I’ve taken a long time writing this blog before making it public because I am doing a holy task with care.
J. D. Graber was a Mennonite missionary who lived two or three generations ago. According to my memory, he wrote that if one wishes to rearrange the furniture in another person’s holy of hollies he should first take off his shoes.
I take off my shoes, not because I wish to rearrange the furniture in another persons inner holy of hollies, but I am about to enter my own holy of hollies. Moreover, I invite you, my reader, to take off your shoes and enter my holy of hollies with me. I do this reverently, with a sense of awe, and some fear for I am reexamining and restating my own core beliefs.
Core beliefs spring from one’s culture beginning at the moment of birth (or before). Core beliefs are shaped by pressures from family and friends, church and school, associates in vocation and society. Core beliefs determine how one lives and how others are influenced.
I have a book in my inner sanctum that in the past shaped my core beliefs. The book was introduced to me by my parents and church. I was told and I believed the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God. I read the book as a child. I preached from it for many years and tried to live by it to please the God whom I believed inspired it.
But the times and I have changed. I now understand the bible to be read just like any other book. I urge others to read it thoughtfully, with ordinary skepticism, aware of inaccuracies in it, amused by humor, aghast at the immoral, violent and gruesome behaviors of its heroes, While I no longer view it as the verbally inspired word of God, I have not trashed it for it is not trash
The bible is a virtual library of books written by prophets, priests, poets, and storytellers. Within its pages are gems of wisdom and truth. I was surprised by my review of Romans 12:2 in previous posts. I am pondering the rule of II Thessalonians 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Should this rule be twisted to justify elimination of the government’s aid to the jobless?