that's been lit on fire (if it's
possible to light an Irish mythological spirit on fire, that is)!
So, what's the Earth shattering topic that I've been inspired to write about this month? Well, it's right at the top of the page. I want to spend a little time on the Book. Which Book am I talking about? C'mon, I would have thought that the fact that I've capitalized the word every time I've typed it would've been a hint. I'm talking about the Bible. That's what the word Bible literally means, Book. Now, I could spend some time on why that is, but I'd probably put you to sleep. And, let's face it, every time you fall asleep on the toilet, your legs get numb.
Okay, you remember the Bible, right? It's that leather-bound tome on the coffee table that you write the birthdates of all the new family members in … that's covered with old copies of Field and Stream and Sports Illustrated. Or, maybe it's in your nightstand, or behind the seat in your truck. It's the one that you grab on the way into church every Sunday for that time when the Pastor makes everybody stand as he reads the verse(s) that will be pertinent to his sermon … that you have to endure before you can head to Applebee's.
Here is a statement of truth: The Bible contains everything that you'll ever need to deal with any situation that you will encounter until the day that the Lord calls you home to Heaven. If you have a problem with anything in the previous sentence … seriously … have you even read The Bible? I know that there are those of you reading this who are of the opinion that the only relevant teachings in the Bible are the ones that come after the book of Malachi. That would be The New Testament for you heathens out there. After all, we call ourselves Christians, don't we? That makes us followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, doesn't it? And it's Jesus' teachings in The New Testament that are the guidelines for how we are to live our lives. And if that is your stance on the subject, I can only disagree with you on one point: that they are the only relevant teachings. Why? Because, what verses does Christ Himself recall in the of face challenges from … oh, I don't know … the elders, the pharisees, Pilate, Satan? That's right, verses from The Old Testament!
Ah ha! Gotcha there didn't I?
Your statutes are wonderful; therefore, I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119: 129-130
Yes, I agree that there are some pretty funky things in The Old Testament that really do need some serious study. And, if you're involved with a men's Bible study like I am on Wednesdays, you will have ample time to do just that. There's nothing wrong with questioning anything, including the Bible. There's nothing wrong with a little spirited debate (those who know me just shook their heads) that can provide some much-needed context that we may not be able to see all by our lonesome. That's how we learn. Just keep in mind that no two people on the Earth will ever believe exactly the same thing on all subjects. And I, for one, encourage you to exercise your imagination concerning the less … shall we say … specific things that are in scripture. Remember, you are allowed to have your own personal beliefs and you will remain Christians, even if some of your closest brothers and sisters disagree with you about the small stuff. Just don't go off the deep-end questioning the big stuff. If you have any beliefs that are in conflict with what scripture tells us, sorry to be blunt (no, I'm really not), but you're wrong.
Remember that time that things in your life went all higgledy-piggledy (higgledy-piggledy means got real messy) and you pulled out your Bible, opened it to some random page, closed your eyes and pointed to that verse that was going to explain away all your pain and put you back on the road to peace and harmony? No? Seriously, I'm the only one? C'mon, you know that you've done it (or not, whatever). You read the verse and thought … huh? This verse isn't even remotely relevant to anything that's happened to anyone who's every existed in the history of the universe!
Really? Maybe you should've read this article before you did that because there's a word that I used three paragraphs ago … context, that stuff that you don't ever remember to tell your wife when she gets mad about something that you did … that can make all the difference. Another important point is that we were never meant to go-it-alone. We are always supposed to seek out Christian fellowship rather than try to sort through all of life's problems by ourselves. But, I don't want to give you the impression that the Bible is only useful when things have gone, again, all higgledy-piggledy. All you married guys have to do is take a look at The Old Testament book, The Song of Solomon <wink, wink>.
Now, for some serious stuff. If you're (still) reading this, I can only assume that you're a follower of Jesus Christ. If that's so, and you don't actively want to read scripture daily about His reason for coming here to be with us for that all-too short time so long ago, then I say that you don't have the right to call yourself a Christian.
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
G. J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA. Look for his novels on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.GerardFortier.com