The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

For a while, just to keep my sanity, I’ve kind of held the opinion that the Old Testament is not a bunch of stuff we are supposed to do, but that it’s history, poetry, and a record of the Israelites. Kind of like, Proverbs is not a book to live by, it’s a book full of wise sayings and teachings ( some of which to a specific person, mind you), not stuff you’re SUPPOSED to do. (Have I mentioned I hate lists of rules and supposed-to’s?)

But it kind of occurred to me last night…and I know I’ve been told this as well, but really, most of the books of the new testament are letters to specific churches who had specific problems. In Corinth, there was a lot of sexual immorality, so they were written a letter talking about that. Not saying that these aren’t good things even if they weren’t written to us, or to me personally. But really, isn’t everything supposed to be in context?? Isn’t taking what Paul says to the Corinthians, for example, and applying it to my life, saying “I HAVE to do this because the Bible says”, taking it out of context?

Basically what I’m trying to say is, the letters written to the churches are guidelines not rules. Like Proverbs. Well, not even “guidelines”…more like “apply these if need be, or if you want, but don’t say this is The Way”. I mean, isn’t it kind of legalistic, as well, to take everything ever written to the churches and say We Have To Do This?

Also in thinking about this, and in light of this post [blog shut down…basically the post was that there are different teachers for different needs…some may need Rob Bell, some may need John Piper], I kind of wonder if the debate between predestination and free will couldn’t be cleared up right here. Such and such church needed to hear about predestination; these other people over here needed to hear about free will. Does that make sense?

So people would say “but the Bible says it’s God-breathed and profitable for correction, reproof, etc, blah blah blah”…but if you think about it…what that writer was talking about was what we call the Old Testament. And he didn’t mean they were supposed to keep following the Law either! (And after all, it WAS men that decided what would be included in the canon. The “New Testament” wasn’t around when he said that…it was still being written!)

Pretty much what you’re left with is the Gospels, namely, what Jesus said. If you ask me, following what Jesus said is a hell of a lot easier, less legalistic, and more childlike (didn’t he say “come to me like a child”?). And basically what Jesus said was “love God, love your neighbor”.

That, I can handle.

(And no, I’m not trying to “pick and choose” and find a “palatable” gospel. I’m trying to get back to the basics of what is actually necessary, and throw off what’s not.)

Something else I’ve always wondered is…isn’t it in a parable Jesus says “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your lord”? Why does everyone take that to mean that’s what Jesus says when people get to heaven? Not saying he doesn’t; I have no clue. But still, that was a parable, not a definitive truth of God. Parable = allegorical story, example, analogy…not gosh-darn truth.

So yeah, kinda my rambly thoughts for now.

Phoenix On March - 17 - 2011

16 Responses so far.

  1. Sara says:

    I’m sorry, I know this was a serious post and I really enjoyed it, but I am laughing thinking about the line from Pirates of the Caribbean…. “the code is more what you’d call…guidelines, than actual rules!” 😉

  2. Fran says:

    Food for thought Anne. I can see where your going. Something to study on.

  3. Aunt Di says:

    I see you very much trying to move into living by grace, not by the Law. The Law was given to make us aware of how incapable we are of being righteous by ourselves, so that we would receive with great joy the good news of Jesus’s redemption for us. I think you’ve had an overkill of the Law in your life (not even necessarily the Law as given, but man’s interpretation of that Law), and you need the freedom that Christ has given us. Paul was very aware of his sin, and bemoaned it–yet said there is “no condemnation” for those in Christ. Just be careful in your seeking that you don’t fall into the trap of believing that there is no sin, or that it doesn’t matter, or that truth is relative. Sometimes when people are rejecting legalism, they throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject that God’s Word is truth. It’s ALL truth, and must be taken as a whole.

    You wrote that analogy isn’t truth; I would counter that it is partial truth–the metaphor itself (e.g., the Kingdom being a mustard seed or a pearl) of course is symbolic, but the spiritual truth being imparted by the analogy is truth. You are right if you meant that if someone takes the metaphor literally the are misapplying it; but even so we should not disregard the true point Jesus was making.

    We should chat sometime in person…so much to discuss, too little cyber space! Ha!

    Love and hugs! Aunt Diane

  4. Joanna says:

    I agree with this 100%. That is where a lot of these faulty ideas and theologies come from… one verse to a specific church “wives submit to your husbands”… And now it is applied all across the board in a very misinterpreted manner. 😛

    “Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

    I think… of course if I love God I will do “good deeds” in His name, but *MY* good deeds aren’t determined by another HUMAN PERSON. 😛 LOL

  5. Lina says:

    Finally, somebody gets it!

    Of course, I do believe in keeping the Law, better known as the Torah, but Gentiles are not obligated to do so 🙂

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      That comment didn’t really make sense…you agree with me, but keep the law? Sounds like you’re adding a bunch of unnecessary rules into your life. 🙂

  6. Young Mom says:

    I love this! It’s exactly the sort of conclusion I’m coming too. I don’t feel like God gave us the law so we could see how horribly we fail at keeping it, more like he gives us great guidelines for living a peaceful productive life. I don’t rules for my kids just so I can point and laugh and be all “I told you so!” when they can’t measure up, why would God do that? I agree with you on context too. One person’s approach to their challenge and battle doesn’t mean everyone else must do what they do in order to be “a real christian”.

  7. IC says:

    Thank you. So pertinent in my life right now. If you ever wanted to edit this post, the link to the “threeinonemakesfive” blog is broken due to her shutting it down and moving on.

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      You’re welcome. Thanks for the tip…I forgot I’d linked to her blog. I’ll have to see if she posted that post on her new blog.

  8. IC says:

    What is her new blog? I’d love to know.

  9. nakiru says:

    Have you read any of Elizabeth Esther’s blog? I think you might find some comfort and healing there.

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.

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