Yes, The Bible Is Offensive

The old saying that the Bible is offensive is correct.

It’s offensive because some people won’t like what it says and so will fight to suppress the good news message that much of it proclaims.

It’s so offensive that many will put all their energies and strength in constricting the Hope, Love and Grace that it proclaims.

It’s offensive because they won’t like the fact that their ‘freedom’ is taken away from them because of what the words on these sacred pages seem to say. Bible

It’s offensive because it continues to break down these already crumbling walls of us and them, that these people feel safe behind.

It’s offensive to many because to them, they don’t like to be told they are wrong or that they need to repent.

It’s offensive because they think they have it all figured out while this new, revolutionary message takes everything they know and threatens it.

All this is true.

The only mistake we make is about who this group of offended people are.

They aren’t the poor or the weak. They aren’t the people who hate church. They aren’t the porn stars. They aren’t the people who have problems with organized religion. They aren’t the ones who are angry with God. They aren’t the people who like Jesus but not His followers. They aren’t the people who fight for equality for everyone.

They are me.

They perhaps, are you.

They are the church leaders who have built the Gospel into a way of controlling and maintaining the status quo.

They are the people who claim that unless you think like we do about Christianity, you are wrong.

They are the ones who are so caught up in defending the Bible that they miss that it doesn’t need defending.

They are the people who warn against picking out verses to suit your purpose, yet do the same without a sense of irony.

They are the the older brother, they are the rich young ruler, they are the poor sod who somehow got a plank stuck in his eye, they are the disciples fighting over who would be close to Jesus in Heaven.

But the Bible is indeed good news to the oppressed, poor, trafficked, marginalized, the porn star, the addict, the Muslim, the Christian, the Jewish woman, Hindu, Jedi, the family in mourning, the trafficker, the oppressor, the dictator, the racist.

People like the woman caught in adultery, the tax collector doing over his own people, the son who decides to abandon his family, the Pharisees, the Roman centurion who has a conscience, the disciple who is beginning to doubt everything, Pilate, Herod, and everyone who has ever believed that they need to earn approval, Love and acceptance.

The group that the Bible is good news for includes everyone.

And for some, that’s just too offensive to bear.

Why it’s OK to swear. Or at least not the point.

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There is an idea among many Christians that once we die we will grow some wings, this old sinful broken world will be destroyed in a massive fire and we will all float up to the gates of Heaven, give St. Peter a high five and pick up the keys to our swanky new mansion. This is a nice idea except for the fact for the first Christians that it’s not the way they thought about the afterlife. It’s not how they talked about Heaven.

Actually what’s more likely is that this world, the one we are on now will be joined with Heaven and restored in a new and incredible way.

So if we think of the future in this way, what does this mean for the present? Continue reading

Is God really always there to help us?

God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.

Really?

Because there have been many times when I have failed. Many times when I was alone and prayed to God to protect me from temptation only to give in and look at porn a few minutes later. Many times when I had to give a talk that I was nervous for and definitely didn’t do the message or myself any justice.

So is it true that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle? Continue reading

Reclaiming Christian cliches: We’re all sinners!

Sinners-Wanted

Romans 3v 23. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Do you know what is the most horrible experience you go through when you are a kid?

Finding out that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist?

No.

Finding out that Mum and Dad have consistently lied to you for years every Christmas?

No. (Which by the way explains why they were always so keen on leaving treats out for Santa; I always doubted his ability to fly a sleigh after a glass of mulled wine or three) Continue reading