This is a new post to encourage the college students to join the Dig Deep studies every week…
Many people like myself can echo the same kind of discovery as I have found, “I know that I know nothing.” Most people can acquire this discovery by a personal enlightenment, meditation, or sitting in a college class. Mine so happen to be all the above. When reached, they realize they are constantly learning about a topic, in my case God, and know there is more to the Bible than the words on the page. Upon reading an article by a “pastor” of a local church, given by a teacher in class, I began realizing what I had been taught for the past three years of my life: there is more to the Bible than the letters on the page, but to go above the Bible is ignorance.
I am not giving credence or justification of the pastor’s article, more of a critique. He expressed his views of people trying to give a “tortured form of Gospel harmony” to make all four gospels say the same thing. Any one with a Bible can read the inconsistencies of the resurrection accounts, and much like a small child, can force a wrong puzzle piece into a what seems to be right hole. This seems to be an acceptable way of textual criticism for most, but under further observation it is a child like tactic. When one reads Jesus’ words when he says, “become like children” should be aware this does not give acceptance to be ignorant, but rather innocent. Innocence is allowing a child to place a puzzle piece in the wrong hole, but after the fact the child is corrected and shown the proper place to fit it. If the same scenario was acted out with an adult one would claim, “He is ignorant!”
Let me further clarify what I am thinking. Many people approach the throne of God with a child like faith. This person is innocent like a child, believing in God, because “He is God.” That innocence of faith is not the same thing as innocent to a Biblical doctrine. Approaching God like a child is good, one approaching the scriptures like a child is another story. Some people look for doctrines that will suit their own passions, looking for people to say what they want to hear. Not having any real backing, but having their emotions as the base. This is not innocence, but ignorance. When one takes the Word of God and tries to fit it to suit their own passion, they are forcing that puzzle piece into the wrong hole. We must be cautioned and not allow ourselves to be carried away and convinced this is an “innocent’ act. One who has been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, and been set free from sins knows better than to make God into something he is not.
Many people are spiritually ignorant in certain situations like the pastor quoted above. Trying to piece together accounts that do not match, this is making a puzzle with pieces jammed, bent, and pressed together, but not the original intent. Yes, scripture does have some challenging obstacles to overcome, but one can confidently derive to the right truth, not by merely bending and twisting scripture, but to the confirmed truth. There are certainly some things within the holy writ that are unanswerable and God has a justification for such acts, and who is man to question those? They do not need an answer; they do not need a response, for they are simply the Words of God and should be taken as they are. The problem does not arise in challenges like that, but in taking the Bible and making it what man wants it to be. This is one who is set on the flesh. Any man who is set on the flesh is hostile towards God and will not submit to him.
Further, the pastor continues his argument by saying since the resurrection accounts cannot be meshed together, then the resurrection is just something to be experienced versus something to be confirmed. This is where error arises. It is similar to one confessing, “Since I do not understand it, it has to be something different than what is written.” Going above what is written to make a claim to justify a spot of unknowing leads one into further and further ignorance. We must be aware of the challenge around us. One who is not willing to obey the perfect Word of the Almighty God does not want to please him. They are set in their ways and would rather have their own doctrine to make themselves feel better versus submitting to the Will of God.
Earlier, I acknowledged my new revelation that there is more to the Bible than just the words on the page. This is not allowing one to make a free choice of the Bible, but to allow God to work. One may be saying, “That statement contradicts the previous argument.” But on the contrary it supports it. If one simply confines God to the pages of the book, then we have placed him in a leather bound box. We have established what we feel is truth by saying, this is what God does, this is what he will not do, this is what he can do, and this is what he can’t do. God is beyond the Bible, so therefore simply pushing, pressing, and squeezing him into the leather bound box is ignorance. The one who sees God as the creator of heaven and earth the one who holds life and death in his hands, will submit to his Will and his Word. Not to make God into something he is not, but allow him to be who he is. When one reaches this point then can see the picture and the puzzle, which allows him to place the piece without effort into its correct location.
