Friday, June 08, 2007

rough day yesterday

I had a rough day yesterday. I listened to a preacher on the radio and I wanted to really pay attention to what he said. He talked a lot about how scripture should be taken seriously. He told the listening audience that churches today were heading in the wrong direction because they have moved away from a literal interpretation of the bible. He went on to describe the bible with big words like inerrant, infallible, authoritative and some other ones that I can't pronounce.

So after I heard his message, I vowed to finally take scripture seriously. I was done with the wayward interpretations of the liberals. Scripture had to be taken literally and I was determined to do so. God demands nothing less.

I figured the best place to start was one of the Gospels. Since Matthew came first, I began reading through the whole book. It was awesome! While Jesus was being tempted he said, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." And since I was knee deep in scripture, I skipped breakfast.

The hard part came when I got to the Sermon on the Mount. It said, "Anyone who says,'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." I know I have called people a fool quite a few times. I began to get really nervous. I always thought that I was saved by grace through faith but I see that I was wrong. Hell is real and if I keep calling people "a fool" then I am headed there. I began to sweat as I read on.

"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away." Wow, taking scripture seriously was going to be hard. I knew it would take commitment but I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into. I figured a butter knife would be the best tool for the job. I knew I had lusted after girls before, so it was time for my right eye to go. I leaned over the bathroom sink, dug the knife in as deep as it would go and gave a quick thrust downward. Sure enough, my eyeball came out. Blood began to gush into the sink and I had to snip the cord that was attaching my eye to my head. But I just stuffed my socket with cotton balls and got back to reading.

"And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away." Here we go again. I pulled the axe out of the shed and put a stick in my mouth. I knew this was going to hurt. I was proud though. With one swift chop using my left hand, there went my right hand, straight into the trash. I was feeling a bit light-headed now. I was losing a lot of blood. But I knew God wanted me to take scripture seriously. And the preacher on the radio told me this meant taking scripture literally, so I knew I was doing the right thing. A little dizzy and covered in blood, I got back to my bible. I thought to myself, "Maybe this is why in some bibles Jesus words are in red."

I read on. I was encouraged by these words, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." This was going to be easy for me because I no longer had a right hand. So as long as I kept my feet from knowing what my left hand was doing, I would be good to go.

I made it all the way to the part that says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I knew this would be the end. I had a healthy savings account waiting for me when I walked into Bank of America. And I knew I must obey God's word. I told the lady at the counter to please put my heart in a safe deposit box for me. I knew I wouldn't have long after my heart was removed from my chest. My hunting buddy came with me. He knocked me out and then opened me up with his deer knife. He sliced all of my connecting tissues, arteries and veins and politely handed my heart to the nice lady at the counter.

I was dead. I was also a bit confused. I wasn't sure how a person could make it past the 21st verse of the 6th chapter of Matthew. Why was there more in the New Testament? If people really took scripture seriously, if they really took it literally, then no one would be alive to preach about it. That is when I realized that the guy on the radio didn't really know what he was saying.

I realized that the preacher didn't mean that we should take all of scripture literally. He just meant that we should take literally the parts that he took literally and take figuratively the parts he took figuratively. In short, all he was really saying is that we should read scripture the way he reads it. I sure wish he would have just said that.


At 9:25 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

You crack me up!:o)

At 1:45 AM, Blogger CM said...

I think you go to hell for stuff like this! See you soon!

At 7:30 AM, Blogger ballofdirt said...

Mark are you Okay?
I would be careful you are treading very close to blasphemy.
Our response to scripture should be-
Believe it (john 6:68,69)

Honor it (Job 23:12)

Love it (Ps 119:97,98)

Obey it (1 John 2:5)

Guard it (1 Tim. 6:20)

Fight for it (Jude 3,4)

Preach it (2 Tim. 4:2)
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.

Study it (Ezra 7:10)
Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach it's statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Why don't you explain all the different types of writings that are in the Bible, instead of mocking them. What is literal and what are principles, and how do we apply them to our lives today. You also not think we should judge others why are you judging this way?

James 3:1
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

I would take the -"judged more strictly"- literally.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Can't wait for you and Amy to get here. Its going to be fun. Let me know if there is anything I can do for your team while you guys are here. Peace.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

Hi Mark. I've read most of your blogs and although didn't always agree with what you wrote, I would reserve comment and allow you to have your opinion.

With this post, I cannot stay silent. Ballofdirt may be correct in stating that you are treading very close to blasphemy. However, I see your post in a slightly different way.

I am going to assume that you are a man who is truly seeking what is right. Just like me, you want to know the God you serve, what our response should be toward Him, and how that plays out in our lives in relation to other believers and unbelievers.

With that being said, I can only chalk up your post to immaturity.
The verses that you mock are there to show the severity of sin.

I know you're trying to be funny to prove a point about taking some Scripture literally. I have a sense of humor and so does Jesus. There are some funny moments in the New Testament.

Since you don't agree with what the preacher on the radio said, maybe you can tell your readers and your congregation what verses in the Bible should be taken literally.

According to Ephesians 4, pastors and teachers are "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the staure of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."

I know I'm being harsh and some may want me to lighten up a little. There are plenty of things the "church" does that we could laugh at. (Comedy or tragedy? It's a fine line.)

I want to encourage you to look beyond "liberal" or "conservative", Jesus was neither.

I always tell my daughter that no matter who says it, John MacArthur, Brian McLaren, Pat Robertson, Tony Campolo, Tony Evans, or me, check it against Scripture. You won't go wrong. God bless ya real good.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Mark said...

knucklehead wrote: "With that being said, I can only chalk up your post to immaturity."

Maybe. Or you could chalk up my post to:
1. humor
2. sarcasm
3. satire
4. hyperbolic parable
5. a whimsical nature
6. too much caffiene
7. too much free time
8. critical commentary on the nature of the current debate about the authority of scripture in American churches

All of these might fit. Jesus often used hyperbolic and satirical parables to make a point. He got mixed reviews as well.


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