I struggle to accept the label of “Christian” as describing my relationship with my God. That struggle confuses other Christians.
I hope the following comes somewhere close to illustrating why (it is a fiction around the essence of something that did happen).
a) What makes a good text V what makes a bad text?
b) Which version should be used to teach V which should not.
c) Mark 3:20-21 … the following are five different translations/versions of those two verses.
Question: Did Jesus’ own family think he was mad?
Then Jesus went to his house, and again a crowd gathered, And the multitude assembled again, And the multitude cometh together again, Then Jesus went home; and the crowd came together again, So many people came again
I hope you agree there is nothing contentious here. Proceed …
so that they were not even able to eat a meal. so that they could not so much as eat bread. so that they could not so much as eat bread. so that they could not even eat. that they could not even eat.
I hope you agree there is nothing contentious here either. Proceed …
And when his family heard this, And when his kinsfolks heard of it, And when his friends heard of it, When his family heard it, When Jesus’ family heard about this,
I hope you agree there is nothing contentious in this bit either. Proceed …
they went out to take charge of him they went out to lay hold on him: they went out to lay hold on him: they went out to restrain him, they came to take him away.
Seems to be this is where the action kicks off …
for people were saying, “He is out of his mind.” for they said that he was beside himself. for they said, He is beside himself for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” They said, `He is crazy.’
Let bible class begin …
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People call me a Christian. My “Christian” friends call themselves Christians. We are all Christians. Which means everyone knows who we are: We are the same.
So the church expects conformity. We “Christians” expect conformity. Our “denomination” expects conformity. Other faiths expect conformity. Politicians expect conformity. Those who don’t believe they are Christians expect conformity. Everyone expects conformity. Except for the reality … :
There is not “One True God” and never has been.
There is just your God, and my God, and his God over there, and her God behind there … Just as each of the “sacred texts” was the God of that person inspired to write. Just as each of the translators was. As each of the readers through the ages was. Each connecting with their very own personal God. Just as I do here.
Doers that – for me – make it all irrelevant? Is there “no God” (which is just another belief)? Not for me.
I have my One True God. Just as you do.
We each have our very own relationship – however intimate or distant – with a personal (or formal) God we love … or worship .. or praise … or accept … or dismiss … or hate … or think does not exist at all. A God we can never “prove” (or disprove) to anyone as the “One True God” – hence the words faith and belief. A God who is just another belief in a web of beliefs we all live by and within. Just this One is meant to run things – create things – sort things out (to everyone’s liking) – so He comes in for more flak than all the other beliefs (we don’t even realise we have)
The same is true in countries where “their God” is just “plain wrong” and not the “One True God” at all – “they” look at “us” and think exactly the same.
Which is why I find myself back at .. “Love is always the answer (AND the question … AND the messy bits in-between)”
“God” is one word – the edited version of “One True God” makes it even more just “one word” – any editing always will.
Whereas … “Unconditional Love” … is two words.
I like the unedited version.