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Thursday, February 27, 2014

How we handle the Bible matters

Over the past two or three years, I have chosen a path of teaching the Bible verse by verse on Sunday mornings.
We went through the Gospel of John in its entirety and are now walking through the book of Genesis.
Early in the summer of this year, we will begin a pilgrimage through the book of Acts.
I absolutely love it!
I like it because it gets me into the word in a deeper way.
I like it because it gets our church family in the word in a deeper way.
Most of life's questions are answered in the Bible.  If not directly, than indirectly.
We are to be people of God's word.
Slowly, but surely, more and more of our church family are bringing their Bibles to a Sunday morning worship experience, opened up and ready to listen to His Word.
If I could squeeze on challenge in here:  coming to a Sunday morning service without your Bible is like trying to snow ski without skis - or playing tennis without a tennis racket - well, you get the idea).
Here's what I know:  Understanding God's Word is important.
This past week I heard a sad story of sincere religious conviction and deadly misinterpretation.
For years, some Christian congregations have taken Jesus' words in Mark 16:18, "… they shall take up serpents …" — literally.
But the supposed scriptural promise that the faithful will be protected doesn't always pan out.
One prominent pastor in a snake-handling congregation recently died after being bitten in a service.
While his sincerity was unquestionable (refusing medical intervention) his hermeneutic apparently was.
Many misinterpreted Scripture passages won't kill you as quickly as rattlesnake venom, but any misreading of Scripture carries serious consequences for how we live our lives, and what we believe about God.
How we handle the Bible matters.
Just a thought for a Thursday.

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