I’m sitting here at my desk catching up on some work after everyone has left the office and listening to the Jesus Lens again. There’s still so much in this series that I’m trying to absorb. Its just such a different perspective from my past experience!
Anyhow, I have a question (as usual). In the first dialog session a comment is made about reading scripture and the fear of just choosing to read it the way that makes yourself feel good. I thought about this a while and I have to wonder.
I understand the woman’s concern about just interpreting scripture in a way that makes us feel good and “creating God in our image” as you put it. However, when I look at how the majority of believers (especially here in the south) look at God and scripture isn’t it really the other way around? Don’t we actually interpret scripture in the worst possible way instead? There seems to be this idea in the evangelical arena that the most fearful and nightmarish interpretation of scripture is the “safe” one and therefore the “best” one. It seems to me that our sinful religious tendencies pull us toward whatever interpretation of scripture will affirm us in our fear and shame and it also seems to me that that is contrary to everything Father is trying to walk us out of. Isn’t using an ultra conservative interpretation of scripture to twist Father’s presentation of himself in the Son into a religious caricature at least as egregious an error as a liberal interpretation that makes God out to be “too nice”?
Maybe the reality is that Father’s grace is so generous and free and his nature so kind and gentle that both ideas offend our religious sensibilities and we run “back to Egypt” so to speak in our interpretation of scripture. From a fleshly perspective we seem to prefer the terrifying law giver view of God because that gives us a perceived measure of control (do good get good, do bad get bad) whereas grace and mercy properly understood leave us in the wonderful but terrifying position of being completely out of control. I think the danger of interpreting scripture in a way that makes us comfortable is certainly there but doesn’t it pale in comparison to the danger of interpreting scripture in a way that makes our being with Father uncomfortable?
All I can say is Yes! Yes! Yes!
As Father wins us into his love and we see him as he really is, you’ll read all of Scripture differently, as if it came from a Father who loves you not a god who desires to condemn and destroy you.
If you haven’t watched or listened to The Jesus Lens, it’s a free resource from Lifestream if you want to stream it, or you can purchase the DVD here. Here’s what others have said about this series:
THE JESUS LENS material is excellent. Fresh, relevant and anointed.
– David, retired teacher in Ashford, Ireland
I love everything about it, especially what it says about the Bible being a love letter. This has breathed new life into my Bible reading!
– Julie, mother of three in California
These sessions opened up a fresh way of looking at the Scriptures as God’s unfolding love story through the lens of His son, Jesus.
– Barry, retired military in Virginia
I feel like I’ve been handed a missing piece of my heart. (The Bible has often been just another source of shame. Now I can see how God is restoring it to its proper and useful place in my life.)
– Susan, former slave of shame
THE JESUS LENS is an incredible look at the Scriptures. Having read the Bible all of my life, this teaching has endeared me in a whole new way to the amazing story of my loving.
– Dawn, a member of the studio audience