Reverent Responses

You Can't Change What the Bible Says!
Rev. Dr. Jean Orost Responds

[Posted on February 19, 2001]

Dear Lynn:

I truly appreciate the gentle spirit in which you have written of your concerns. There are many points on which we can agree as fellow Christians. I do not, however, agree that "the purpose of the Bible is the show the correct way to do things." In II Timothy 3: 16, we read that "all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the people of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." It is probably from your focusing on this one verse that you have generalized to arrive at your conclusion.

However, I believe that the God of the Universe is so profoundly omnipotent, having all resources and means of communication available, that God could have provided a simple rulebook if he had chosen to do so. But instead, God chose to use humans, with all their differences and shortcomings, to tell the stories of God's faithfulness to all of creation from the beginning. God, in various times, in various cultures, with various peoples and situations, has demonstrated undying love and faithfulness to Whosoever would seek God's presence in their lives. When the Israelites got hung up on rule keeping, God sent Jesus to violate most of the agreed upon rules and to not only accept but to love and fellowship with people from all the Reject groups of that day: women, children, lepers, Samaritans, adulterers, tax collectors, ritually impure, Roman centurions, and other gentiles. I am blessed whenever I read that story, for it gives me witness of God's great all-encompassing love.

Be careful of living by the law, for the law leads only to death. Read Romans 7 and 8 for an expansion of this idea. Galatians 5: 18 tells us that "if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." In fact, all of Galatians encourages us to stand forth in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free. It is in this Spirit that we write our website. A Spirit which is full of love and the joy of our salvation, rather than any bitterness, as you allege.

I am sure that if I gave any of a number of verses about a number of things to a "non-opinion, non-Christian" I would receive numerous uneducated opinions. But fortunately, God, the keeper of all wisdom, has permitted Biblical scholarship that gives us insight into these confusing issues. Throughout biblical times and later history, there have been numerous groups who have had their turn to be ostracized. Read I Corinthians 8 for one example. More recently, the Bible was used to persecute slaves, children born out of wedlock, and the divorced. You just happen to be living in an era when homosexuality is the current cultural demon. For those who have an ear to hear, the Spirit reveals much through the enlightenment and diligent scholarship of those who put forth the time and effort. I hope that you will avail yourself of their collective wisdom as you read other portions of this website and some of the books listed in the bookstore. God's Word does contain the truth, and the truth shall set us all free.

As you continue to submit yourself to God, you, too, will be changed, just as we have been. May you continue to grow in the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Rev. Dr. Jean Orost