Recently I found myself stuck when a friend sought advice for a dilemma they were facing. When chatting about the relevant bible principles, I was faced with the response, “Yes, but it’s not relevant to our culture.” Happily curled up on the living room sofa, cuppa in hand and toasty slipper socks snuggling my toes, there was suddenly potential for this relaxed afternoon to turn more than a bit uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my thoughts in order quickly enough to answer.
This is probably because my initial reaction was “I COMPLETELY disagree with you,” which we all know is a hard sentence to chuck into a conversation with your close pals.
Whilst today’s culture is radically different from bible times, it does not give us a free pass to write off anything that might be viewed as against the norm by our peers. If anything, it’s even more of a reason to take up our bibles and live a life as scripture shaped, and counter cultural as possible.
By treating the bible as a pick ‘n’ mix, choosing our favourite bits (you know, a good bit of Jeremiah 29:11 or Philippians 4:8) and leaving the rest to be forgotten, we are effectively picking and choosing what parts of God’s heart we want. It’s interesting that the encouraging, easy to swallow parts, are the chunks of scripture that people will agree are still relevant.
This pick ‘n’ mix version of scripture that so many of our generation seem to favour, in the end, denies God’s sovereignty in our lives, as we place ourselves on the throne. A question I ask myself in big decisions, or when faced with temptation is, “What is the most honouring to God?” When we respond to this question mindful of what we know of scripture, yet make the decision that it is not relevant enough to our situation, that’s not all honour to Him, that’s a quick thought to him and then I’ll pop myself back on my throne, thank you very much.
The reality is, whilst the Gospel is the good news that means our salvation, the rest of the bible is part of God’s story, too. As long as we choose to be part of God’s story, the bible is our story.