Is the bible even necessary if …

Can someone explain to me the difference between “legalism” (in my experience usually written of as “bad”), and “biblically correct” which uses different language (but ends up in the same place: commandments and “rules”) and is talked of as “good” (or even “necessary”).

My journey with the church and the bible left me this: there are so many words written in and outside of the bible because we really (really!) don’t want to get “love without condition”.

In previous conversations about “love without condition” I have been lovingly slapped down. 

What kind of love … what if that love endorses “bad people” (and/or beliefs) … what if the recipient lives the motto “law of the jungle” and imposes their will on everyone …  Essentially that “love is not enough – we need rules to keep the weak safe”.

Which is simply saying that love is weak. And it isn’t. Love is the toughest and most lasting thing I have ever come across. It is living and lives before birth, during life, and after death.

Love me, love you and love your neighbour as yourself.   Love without condition and let me take care of the rest.

Facebook prompted my words today: “Why Do So Many Christians Ignore the Command to Take Care of the Poor?”

Love isn’t mentioned.  Commandments are.  Why is that?  Why do we favour the pale conditional full of get-out-clauses “imitation of love” as described in the commandments?  And why do we consider that to be good theology?  Consider it to be correct bible reading.  Call it being a good Christian.

For me it makes God exclusive.  Keeps him in a nice neat box.  Keeps him out of sight behind the big polished church doors.  And allows “Christians” off the hook every time.  

Love without condition and let me take care of the rest.

Isn’t that biblically correct and all that I need?  Doesn’t that allow any of us the opportunity to walk in Love without donning a strait-jacket of correct religion?

We are coming up to the time of year the church loves best.  The time of year seen as the best marketing pitch for making new converts.  The time of the year when church life becomes all-consuming and burn-out far too frequent.  When Love Without Condition requires the “Christmas Story” full of conditions like sin and forgiveness, like death and
rebirth, like saying the right words as judged by the church. 

Love without condition and let me take care of the rest.

Wouldn’t that fix so much for so many without all the politicking of the secular and religious?  The politicking of which faith can gets most bums on seats (and coins in the collection)?  Of who is right and who is wrong about the bible?  Because my thought is this …

Is the bible even necessary if we all loved without condition and let him tale care of the rest?

It’s why I don’t go to church anymore.  It’s why I don’t study the bible anymore.  It’s why I don’t call myself a Christian anymore.  Too limiting.  To strait-jacket.  Too prescriptive.  Too “legal” whether legalese or correct theology.  I have to compromise and love conditionally.  I have to fit-in and believe the right things.  I have to be correct or incorrect.  I have to agree to NOT love without condition and let him take care of the rest.  I have to take care of the rest which stops me loving without condition.

Facebook is powerful.  So easy to throw up a meme, a neat phrase, a belief that always comes with conditions.  And results in me adding a few of my own.

I see him and what the bible means everywhere and in everyone.  I don’t distinguish between rich or poor, west or east, colour or a different colour, saved or saved for something else, churched or bigger than the church.  All of that is conditional and divisive.

What I see and am becoming day-by-day is love without condition (and let him take care of the rest).  

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

5 thoughts on “Is the bible even necessary if …

  1. Dear Paul,e
    loving unconditionally is the most difficult thing to do for the ordinary average person, with or without a Holy Book as a guide or condemner. Most people cannot even love themselves unconditionally let alone anyone else. Cannot suspend judgement on those who commit heinous crimes.
    At some point in our lives, we need to be one of those who hears the preacher so that we get to know the beauty and meaning of unconditional love, of the Agape. But let’s not make this into a god of our own making such that we worship the Love of God rather than the giver of Love.

    I have ideas running around what remains of my brain but not the happiness to write. Love Andrew


    • Andrew, happy new year and I hope the happiness soon returns. Until then the very biggest hugs from me.
      And a thought – unconditional love (as happiness or the lack of) need not be a permanent state of mind – nor a god of any sort. For me it is becoming a “being”. And some days my “being” is strong and pure – other days quite weak and jaded. But just as love is love – for me so is unconditional. For if my whole being can only give 5% “unconditional” in that moment – do you not have my all just as you do if I can easily give 80 … 90 … 120%
      Happiness, I find, is happiness no matter how fleeting.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paul, When you put it like this it seems completely different. my brain fog is lifting, recovering from the Christmas that wasn’t. We managed Carols but await the Presbyteries take on whether it is safe to commence services again.

        I watched the funeral of an old friend on Facebook because there was not enough room in the church and because it was too hot to walk down there safely.
        There are 4 of us older people left now and we are feeling very extinct, everyone else is young enough to be children or grandchildren. Rose was 89 and diagnosed with an aggressive Brain tumour 6 weeks ago – the hymns chosen were great – ones we knew. I am only 68 in 16 days but feel more at home with the older ones since the next bracket down is very much younger and active. Jessica has recovered well from thyroid surgery and is expecting surgery again on 24th January, if the hospital remains open. 11,500+ cases yesterday. Happy New Year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Happy New Year Andrew! As for age – it’s only a number.

          I remember being invited to a stag weekend with our (soon to be) son-in-law. “The next bracket down” was very much more energetic and “up for it” than I was. Without a thought I chose a pot of green tea instead of “joining in with the beer afternoon” (before the “beer evening” and even rowdier “beer early hours”) – chose to head for my hotel bed at an hour that suited me. And that freedom to be me left me free to enjoy the fun of the weekend and the young ones who were being themselves as well – and (this really amazed me) had the youngsters loving my “self-confidence” to be be me rather than try and be them.

          Taught me a thing or two about these “numbers” and our own perception of them. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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