Monday, November 18, 2013

I wonder if you'd give it a chance...

I recently heard a phrase I can't get out of my head...

"Just give the Bible a chance."

It's so interesting to me how so many people who have never opened one criticize it.
Of course, many people have had devastating run-ins with Christians, and make their assumptions about Christianity and/or Jesus and/ or the Christian God and/ or His Word based off those negative run-ins.
To those of you who, in one way or another may fall in that category... I am so sorry.
I'm sorry for your experience.
I'm sorry for your hurt.
I'm sorry for the pain someone might have caused you.

BUT... I still implore you.

Just give the Bible a chance.

Maybe you would see a God who loves more perfectly than any imperfect human... Christian or not.
Maybe you would see that people who truly understand their identity as Christians would not claim to be perfect, or even close, but rather just as broken as the next person... in need of help.
In need of Love.
And hopefully, people who are learning to receive, and give, grace more freely.

Maybe not. Maybe you wouldn't see any of that in the Bible.
But I just wonder... what would happen if you gave it a chance?

If you are a skeptic, then perhaps you would read it and find out that in fact, all your criticisms, whatever they may be, are solid and true.
If you have no opinion on the matter, maybe reading it would spark one in you.
If you've read it before, but it's been a while, maybe something fresh and exciting would appear.

But you'll never know, unless you give it a chance.

Oh, and might I recommend... start in the gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Get a feel for the Jesus that people talk about so much. Or you might read the entire New Testament. It's actually pretty short. Or maybe you're feeling crazy and you're going to read the whole thing. Cover to cover. They say it takes 77.5 hours... which actually was shorter than I expected.

[Side note - there are a lot of translations of the Bible. Many are similar, and we don't need to get into details now, but I find the New International Version (NIV) or the New Living Translation (NLT) the easiest for a first read-through. Also, I have fallen in love with the Jesus Storybook Bible. Plus, it has pictures :)]

Whatever your choice... give it a chance.
And then I'll of course be curious to know your reaction.

Last thing. If you don't have one, and don't feel like reading it online (I much prefer turning the pages of any book to reading on a screen), I'd be happy to get one for you. If you were to send me an email or private message on facebook, I'd mail you a new one :)

So... will you give it a chance?