John 15:5 (NIV
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

I’ve been thinking about the evolution of the Christian faith as is told in the Bible, and also as it has played out since the bible. I wrote a couple weeks ago about the bible passage where Abraham is asked to kill his son, and how a new viewpoint had helped to transform my understanding of that story.   I thought I would take tonight to just work through a few other ideas I’d been working through.

I think God created this whole thing – probably with quite a bang 🙂 – a VERY long time ago. I think that the Bible is the story of God and His creation. I also believe all things happen at the very earliest point possible. By that I mean that God started talking to people who were at a point where they could take the leap to trust in Him – the minute they got there.  

I think the Old testament is violent because people were barbaric back then. I think that their understanding of God was incorrect and I believe that they thought He asked them to do things that were partly what He asked of them, but partly their barbaric appreciation of how the world works. (We still insert our wrong interpretations today, but our barbarism is less overt these days…)

I believe this because I see how we have evolved and when religions do claim to have divine direction to kill those who are different we revile and vilify them….even though our religion once made quite similar directives. Nonetheless, God knew that despite misunderstandings and misinterpretations – the journey could begin. He also knew then that one day he would send Jesus to further clarify the true meaning of all things. 

And He did. Jesus came into the world at the earliest possible moment in time to deliver a very complex and incomprehensible message to a people who were just on the cusp of the ability to grasp it. So much so on the cusp, that He was only able to communicate for three years before being murdered. But He knew that was enough – He knew that people had moved beyond their old understandings enough that they could embrace and protect a bit more truth. So despite the short amount of time that He would be with us and in spite of the tragic end, He furthered the story.

I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and carries in it the true nature of God and his full intent. I also believe that we probably understand about as much of it as we do of the brain. You’ve probably heard the rumor that we only use 10 percent of our brain, that is actually not true. We use 100% of our brain everyday. What is true is that 10 percent of our brain is made up of neurons whose function we believe we understand fairly well, and 90% is made up of glial cells whose function is only recently beginning to be understood. So we use all of it – we just don’t understand 90% of it. I think that could be said of the Bible as well.

I like to imagine what it would be like if Jesus were to come now – not in some military victory, or rapture-like hollywood movie -but just come to teach for another three years (or would we let Him teach and grow old? I’d like to think we would, I’m not so sure though.)  

In any case – I wonder what parables and analogies would He use with a people whose understanding of so much has evolved.

With our understanding of networks via the internet and the fact that we can connect with people that we have never met, perhaps He would explain that the Spirit in us is like a network that we plug into that has access to all God is, was, and ever will be.    

Perhaps He would explain that He is the vine and we are the branches by saying that we are all connected just like the computer networks we rely on and God can be like a master program that gives each of us unique direction according to the purpose we are best suited for.  

He might explain that each piece of the body is needed by saying every line of code is needed and just like a bad piece of code in one piece of the network can bring the whole network down – one person who is not healthy can bring all the good work to a grinding halt.  

Perhaps He would say to go after that one sheep by saying that just because you have a bad piece of code it doesn’t mean you can just abandon it – the program needs all of the code to function – so go find where the error is and help correct it.   

Maybe He would say that His message is that we are all part of one big powerful, elegant, and beautiful program and when we all realize it there will be nothing beyond our reach collectively.  

Or, perhaps He would be a ludite… and just stick with the sheep.

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