I think that we established some things, at points I think we raised more questions, either way we are making progress. The next point that McLaren makes is pointing out how the modern church also takes the bible as a rule book.
For the most part I think this makes sense. The first books ever considered as important were the first five, the Torah. For the most part if you read through this, it is full of rules. Sure it’s narrative and it tells us a story about Israel but it also tells us every single rule that the Israelites were expected to live by. I think that maybe this concept of the canon was transferred over into our Bible as we see it today.
If anything, the bible shows us all these rules and then explains how those aren’t the point. Jesus fully broke some of these rules but did he break them just to make some more of his own? It’s interesting because I find most Christians use the bible to back up every moral claim they have to make. It’s always controversial ones too that they have to use the bible. You don’t need to use the bible to tell me that murder is wrong, or I shouldn’t steal. You don’t have to use the bible to show me that adultery is wrong either. Yet it’s almost as if we use the bible to support every conviction we have. I’ve heard it used to show us why it’s WRONG to date non-Christians, drink alcohol, kiss before I’m married, and get a tattoo or a piercing. Yet for some reason I’m not convinced. I don’t even see the bible itself making those kind of claims.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that any of those things that I listed above are good or bad or sinful or not sinful. I’m not even saying that morals can’t be found in the bible or that Jesus didn’t teach us tons with his words. Yet once again, I don’t think the point of the Bible is to give us a new list of rules to show us how we need to live. Maybe this will sound real Pentecostal of me, but I think there is high value in living by the Spirit.
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
I’m not really sure how all this plays out, or how we should live by the Spirit as opposed to the law. Obviously the law isn’t the bible, but I think there are parallels. I don’t think that we are freed from the law to live by a new law either. There has to be something that differs between law and spirit, even the new law and the spirit.
If the bible is given to us to give us a bunch of rules of how we need to live our life than I think we have a lot of problems. Especially if we try to use contextual arguments to try and explain why women should be able to teach and show us their hair. The purpose of the bible is not to give us new rules that set a new standard for living. Instead I think the bible points to something beyond that…