Why the Bible Matters

Several years ago, a church I was serving entered the Adopt-a-School program, adopting the elementary school down the street.  The people of our church invested in the school by going and reading to children, providing tokens of appreciation for teachers, offering our church's park for regular play dates and special events, and in various other ways.  To express our love for the school, a small plaque of the 10 Commandments was made and gifted to the principal with no fanfare whatsoever.  The principal decided to display the plaque alongside a trophy case in the hallway, with various awards and trophies.  A couple of weeks later, the entire community was buzzing because an anonymous parent saw the plaque and took offense, writing a letter to the school board about "separation of church and state" and the inappropriateness of a passage from the Bible posted where her child was forced to see it.  The Principal decided to simply take it down, and had another plaque, thanking our church for our support, made and presented it to our staff.  Again, without fanfare. When questioned by the media, the Principal's statement was, "I wasn't trying to make any kind of religious statement, but just sharing a loving gift our school received. The 10 Commandments say 'Don't kill. Don't lie. Don't steal. I didn't think anyone would find such ideals offensive." 

What is it about the Bible that is prone to cause so much controversy?

My personal opinion is if the Bible doesn't matter, then there wouldn't be any controversy at all.  If someone sets out to prove you wrong... or to prove you right... I believe it's because you matter. If it doesn't matter, then who would care?

I believe the Bible matters, and here's three reasons why.

The Bible is God breathing Life into us.
The Bible is more than another religious book.  It matters more than just to be included in a list of religious writings of the world. Actually, it's much more than a book.  It's a library.  The Bible is a collection of stories, history, poetry, songs, biographies, legends, and letters to groups of people and to individuals. The Bible is full of dreams and metaphor.  These were written over a span of 1600 years, with over 40 writers, on 3 continents, in at least 3 different languages. As one of my favorite authors says, "Things happened, stories were told, and someone wrote it down."

So, a big question many today have about things in the Bible is "did that really happen?" When the better question is "Why did they feel that this needed to be written down and shared?"  Because, maybe the point isn't to record history but to inspire.  Maybe "Noah's Ark" isn't to get you to believe in a universal flood, and a boat-to-animal ratio that would have to be considered early quantum state phenomenon. Could it be that when they wrote down the legend of Noah and the Great Flood, it was to say, "God is with us, and He is holy.  While He washes away all that isn't holy in this life - the darkness, the decay - He is going to restore you to the way it's supposed to be."  Could the point be, God saying, "I'll give you a new start"?

A letter contained in the Bible says, All Scripture is inspired by God... God-breathed. God breathes. The Word of God is the Breath of God, and He is constantly wanting us to breathe in - be inspired by - His life-giving Word.

Through the Bible, we are made more like God.
One thing I believe about the Bible is that Jesus is the subject.  From the Genesis of all things to the Revelation of what is to come, Jesus is the subject.  Jesus is life, hope, love, joy, peace, grace, justice, healing, and holiness.

One of the writers of letters contained in the Bible says that Jesus is the exact representation of God. In one of the accounts of Jesus life and teachings, called Gospels (literally, Good News), Jesus says of Himself that when we have seen Him, we have seen the Father-Creator.

When we become more like Jesus, we become more like God.  I need life, hope, joy, peace, grace, justice, healing, and holiness... so this is indeed Good News!  The Bible starts with a poem-story that says that we, human beings, were created in the image of God.  Then there was what we call "the fall," in other words we broke that image.  Jesus is the One who restored (restores) that broken image of God within us. 

And according to this letter contained in the Bible, All Scripture is inspired by God... and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right... Making us more like God.  Restoring the broken God-image within us. Our lives begin to look like Jesus'.

The Bible lived out, looks like Love.
I've heard the Bible referred to as: "God's Roadmap for Your Life," "The Blueprint for Successful Living," and "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth." I happen to like cliches, and appreciate them as fun ways to look at things.  But the Bible, while it kinda is those things, is something so much more beautiful.

Essentially, the Bible is a story. The Bible is the story.  The story of God's love for you and for me.  Jesus is the subject, but it's our story.  Those over 40 writers, whose writings span 1600 years, with all of these different forms of literature, tell ONE story. The more I researched for myself how the Bible came to be, the more convinced I became that... well, there's something amazing happening here! It's not simply that redemption and restoration happened, but that it happens!

The story is of God's love for us, and His desire for our love in return. And when we live out the eternal principles found within the Bible, our lives look like that love.

There's one more line to this section of a letter in the Bible: All Scripture is God breathed and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right... God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. Every. Good. Work. This is what the story is about. The story lived out looks like Love.  This is why the Bible matters.

Why does (or doesn't) the Bible matter to you?

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