I am familiar with Christian thinking that “the bible” is only “available” to those who “God has chosen” and that, for “the rest”, the bible is too difficult to understand and/or the Devil has “closed their minds” to “them” to believing the bible.
I used to agree with that view.
Because the bible says we ”will only see dimly” … the bible says it is closed to those who do not want to believe … that we are “chosen” just as the Chosen People were chosen … that we now have privileges those who “choose not to believe” will never have … that “our names” are written on God’s hand before “we” were even born … that “we are Family” and “they” are not.
But “All Are Welcome”.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” John 6:51-58
We are an “all are welcome” audience. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand … Jesus Walks on the Water … Jesus the Bread of Life … Many Disciples Desert Jesus … Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles …
Maybe because this is for “all are welcome” … unfamiliar with The Chosen People’s ways and history … Maybe that is why “The Pharisees” are not present. Instead “The Jews” are present – the “Chosen People” just like “us” today. And “The Jews” are not happy. Looking for the literal you see. Cannibalism (or some such pagan stuff) – no sign of Matthew “fulfilling prophecy” today because that’s not the way “all are welcome” think.
All are welcome think of cannibals and pagan rituals because that’s the way “we” have been brought up. It’s also probably why some in the early church wanted “us” to adopt “their” ways with the snipping and all – cut the pagan out and put the Chosen in.
Although the snipping has always seemed very pagan to me.
I am coming to the conclusion that, as with so many exclusive clubs, the bible has been intentionally and purposely “mystified”. It has been “voodoo-ised”. Wrapped in the secrets of superstition and “bad things will happen” (to those who do not believe the magic).
And what of the “God breathed words” which embroider the bible with this mystique? I have come to think there are many words that we make mean what we will. That we don’t like saying “I don’t know” – that we make these words our own “chosen” words.
Because if this was such “Good News” that “all are welcome” must receive, that should be “preached to all nations” so that ALL (who believe) become “disciples” …
Why do we still make it all about “conditions by which Love may be given and received” … ? Why is this “Love for all” still conditional (for all) … ? Why is something we would NEVER withhold from those we “love” withheld from those we “love” (spiritually)?
And why is all of that justified and validated by this “voodoo enhanced bible” we hold as sacred? Take ALL of that away … and Love (without condition) is left.
Which seems to irk Christians – because Christians have “earned” their salvation by believing in voodoo ahead of Love.
Maybe that is why this is such a “hard word” to understand. There is no voodoo. There are no conditions. Love is Love.
Unless we dress it up to be something else and then it is not love at all. And then it is the HEAVY BURDENSOME and DAUNTING CROSS that even the most die-hard Christians doubt their ability “to carry”.
Because THAT is the voodoo we have weaved into the Good News.