This past Friday night I finally got my chance to go on a backpacking trip for the season. A group of seven of us decided to go to Tuskegee National Forrest. This was my first time to this location so I was unfamiliar with the trails and layout. After doing a bit of research I found the trailhead that I wanted to start. The map showed easy terrain and lots of water along the trail, which made it a good start for a few in our group who had never been backpacking.
By the time we got to the trail and got our packs ready to go it was already dark. We had planned for this so everyone had his or her headlamps and we took off down the trail. The trail was marked with white, metal diamonds on various trees. We followed these and the many boardwalks that were built along the trail that made it a pleasant hike. The further we walked the more I realized all of the places where water should be were dried up. If that was not bad enough, seeing that we all only had a small portion of water each, we began to veer off from the trail. Before we realized it we were in the middle of the woods with no trail markers and no trail. We had gotten lost.
We all began to spread out and hike around looking for the nearest marker, but with no avail. We decided to hike back toward where we thought the trail we had just left was, but it wasn’t there either. After we realized it was no hope we decided to make camp and just figure out in the morning.
After the hammocks were up and fire was made, and everyone was sitting around talking I made the comment off handedly that I bet we were right next to the trail. Within minutes someone called out, “Hey! Look there is a marker!” Our campsite was right next to the trail without us even knowing it! Needless to say, we all felt dumb.
That night’s sleep was pleasant except for the owls and random drop of temperature. The next morning after we all had started to get up, my buddy came walking up from over a nearby ledge and says, “You will never believe what I found… There is a huge river right next to us!” Sure enough from my hammock I could have thrown a rock over the trail and into a huge river. Once again, ignorance took its point.
Now, what’s the point of me sharing this story? First, I just had to let you all into a funny camping trip that we got to experience, but the second reason has a little more meaning. Some how each one of my camping trips I have been on has some kind of spiritual application that can be made from it. How close is our spiritual life to this situation? Sometimes we step back and look at life and make lots of plans. We decide where we are going to go to school, who we are going to room with, who shall we date, what job should we find, and many other decisions. We make plans and set goals, and think we have it all figured out. Then we get on the trail. We may have the perfect picture of what the road looks like, but when you get on it and all you can see is as far as your light will shine, it is easy to get lost. You miss so many things. Our vision can be narrowed to just a little bit ahead of us, but on the peripheral we have no idea of what is coming or what is around us. Curve balls are thrown at us. If only we could have seen them coming!
We may fail a class, not get that second job interview, get turned down on a date, or lose a family member. These are on the peripheral, but catch our attention, which sometimes make us lose track of the trail we had planned. Those little markers disappear, and before we know it we are standing at a stand still not knowing where the trail is or what the plan will be next. That is when you just have to stop. You may need to put your plan on hold. Rework your goals. Maybe, sadly, start over new. The part that many people of this world miss is not taking that opportunity to enjoy where they are at and take advantage of the moment. You can truly find happiness even in those moments where everything may seem wrong. I guarantee you; if we had kept hiking when we were lost we would have ventured further and further away from the trail and into an unknown place. Just take a moment and stop where you are, and pray. In those chaotic life moments if you keep trying to do it yourself you are going to get lost and walk further and further away, but if you will enjoy the moment and give thanks to God in every situation you will be fine.
It is in those moments that we then can see the missed opportunities around us. If you will stop trying to find your way, you can let God light it up for you. You will see the trail right next to you. If you wait even longer and let God bring more light on the situation you will even find that great big river only a stones throw away. So, I encourage you no matter how far away you are from your path, to stop. Pray. Let God shine in the situation and you will find the river that leads to eternal life.
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Welcome to Dalraida’s College Ministry. We are glad you decided to check us out.
You will be pleased to see that our group is very active within the church. Students can join us for:
- Our regular Bible studies we have on Sunday @9:00am and Wednesday @7:00pm
- Our weekly Dig Deep study where we strive to learn more about the Bible in an interactive setting
- Various retreats and activities all throughout the year
Dalraida would love to help you out in anyway. If there is every anything we can do for you, please let us know!
Your College Minister,