The more I fall in love with God, the more I seek to learn what is communicated in the Bible. This isn’t because I have to, but because I want to. Often, it seems the way the Bible is presented either pushes people away from God or otherwise is used to manipulate.
I’ve had a mini-vacation over the past few days. This gave me a lot of time to think and pray with God. I’m simply stunned by the story that is told throughout the Bible. How so many have missed the original intent of the scriptures is equally astounding. This isn’t to say that I understand everything, but the entirety of the correlations all throughout the Bible have become so blatantly obvious that I’m unable to just close my eyes and pretend not to know what God has been showing me. To ignore, deny, or repress these things would alienate me from the amazing ongoing conversation and discovery I’ve been undergoing with Jesus. As a Christian in love with Jesus, one of my deep desires has been to know him more through his Word. As I study Revelation, I’m seeing the overwhelming correlations to the known history as well as other passages from the Bible itself.
I can understand the typical layperson not having much desire to dig deeper into the Bible, primarily because they’ve been lulled to sleep by cliched sermons that have no meat—spiritual milk. Still, I have to wonder how leaders that have been in “ministry” for decades still randomly pluck scriptures out of their context and warp them to something almost sinister. Not all leaders do this, but the majority seem to be at the mercy of the institution’s agenda to maintain their livelihood. They are under obligation to proselytize others in the same manner they were. Religious leaders have set themselves up as gatekeepers of the Kingdom, twisting scripture and comparing righteous to determine who’s in and who’s out. If the Bible has any parallels to our current society, it’s these types of religious acts that Jesus seemed to deplore the most.
But the big question is, how do we know who is “right?” We can pit scripture against scripture to validate our stance, but in the end we just have more chaos.
For me, I had to ask Jesus himself to reveal the truth. Most likely there are troubling passages in everyone’s heart and mind that they’ve been made to repress or otherwise ignore all together. Take these to Jesus. You could try asking a church elder, but you may end up with more confusion. Cut out the middle man all together and go directly to our Advocate with Father. Truly open your heart to Jesus and ask him directly to reveal the truth to you unfiltered by man-made agendas.
Consider Matt 5, 6, and 7. Does it just seem like a really high bar to jump consisting of a whole lot of effort? Do you feel guilt and shame for not being able to live up to that standard? Or does it seem almost natural, easy, and a joy to live out through Jesus? Compare the religious leaders during Jesus’ ministry to what is in place now. Are there similarities in the leadership styles?
Please note, I’m not asking anyone to leave their congregation. I believe Jesus’ truth will win out in the end regardless of what attempts are made to hijack his name and the life he presents. A warning though, as Jesus begins to show you things, you may feel isolated and rejected. However, I can assure you that a real relationship with Jesus greatly surpassed anything man can manufacture through religious idolatry.