Tag Archives: faithful telling of the Bible

Meekness and following the world’s lead Matthew 5:5

The world tries to shut the church up, by saying something to the effect: “Doesn’t Jesus say “the meek shall inherit the earth”? So that means you should just shut up and mind your own business because that what meek means.” Yea, No! And the last thing on earth we should be doing is listening to the worldly/secular about the Bible. They take a few isolated phrases (oh yeah, judge not blah blah blah…), think they really know what they’re talking about and throw those phrases around. As always, the secular is about an inch thick and a mile wide. Problem is too many in the church, who also don’t know what they’re talking about, who call themselves Christians but don’t read the Bible, don’t truly serve, just cave in to the secular do what they’re told and even have the chutzpah to tell others in the church what they should and shouldn’t do. Liberal Christians dismiss way too much in the Bible, have this sort of half-baked, groundless spirituality and try to sell that as real Christianity. This folks is the height of dishonesty, if you don’t really know what you’re talking about then do everyone, yourself included, and keep your mouth shut. Presuming to teach the church about Christianity is the height of arrogance, is called the sin of presumption.

Now I’m going to quote the Blackabys at length because this is the best explanation I’ve seen of what “meekness” according to Jesus, in the Greek, the original meaning actually is talking about in Matthew.

“The word Jesus used had a different meaning. His picture of meekness is that of a stallion that has been brought into subjection to its master…The stallion has lost none of its strength or endurance; it has simply turned these over to the control of the master.” (Experiencing God day by day Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby p 235) Meekness is in terms of submitting to God and His will, not the world’s. We have the power of Christ, yes we are supposed to be winsome, welcoming, encouraging. No the other extreme of the image of the church being “well you better just get everything together right now and be the perfect person, yada, yada!!” Well that’s wrong too, seems there’s always this middle that Jesus wants us in and we  either think we’re supposed to be just weak and stupid or we let the world convince us that we’re being bullies by proclaiming Christ. The middle is often too hard for people, yea even Christians. Most people like nice and cozy black and white. My experience in the corporate world, the military, government, school, church, there is no such thing as a black and white. There’s this place where you are supposed to leave yourself open to the Holy Spirit’s guiding and most of the time it’s not some nicey/nice vacuous cream puff. It’s hard to stand up for what’s right, I get it, but like the old saying “if it was easy everyone would do it”. Being a Christian isn’t easy, Jesus told us there is a narrow road, a narrow gate to salvation. Because the Holy Spirit guides us we know what that is and that is what we have to tell the world, even when obnoxious bores are telling us to shut up. They will, because they can’t tolerate the truth, they live in their own little fiction which leads to destruction and they don’t want to know the truth and they don’t want anyone else to either. “Meekness is not submitting to everyone around us, it is taking our direction from God. Meekness means a life submissive to the Holy Spirit…” Read the Bible, when people were standing for God they were not bashful about it. If anything they were very much asserting the truth of God, the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, the truth of the Bible. And yes quite often, be it an Old Testament prophet, Peter, Paul, John they were not bashful and they were very assertive. I’m not saying for anyone to go out of there way to be obnoxious, but again that big gray area. You must know what you’re talking about, be serious about it, get past this gloopy, sweetey Christianity, assert that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, that we do need to understand that and repent of our sin. We need to be baptized, not our decision, but because the Holy Spirit has led us, we need to be instructed in the faith so that we can function as knowledgeable Christians, we need to regularly attend worship and grow in our fellowship and Christian maturity, we need to regularly receive the true Body and Blood of Jesus and we need to be open to the leading of the Spirit to witness to those around us about Jesus.

It basically means to be mature, strong, knowledgeable baptized sons and daughters of God, we call that being a “disciple” of Jesus. Just as anyone else in the Bible is. To be any less is to cave into the world, and to be faithless to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ saved us, He is the ultimate truth, the world is a lie, especially when it presumes to teach us something that it doesn’t even understand. This idea that a Christian is supposed to be a malleable cupcake for the world to push around is just not Biblical and it certainly is not going to serve anyone.

The faithful telling of the Bible

It seems to be easy lately to think that the there is just a remnant of Christians, only a few that are left to raise up God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But then a long comes an event or a message that demonstrates that Christians are very much alive, faithful and active.

Case in point the production of the television series The Bible produced by husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I will qualify this upfront by saying that I really did appreciate The Bible that it really was a faithful portrayal of the Bible. It always amuses me when people call the Bible ‘boring’. That is biblical illiteracy. If I can be a little tacky, the Bible has it all violence, intrigue, sex, infidelity, charity, faithfulness, sacrifice, integrity, pride and strength. The Bible has good, bad, somewhere in the middle, ordinary people confronting extraordinary circumstances. The last thing I would describe the Bible as is boring. One of the things that always annoyed me was the way different people/beings of the Bible have been portrayed in movies and media. Jesus always seems to be sort of soft and prissy, and that just could not have been the case. He was probably a carpenter, He spent so much of His earthly ministry outside, traveling around, even out on the boats with some of His disciples. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was very much a manly man and nothing in the Bible contradicts that. Another is this idea that angels are sort of beautiful, poofy women. Again that is not biblical. Any description of angels in the Bible depicts them as male. The depiction in the television series of angels as more like ninjas would be a lot more faithful to the biblical narrative.

Angel in The Bible Does kind of create an interesting contrast with Ms Downey’s portrayal of an angel in the television series Touched by an Angel 

Forbes Magazine did a feature on the couple and their production of The Bible and future productions based on the Bible. Their success, that I would consider a lot more biblicaly based, then most contemporary productions (yea, just ask me about Noah ugh), anyway “The Bible made its debut in 2013, and even on a relatively esoteric cable channel was able to outdraw the networks; at one point Burnett had the No. 1 show in America five nights out of the week. And viewers couldn’t get enough: The Bible has sold over 1 million copies via DVD and Blu-ray….the movie spinoff, which Burnett and Downey spent an estimated $1 million to bankroll, has done $68 million worldwide…” (Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Dorothy Pomerantz  Forbes Magazine July 21, 2014 pp 55 – 60)

Clearly a faithful rendering of the Bible, not too pious, not too imaginary (yea like Noah) are greatly in demand. God’s story is the most compelling ever: “There are not a lot of books being read these days’, says Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of late-night and alternative programming. ‘But there is one that’s being read and reread, and that’s the Bible.”

Burnett points out that a lot of contemporary television and movies are biblically based: “…he says take their dominant influence from the world’s most popular book: Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix.” The Matrix??? I guess he’d know better than me. Point being is that too much media has either dumbed down the Bible, or made it too sugar coated or made it to ham handed, none of which are faithful renderings. Straightforward, human portrayal of the Bible is what God inspired the writers of the Bible to write and that has what guided the faithful for 2,000 years. There is plenty of hunger in the world for the real Bible. Let’s faithfully teach, preach and relate the Bible. The Holy Spirit will use that to lead and inspire others, we don’t need to embellish what was perfectly inspired by God.