Few people, even among the most ardent and committed believers, have a realistic grasp on how dangerous a document the Holy Bible truly is. For many, this collection of scriptures, while foundational for their faith, is merely a guidebook for human behavior. For others, perhaps more excitable than the group just mentioned, the Bible is nothing less than the inerrant Word of God, with a capital “W” – and nothing less. For still others, far too many in fact, this incredible document is just another volume gathering dust on the bookshelf, nestled somewhere in between those encyclopedias purchased for little Johnny when he was in 4th grade ( little Johnny just celebrated his 30th birthday) and that way-too-big cookbook Aunt Bernice gave us six Christmases back.
Tragic but true; few folks realize what an explosive document lurks on those shelves. For many, it will never go off; yet for others, a fortunate few, it is a ticking time bomb. For some, like Bruxy Cavey, teaching pastor at “The Meeting House” in Toronto, it suddenly becomes apparent just how volatile a document the Bible is:
The Bible is far more than the religious holy book for two major world religions – Judaism and Christianity. It is a library of ancient documents that point toward a surprisingly nonreligious spirituality that ultimately culminates in the subversive message and mission of Jesus. Although embraced by many religious institutions as their founding Scripture, the pages of the Bible reveal an irreligious agenda, one that is designed to explode religion from the inside out. I am convinced that the Bible holds clues to a way out of our slavish addiction to religious systems, while it simultaneously invites us into a direct connection with the Divine.
You see, it is this very type of deep intimacy with the Divine that so many of us sorely need today. It is the kind of intimacy that gives not only solace and comfort, for it surely does provide those things, but so much more. Relationship with the Divine, intimate relationship, is not religion. In fact, religion for the most part prevents the kind of intimacy I am describing here. It is a relationship of intimacy that is life-giving, life-sustaining, and life-changing. It is the kind of intimate partnership described early on in the opening book of the Bible, when the Creator and his children walked and shared each other’s company in the cool of the day.
It is the kind of intimacy with the Divine that we were created for – all of us – the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker and me and you. It is the kind of intimacy that was lost when the first couple, evidently beguiled by a snake, set into motion a series of nefarious events that cast a dark shadow down through the pages of history, right up until this day. It is the kind of intimacy that religion, in utter futility, tried to replace.
Most importantly, it is the kind of intimacy that Jesus came to restore.
© L.D. Turner 2010/ All Rights Reserved