Bible Glasses

This last Sunday I was at church and my pastor was speaking on John. My Pastor was speaking about how we need look at the bible through different lenses.  Specifically he was talking about three different lenses.

1. Historical- Looking at the culture in which the specific scripture was being written to.

2. Authorial- Looking at what the author is trying to convey to his audience.

3. Devotional- Trying to figure out how the scripture applies to our daily life.

It can be easy to get stuck in any one of these lens. Such as focusing more on the devotional lens, (which is not bad mind you) but then discarding what the author is trying to tell us or focusing on the historical context and forgetting that it is has meaning for us today.

This unbalanced view of the bible leads to unbalanced theologies which in turn hurts people. When scripture is taken out of context, whether it be its historical context, authorial, or devotional, it is misunderstood and then carried out in a way that puts people at risk.

For example let’s take an easy one. The issue of slavery. If you ask any American Christian if slavery is okay, chances are that they will give you a disgusted look and and say “no”. But as the argument as been made, the bible “appears” to approve of slavery. Now before you close this tab, stick with me and finish reading. 

In the Historical context what do we find? When the Israelites are given the law, they had just came out of slavery. All they knew was how to be slaves and the Egyptians were not kind to them. God gives rules on how to treat the slaves, in fact they are treated better than most slaves in the world at the time. For example:

And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money. – Exodus 21

Let’s put aside the issue of selling your daughter, because there’s something else I want to point your attention to. The Master is not allowed to sell her to a foreign people and if he takes another wife, he still has to provide for her.

The Authorial Context of this would be, is God is speaking to the Israelites and teaching them how to be kinder people and to treat even slaves like human beings. It still may seem icky and confusing but also think about it like this, when a baby is moving from breastfeeding to solid foods the baby is weaned. Slowly drinking less breast milk and transitioning to solids. If you switch a baby instantly to solid foods he won’t be able to handle it.

And finally the Devotional Context would be, is to be kind to our neighbors and treat everyone as humans. Don’t treat them like dirt.

My point is that if you take the words at face value and don’t look deeper, you misunderstand
and form beliefs on those misunderstandings. And those misunderstandings hurt people a lot. We need to be careful on how we read the bible, form beliefs and share these beliefs with others. If our beliefs are hurting someone, we should look at it and ask if we are understanding it correctly. Because Christians shouldn’t be hurting people, we are to bring life and light to the world, not darkness and strife.

Sleeping cats and Indecisive Tuesdays

So I’ve been sitting here in my chair trying to figure out what to write about for the past 45 minutes to an hour. I started writing something, but I wasn’t sure it would work. The other ideas just seemed to dangerous to put out there right out.

Gee, why does it have to be so damn hard? (pardon me french (I apologize to any French readers)) Well, here’s what I think, perhaps I was trying too hard. Right now when I was at the end I am now finding words to spill out onto the internet, or as I like to say “from the digital pen to the digital paper.”

I’m trying to resurect my promise to write once per week. I was recently talking to my dad and he suggested to pick a day and dedicate that evening to writing my blog post. So I picked one. I picked Tuesday.

Why Tuesday? Because he used that as an example and I thought. “Meh, why not?”

What were you expecting a more meaningful reason for why Tuesday? Okay fine, I’ll give a flowery version.

*clears throat*

I decided that Tuesdays would be most perfect day in the week to write my bloggings on the web of Internets, simply because there is only one Tuesday. And before you then say “Hey! But there is also only one Sunday and one Friday!” Yes my readers, however Tuesday is in the middle space of not at the beginning of the week and also not the middle of the week. So therefore Tuesday is the most logical choice.

There is that flowery enough for you? 🙂 Anyway, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to post. I didn’t want to post a story or a poem, but the real life things I thought about posting would mostly start a fire. (I might save that for another week, bwahaha! Bring out the matches and gasoline!)

Well, I think that this a good start. At least I’m posting something, right? Well I will see you next week and hopefully I will have something figured out by then. 🙂

P.S

My cat, Doggy, says hi. She’s sleeping in my lap as I write this.

Act III Scene 3

So lately I’ve been busy. I’ve been in a play at Cornstock Theatre. This weekend is our performance weekend, in fact tomorrow is our last performance. I wanted to set aside a few minutes of my time and write to the world about how much being in this play has meant to me.

For several years I have been trying to get into theatre. I’ve always been drawn to the theatre. Whenever I saw a play I was always filled with this magical feeling. I wanted to be up there and give this magic out to everyone else. I wanted to know what it was like backstage, what were the actors doing? What was it like to act?

Then back in February, I went to an audition to a play called A Little Princess. I remember trekking through the ice covered park trying to not break my neck on the steep hill. I auditioned as best I could and that Monday I discovered I had made it. I was finally at last in a play.

Since I was minor character in the play, March was a slow month for me, I showed up only a couple days a week. But then when April came, I was in every single night. Honestly I don’t really remember the last time I sat down and had a family dinner with my family. 😛

As time went on I bonded with my fellow actors. We were so much alike and yet so different. Then somewhere in there I realized that I had found my people. These actors were my people and I felt that at last I had found a place of belonging, for so long I have found myself in places where I felt I was the oddball, the weird shaped puzzle piece that didn’t quite fit with the puzzle. But not with this crowd. We were all weird and dramatic characters.

I’m sad that tomorrow is my last performance, I hope to keep in touch with the friends I have made. Perhaps we will see each other again in another performance.

I want to say thank you to the cast and staff for A Little Princess. I have never felt so welcomed by a group of people my age before. Thank you for being you. This play changed my life in a way that I will never forget.

Thank you.

P.S

If you want to catch the last performance, click here to go the website.