What do you do when you dislike something you read in the Bible?
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father
Paul is an apostle. He claims to be commissioned directly by God and sent out with a message. This is a massive claim that forces us to respond. I can’t remain in aloof judgement over which bits of Paul’s letters I agree with and which I don’t because CS Lewis’ classic trilemma also exists here - Paul claimed to be speaking from God so either he’s right, wrong or an idiot, but he can’t be partially useful. If I pick and choose which bits I think represent the ‘real’ God, then I’ve made myself into God..
“You want Jesus to be the Master of your life, but over the years there has developed a relationship between you and Scripture in which Scripture is just a blur of hazy notions” - Piper
This is not an encouragement to just knuckle down and get on with it. God’s word brings joy. If I read the bible selectively, I am cutting myself off from the joy it brings. I’ve put myself in the position of power, deciding good and bad, right and wrong. If I’m the top man, I’m in trouble.
Recognising that what Paul (and the other biblical authors) wrote is what God said sets me free. Have I ever wanted God to speak directly to me? He has! It might not immediately seem like I wanted to hear but that’s because he knows better than me. The bible is better than what I want to know about life because how can I know what I need to know when I’m in the middle of it?
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.