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Re: I went to the cathedral

Posted by Dena on July 15, 2006, at 12:16:28

In reply to Re: I went to the cathedral, posted by Toph on July 15, 2006, at 8:37:51

> I like the idea of wearing bithday suits at church in the garden... ; ) Dena didn't Jesus speak metaphorically in his parables? And why don't we consider other parts of the Bible God-inspired metaphors of Truth?

Such deep thoughts!

First, for me, I've come to understand Church to be people... those who follow Him.... rather than "a place to go", it's "a people to be".

And there is a sense (metaphorically speaking, relationally speaking) that God wants us to be "naked and unashamed" (as in the Garden)... free to be who He created us each to be, and relating to one another honestly, without the self-protection ... transparent. Not hiding behind our facades...

It's a beautiful thing when we can each get there, or at least journey towards there, and then to share with another in that same way...! It's rare, but SOOOOOOO worth pursuing and nurturing!

As for how Jesus spoke, yes, He often did so in parables, so that we'd have to "dig" for understanding, and that we'd seek out the hidden meaning. Other times, He was quite direct, even blunt, to the point of offensiveness. It seems to depend on the message, and to the recipient... it seems He treats each of us uniquely, giving us each what we most need... no cookie-cutter situations, but living relationships.

Your question (about how to read the rest of the Bible) resonates with me... I was taught from a rather fundamentalist perspective, which I've since rejected. I've found that biblical interpretation is more art than science ... that there are many ways to get it "off", when taken at face value... I prefer to get as close to the original language as possible, to see how that same word/words were used in other places in Scripture (as well as in other works of literature from the same era), and to understand the historical/cultural context... to whom was this being said, and why...? What was the background?

The Bible employs many types of literature: poetry, metaphor, allegory, history, lists, narratiives, prose, prophesy, etc...

Each type has to be understood, and taken in the manner it was given, rather than reading at face-value (though some is meant to be taken at face value)...

For instance, if we believe that we must read it literally, then when we're told to "be like doves", we should get busy trying to lay eggs..!

For me, I need to employ everything God gave me: my imagination, my intellect, my curiosity and my intuition, when reading the Bible... as well as to rely heavily on Him... allowing the Holy Spirit, who inspired the books of the Bible (using numerous unique human beings), to reveal what I need to know from what I read...

For me, it's quite relational... I ask for His understanding, and interpretation. It's a "living" word, because I find that it applies to me in differing ways, as my needs change, as I mature and my understanding deepens...

I no longer "worship" the Bible... (all to common, sadly), nor do I consider it "inerrant" (which it never calls itself), but I consider it to be a tool to point me to God, and to Jesus, revealing His character and nature, showing me how He's interacted with His creation for millenia, enabling me to get to know Him... and rather than a specific "rule book", I see it more as a way of changing my thinking, renewing my mind, enlightening me as to who He is, and who I'm meant to be...

hoping something useful came from my rambling meanderings...!

Shalom, Dena




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