Friday, September 4, 2015

Scriptures and Incongruence

Wife and I read the scriptures each night before bed.  We've been on the New Testament lately.  Matthew contains many passages and items that record incidents when Christ was ornery and out of sorts.  Some of his words appear rude and impatient.  Others are contradictory.  At times, Christ seems frustrated with what appears his assessment of the lack of enthusiasm, confusion, and stupidity around him.  To me, that is refreshing. That is evidence of my version of Christ - a man thrust into a situation where he was not entirely certain what transpires around him was what it appeared to be.

Christ's soul was housed in flesh.  Like any man, that flesh influenced his thinking.  He had doubts.  Christ was not comprehensively intuitive, or absolutely sure of his circumstances, his relationship with God, or the outcome laying ahead of him.  That is natural and necessary.  Otherwise, Christ makes no sacrifice. If Christ knows everything, if he knows for a certainty his future is guaranteed and his relationship with God is assured and unassailable, there is no doubt of his role, his calling, his authority, or his future estate.  Thankfully, he did not.  For Christ's sacrifice to have the meaning intended, he must value his earthly life.  He must fear death.  He must overcome these temporal affections and by faith, exclusively, submit to the consequences of his actions on earth.  There are verses in scripture that re-enforce this assertion. Christ begged to escape death in Gethsemane.  He was so afraid of the future he sweat blood. Upon the cross, he doubted he made the right decision and believed God abandoned him.  These doubts came after Christ was translated!!!  He had heard God's voice and witnessed the miracles that arose from faith - hoping his actions would provide relief.

We must remember the scriptures are journals written by others.  Their recollections were unlikely proofed by Christ for accuracy or content - although Christ must have given each of the Apostles details on certain things after the fact.  Gethsemane for example - all the Apostle's were sleeping when Christ prayed and sweat blood.  These circumstances leave room for error and opinion.  The journals were also translated along the way. By whom, and what was changed is unknown. The journals additionally underwent editing, and another round of translation, when they were codified by the Council of Nicea - who compiled the first official Bible.  What remained from the first record when Matthew scribed it (with Christ's input) is not confirmed. The objectives of men, even men that are ostensibly religious men, is under the same influences that prompted Christ's uncertainty.  We see with a discomforting regularity religious people behaving in ways that compromise their offices and contradict their words.  This gives ammunition to agnostics and atheists and Lucifer.

Scriptures are reference points, if not an entirely accurate and comprehensive record.  They are like curb feelers that help a person keep properly oriented and not stray too far.  Ultimately, faith and prayer are the mechanisms that provide the most direct and unequivocal information regarding God and grace.  No two people hold the same emotions, intellect, nor are the motivated equally by the same conditions or influences.  Each must find the information and evidence that inspires their belief - and faith.

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