Some days I only know that there’s a whole lot of stuff I don’t know.
The last few weeks have held several of those days.
I consider myself to be a decent human being. In that, I want my fellow human beings to be happy, to live fulfilled lives, to feel accepted and validated. But I also consider myself a Christian – one who tries to follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. One who believes that the same Jesus who I base my faith on, spoke of eternity – one with a real Heaven and a real Hell. He shared many times, both in word and by his actions, that as someone who would follow after him, it is incumbent on me to often be a nonconformist by this world’s standards and to share the reason for the hope that I have beyond it.
As I think about these two different self-evaluations and compelling interests, and in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner transformation and other debatable issues of our day, I wonder how can I possibly live both roles? How can I be supportive of my fellow sojourners on this earth and at the same time stay true to the faith which I try to base my life on? How can I narrow the gap that so often seems to exist between the things that feel like they should be right to me and the things that are right to God? How can I possibly reconcile this?
Even though God knows us better than we know ourselves – from our deepest longings to our greatest heartbreaks – he tells us to present our requests to him. I think now of the many times that his loving hand was on my life. Times he shielded me from things that I could not yet see (or possibly ever would).
In those times in particular, I’ve seen God as a Father…
Gil Moreno works as the International Coordinator for the Americas with the ministry of Faith Comes By Hearing; serving the poor and non-literate of Latin America and the Caribbean. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University.
The idea of having rules for interpreting the Bible might seem offensive to some. Most of us don’t like rules that restrict our freedoms. We value independence. Of course we like certain rules that promote safety such as are displayed on road signs which warn us of upcoming danger; rules that promote order, security and the general well-being of the public. So maybe it’s not that we are against rules, just certain kinds of rules. With this in mind, we can proceed to the subject of Rules of Interpretation. From where did these rules come from? They were not so much created as they were discovered and observed. For many centuries, certain observations in the realm of interpretation have been made.
Let’s look at three of these rules as they apply to Biblical interpretation.
If you had to describe yourself using just 5 words, what would they be? Better yet, if I asked people who knew you, what would they say?
A few years ago I turned 40 and was telling a friend how good it felt. How it really seemed to be true what they say, you kind of “come into yourself” and don’t care so much about what people think about you. Her response was the following anecdote. Funny…and also, by and large, true. At least I think so…
She said: “When you’re 20 you worry about what other people think about you. When you’re 40 you don’t care what other people think about you. When you’re 60 you realize…other people AREN’T thinking about you!”* Interesting perspective…egocentric beings that we are.
*Thanks for the insight, Jeni! Hope I didn’t botch it too bad!
So, despite that fun little pearl of wisdom, what I’m wondering today is this: even if no one’s thinking about us (in the self-absorbed way we tend to view our teeny little existence in the world), how do we ultimately want to be perceived by our fellow inhabitants of planet earth? What kind of legacy do we want our lives to leave? How would we want people to describe what we represent? Think like this: “You’ve just got to meet ‘X’ (that’s YOU!). He/She is…”