Thursday, November 29, 2007

Being a Christ Follower

How do we read the bible, how do we take the words and transform these into meaning, into thought, into spiritual food? How can we keep from having these words from being slanted to a viewpoint? I have really struggled question. How do we read the bible without putting our slant onto it or viewing it through our own personal lens (if I am left liberal I read the verses about social justice but forget about sin and hell because its too difficult, if I am a conservative evangelical I care about sin and hell but I don't take the fact that the bible asks me to feed the sick, care for the hungry seriously, or any other view that you can put on the bible.)

For me I believe that the bible is more than a set of guidelines for life, its is a means to getting to know GOD, getting to know Jesus and forming a relationship with the divine. The whole story of the bible relates to this idea. We sinned, we fell short, God out of his glorious goodness and grace sent his son Jesus to the world, so that we could come into relationship with him, in this relationship we are transformed, changed, made new. This is a continual process, the end point occurs some time in the future.

I believe the Christians are in relationship with a true personal God, who wants relationship with all his children.

For me, I understand the whole story of the bible through the gospels. The story of Jesus on earth, in Jesus we have a revelation of Gods love for the world, for all people. Jesus's walk on the earth showed us a new way to live - a new way to be human.

I believe that the gospels are the centre to our understanding, but its not just the gospels but the God man at the centre of that story, Jesus Christ. At the moment I have become more used to reading the gospels, I need to, I need to come and read more and more about my Rabbi, my Lord, my saviour, my God, Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate hero, Jesus is the ultimate example of how to live.

I say that its a relationship, because as a person I believe that the truth is "subjective truth" - now people will say that I'm postmodern and wish washy, but I don't think so. I believe that I have not go it all sorted, actually the more I realise it I know very little and I am still learning a lot, I have not got what it means to be a Christ follower, a christian down pact. I can be arrogant, I can be impatient, I can be down right annoying to people, I make myself out to be something I am not and act to make myself look better than I really am. I certainly do not have the fruits of the spirit down pact and I am really really clumsy! I am a blogger (meaning at times I blog for my own self gratification or for people to look at me!). I am learning what it means to worship God, live a Christlike life, give God glory with every second and finding that I can not do it all my own! I need God but I also need friends, my community of faith, my family to help me along. In reality I am just a leper in need of a large self help group some times and I am struggling to understand the depth of my fathers love for me, and for everyone else on earth.

I do not know if this way all meant to come out like this, but it has!

So what was the point of this whole blog?

For me, the centre of the message is found in Christ. At the moment I'm centring my life on understanding, listening and learning about Christ, what hes done for me and what it means to be a servant. I do this by centring my spiritual forays and journeys through the bible on coming back to the gospels constantly (for me this has meant focusing on the synoptics primarily - Mathew, Mark and Luke). I'm trying to go about this in a kind of systematic way. I will read a book from the bible then go back to the gospels and read the gospels, because I want my interpretive lens to be the life and teachings of Jesus!

I believe that we have to build our lives on the life and message of Jesus, the cornerstone. Then the building we create on top will be on solid ground (N.B - we may have to renovate, repaint and redesign from time to time whats on top - this can be really painful - especially if we have to go through a real gutting! - actually as I think of this let God be the one doing the designing on top, usually it leads to more even surfaces, he is the master craftsman and perfecter!)


Nathan Bayliss said...

Yep, that prity much sums it up....

Nathanael Baker said...

Thanks Nathan, I hope everything is going well for you with work and life. Its good to read your blogs, keeps me thinking, keeps me real. Again, thankyou for the simple comment, its always good to get encouragement!