First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

When your Bible knowledge is lit.

December 3, 2016

Want to make a cook angry? Ask them what they are baking.

Cooking usually requires one who has been classically trained. Cooking doesn't always follow set parameters or recipes. Baking is a bit more forgiving and recipes help guide us. Getting these two realms mixed up does not threaten national security nor does it knock the earth off its axis. It can be frustrating to cooks and bakers though. For the common layperson, cooking and baking seem the same. They're not. Both cooks and bakers wish we would be better informed.

    My ear is always attuned to people when they speak of faith and godly things. I measure their words and listen for incongruent thoughts or suppositions. While I don't know the Bible forward and backward, I do sense the Holy Spirit helps me understand God's word. I can identify when a person's biblical knowledge may not align with what the Bible actually says. When somebody mentions an event or passage and it isn't what I remember reading in the scriptures, I tend to gently lift up some context within the text and bring some clarity to the conversation.

    Yesterday, I was admiring our nativity scene in the living room. Tracie had been decorating the house and this nativity is special to us. It was made by a friend who has since gone on to the throne room of heaven. I happened to notice off to one side of the display (about 5 or 6 feet away) were three wise men. I said, "Oh, I like them up there on that shelf." My wife didn't miss a beat but simply replied, "Well, they are clear over there because in the real account, they don't show up till the child is in the house." Talk about a 'mic' drop moment.

     Nothing worse than hearing somebody talk about the Bible and their facts don't always align with the actual text. Tracie pays attention to the details of scripture because it's important to her that the historicity is spot on. In the grand scheme of things it seems like we might be stressing too much about accuracy. You'd be correct. If we get biblical understanding from anything other than the actual Bible then accuracy tends to suffer. Yes, we understand the stable may have been in a cave  and not a wooden structured barn. Remember, the nativity was a gift from a beloved friend and congregant.

    The current state of media influence is filled with many inconsistencies when Christianity is described. A progressive interpretation of God's word will often sidestep the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Citing the archaic nature of scripture is another eroding factor folks will use in order to avoid a deep study of the scriptures.  Admittedly, it easier to say things about the Bible without actually reading it. Sort of like me asking a cook what they are baking.

        There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the

        proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he

        wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed

        them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the

        Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything

        that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of

        the Lord? (Acts 13:6b-10, NIV)

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