“When the Bible must be rewritten to accommodate a doctrine, it is the doctrine that is wrong, not the Bible.” – What is Universalism?
Before hearing of complementarianism and egalitarianism, I had already heard of universalism – and now find another to go with that: particularism (although I can’t be bothered to delve into that one).
Because each ism seems to require an opposite – a Ying to a Yang – a right to a wrong. – a biblically correct to a biblically incorrect. Always one side or the other. Always Black or White.
And – as far as I can see – every “ism” is a rewrite of the bible to accommodate the ism. As far as I can see the bible is continually being rewritten. And if is okay for “doctrine and dogma and qualified theology” – then it must be good enough for me.
Because I think every bible reader who is a seeker rewrites the bible.
But when I do it – unless it can be labelled with a recognised “ism” I fear such rewrites are regarded as subversive – even blasphemous. Because it seems that I must rewrite the bible only within a recognised ism or doctrine … Maybe so that those who agree can agree – and those who don’t can fire back their correct ism to prove mine wrong.
I think we class “personal rewriting” of the bible (“seeking” as I call it) as wrong. Yet the greatest rewriter of all was Jesus – or why else the Gospels … the Good News?
And if “God” is the only One with authority – and Jesus is authorised only by being the Son of God … Then either the bible is The Law and in “seeking” and rewriting I am lost for forever … Or we have completely missed the point of the very bible itself.
Missed the point of the bible being a Friend on my journey – a personal and intimate journey only I can travel – a journey in which we each seek the truth – a truth that changes as my journey and relationship evolves … Which makes one “truth” and one “bible” and one being right or being wrong very constricting.
And God isn’t – or else you have all sold me a lie!
Scriptural truth … biblical correctness … doctrines and denominations … more isms than I can shake a stick at … Each version telling me this one is right and the others are fatally flawed … this one is scripturally and biblically correct – and the others are not … each rewriting the bible and shouting for everyone to rally under this flag and this ism.
The reality and “truth” is that the bible is being rewritten all the time and by everyone. So that rewriting (and continual rewriting) – or not – is my choice
And if I keep rewriting and the bible becomes My Friend – then it must change as I change – as I rewrite the words on my heart. Or I must change and the bible doesn’t – because the words written on my heart are the same but I am not.
And which way around that is … why does it matter at all?
Unless I need the back-up of “biblical correctness” and “scriptural truth” – which is another way of saying “My preferred bible rewrite at this point” … un;less I need the earthly evidence of academic and qualified isms-doctrine to prove me right (and you wrong) … because then I disallow everyone else their rewriting AND their own journey of relationship … and that keeps me from God meeting me where I am … it means you get in the way and YOU insist that God meets me where YOU say he and I must meet..
Which does not work for me (or God?). And has one “fatal flaw” in the building blocks on which all else stands:
I have to believe in the biblical God as written. I have to remain within a line of the “biblical god as written in the bible” or else I cannot be a believer – and never was a saved soul – but just another “cultural Christian” – “seed” that was gobbled up – a lost soul – an all that “ying and yang” stuff.
Which – for me – means ANY journeying and relationship is STILL being controlled and defined by others.
And that leaves precious little freedom for me and my God Soft Hands Jesus to find our own path. A path which leaves the huge religious highways heading for the huge heavenly gates complete with flashing neon signs all screaming:
“All are NOT welcome here!”
And I don’t think that is biblically – or scripturally – correct.