When could we not stand on the Word?

I wish some Christians will be a little more humble.

When others – especially fellow Christians – correct you, the best answer is often not: “I am standing on the Word, which will always be more right than your opinions!”

Sometimes, you have the Word and your critics have the Word. They just understand it differently. You may be able to enrich your faith or your understanding of God by being teachable.

Peter probably felt: “I will not eat with gentile Christians! I am standing on the Word!” Well, he was wrong. (Acts 10)

Paul and Barnabas argued on whether to take along John Mark, a youngster who previously left them. (Acts 15:36-40) Paul could have said: “Faithfulness is important! I am standing on God’s Word, and will not take along anyone who does not obey the admonishment to be faithful!” Barnabas could have said: “The Word says that God forgives and gives second chances. I am standing on the Word.” Well, it ended up that God’s word could be spread (and stood on) by a team including John Mark or by a team excluding him. Whatever.

Sometimes it is time to stop standing on the Bible. The Bible is not a pedestal to make you look taller. Sometimes it is time to pick it up from the floor. To read it with your fellow believer beside you. To together make out the words now hidden by your dirty footprints. To discuss together what we understand from those words. To learn from each other, and then look at the Bible with new insight.

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PS: This post was inspired by Gretha Wiid. After writing to teenagers that she believes nobody is born gay, she got corrected by various sources. (Some sources were a lot more harsh than others.) She answered, among others, (translated) that “we serve a God of truth and authority. The world could choose to be politically correct – me and my house choose to serve God…”

The Bible has one text which seems (on English face value at least) to be about people who experiment with their own sex because of lust. However, even that passage does not say nobody is born gay. As such, she stands on an interpretation and not on the Word. As such Gretha, who is certainly inspired by God and has a heart for what is right in many things, is choosing to stand on an interpretation here, not on an authoritative message from God.

 

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