Gungor happens to be one of my favorite bands (not just Christian) that I’ve pleasantly stumbled upon. I’m looking forward to seeing them and David Crowder Band and John Mark McMillan in concert in October. (yay).
Gungor has a song called “Cannot Keep You” and in the song, they sing:
we cannot keep you in a church
we cannot keep you in a Bible
or it’s just another idol to box you in
I firmly believe that Scripture is the most important part of our faith lives and journey.
But the problem I have is when we bury our head in Scripture, so that we can’t see anything else. Scripture should affect the way we view the world, affect the way we interact with one another, Scripture should influence and form who we are.
But in no way, should it keep us away from the world, or in a Christian “bubble” where Scripture and God are completely separated from the world. Mind you, the very world that God loved and sent his Son to die for.
I do see how we can sometimes contain God in a church or in our Bibles, and therefore making those very important things into some sort of idol or box to stuff God in.
I have to admit, I do get a bit weary when pastors tell me that they don’t read the Bible, but read all sorts of commentaries on the Bible.
I also have to admit, people who can quote scripture like it’s nothing, a lot of my experience with them have been negative and damning, more than inspiring, encouraging and loving.
I ran across this story the other way that made me think of this:
One day a young fugitive, trying to hide himself from the enemy, entered a small village. The people were kind to him and offered him a place to stay. But when the soldiers who sought the fugitive asked where he was hiding, everyone became very fearful. The soldiers threatened to burn the village and kill everyone in it unless the young man was handed over to them before dawn. The people went to the minister and asked him what to do.
The minister, torn between handing over the man to the enemy and having his people killed, withdrew to his room and read his Bible, hoping to find an answer before dawn. After many hours, in the early morning his eyes fell on these words: “It is better that one man dies than that the whole people be lost.”
The minister closed the Bible, called the soldiers and told them where the fugitive was hidden. And after the soldiers led the young man away to be killed, there was a feast in the village because the minister had saved the lives of the people.
But the minister did not celebrate. Overcome with deep sadness, he remained in his room. That night an angel came to him and asked, “What have you done?” He said: “I handed over the fugitive to the enemy.” Then the angel said: “But don’t you know that yo have handed over the Messiah?” “How could I know?” the minister replied anxiously. And the angel said: “If, instead of reading your Bible, you had visited this young man just once and looked into his eyes, you would have known.”
I know many people, instead of bringing scripture to life, they hide behind it.
As Francis Chan says, When your dad tells you to clean up your room, you don’t go gather a bunch of your friends and try to study what your dad meant when he said “Clean up your room.” You go clean that room of yours.
Likewise, when God says love your neighbor, we shouldn’t go trying to figure out who our neighbors are or what it might cost us.
Some of us are so buried in our Bibles, we don’t see our capacity to bring love and hope in God’s name and grace to the people around us. We’re so caught up in reading the Word, that we miss out on living the Word.
Don’t get me wrong. I can stand to be buried in the Bible far more and immersed in God’s Words more and more. But, I can’t afford to just read the Word and not participate and doing my part to bring God’s message of hope, grace and love to this world, the very world that God loved enough to send his own to save that world through Jesus.