The world is full of people. People are full of stories. Each story is full of angles that lead to more stories with more angles. And those angles could turn into a hundred more.
Do we only listen to one of them?
Perhaps I speak not in logic, but in reason. Recently I have been in pursuit of truth; an honorable truth. A truth that is relatable to everyone and applicable to each person.
That’s what the Bible should be.
Why isn’t it? Because most churches are at war with each other. Each denomination is upholding their version of Christianity as the firm truth. And if we do not accept one thread of supposed ‘truth’ from one church, we are in the wrong and must be judged for it.
There are two points I would like to make. The first are my observations of denominational conflict. The second is our interpretation of the Bible.
Denominations, in my firm opinion, are acting much like the Jews and Gentiles did in the New Testament. There was disagreement about who truly had the Christian life right. The Gentiles ‘obviously’ have their version of Christianity warped. They couldn’t possibly be Christians (notice the sarcasm). But Jesus saw them all as Christians. Even their differences in belief had no effect against the base that they all shared. They all believed in God. And that’s all that mattered.
(I don’t like quoting Scripture, because it makes me sound preachy. But for those of you who are desperate for references, check out Galatians 3:23-29, Romans 10:11-13 as some examples.)
This is where, I fear, people may start to get mad at me. “She’s twisting Scripture for her own devices,” some may be thinking. And so it would appear. But that is where my second point takes place.
I once heard a pastor tell the tale of Jesus walking on the water from another approach. He dared to speak against most theological points and say that maybe Peter’s sinking was not his lack of faith in God. Maybe it was a lack of faith in Peter himself.
Can you hear the cannons of spiritual warfare in the distance?
But before everyone gets carried away that the Bible is being twisted, consider your own life. Consider what you’ve gone through and what you still go through today. What if you’re having a hard time in your relationship with your dad? Does anyone expect this person to relate to God as the image of a Father? I doubt it. Or if someone is having conflicts with a spouse; do they want to call God ‘husband?’ Nope.
So maybe there is a reason God is called many names; because he knew not everyone would relate to them all. And that’s NOT wrong. It means that God will relate to us right where we are, for what’ve we’ve been through and what we are today. I may read a verse in the Bible and find it applicable in a way that the church would say is my misinterpretation of the Word. It’s just not true.
I don’t say all this to cause a fight. Religious debates are hardly worth the effort. If we just looked at each other as human beings, we could avoid a lot of these conflicts to begin with. Maybe that’s what each denomination’s weakness is. I don’t know.
Frankly, I’m still trying to figure it all out.