The Bible Project

Over the last several weeks I have been on a binge. No, not a Netflix or junk food binge, but The Bible Project binge. I just can’t get enough. Not only is it helping me understand the biblical storyline, but it is doing so in an interesting and engaging way. I want to commend their videos and resources to you. Below is their trailer. It tells you who they are and what they are doing.

After watching the trailer, head over to the app store and download the app: Read Scripture. It’s not only a great way to read through the Bible in a year, but it has The Bible Projects videos baked in. At the beginning of each book, and periodically throughout, there is a video for you to watch that helps you understand the book or theme you are about to read or, in the case of the theme, just read. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. The video highlighting the app is below.

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31 thoughts on “The Bible Project

  1. I didn’t have to make it very far into it to know all I needed to know. To me, flaws with Scripture begin with the humans interpreting the story. There’s a lot going on under the surface of most Bible stories that has an effect on popular teachings to this day that affect all of our lives. There’s really no way to put the Bible into a nutshell without having to decide what parts to emphasize as most important and what parts to downplay as less important. There’s a lot that gets missed. I’m sure they’d do a fine job for the sorts that are happy with a surface level Christianity, but when it comes to the depths – there’s a lot that remains hidden.

    1. Of course, they will have to highlight some things over others. The purpose isn’t to examine the trees but to provide an overview of the forest which should in turn help you examine the trees.

      I don’t think it’s providing for a surface level Christianity. Instead, I think it’s encouraging you to dig deeper.

      Many don’t understand the biblical storyline, how everything fits together, nor do they have a good understanding of major themes in the Bible like atonement, gospel, holiness, etc., by helping readers understand those things, it should encourage them to get into the Bible and read it for themselves.

      1. I remember looking through “seamless” which was about much the same thing, the seamless story of the Gospel. It’s author focused on the marriage aspect of the Gospel and did that by featuring Hosea/Gomer as an archetype of the typical believer – you, me, her, her husband, we’re all Gomer and God is Hosea trying to rescue us time and time again. The problem with Seamless was that it was blatantly Calvinistic and quite complementarian in it’s presentation. That’s what I worry, when an author’s predisposed theological framework bents the interpretation of Scripture in a direction that might not be directly supported in the text itself.

        1. I understand your concern. Certainly, the best practice is to allow the text to speak on its own. However, given our past study and the theological framework from which we are approaching the text, that is difficult to do. If we are all honest interpreters, we have to say that we too approach the text with our own predispositions and presuppositions. Recognizing those can help to keep us from jumping to a conclusion too fast.

          However, a well developed theological grid can also be of help to us. It means we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we open our Bible’s to study. We already understand certain words, ideas, concepts, and the storyline. From those, we can work to understand the passage we are studying.

          As we study, we should be in the habit of challenging our grid, correcting where we find ourselves to be in error, and deepening our understand in other areas.

          Thanks for the discussion. Good stuff!

          Just to be transparent, I see the Hosea/Gomer story in the way you mentioned. Gomer is a representative of Israel, who continues to sin. Hosea is a representative of God, who continues to chase after and remain faithful to Israel even though they continue to chase after other gods (lovers). Time and time again God honors His covenant promises by calling Israel back despite their sin.

          As we read the story, we too should find hope in God’s faithfulness because we too consistently sin against God even though our hearts have been changed. God, however, will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus’ sacrifice has paid the price for our sins once and for all.

        2. Perhaps the Hosea/Gomer thing jumped out at me because I was never taught to read it that way. The book wasn’t usually taught at church and when I did get around to reading it, I didn’t look for themes or profound spiritual double meanings in them. So when I heard it from Seamless it seemed odd to me. I had read “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes” and saw that by being modern westerners, we often fail to understand concepts that went without saying in the ancient near east regions; how honor/shame was a big deal to them doesn’t mean so much to us.

        3. I agree that we have a tendency to read scripture with Western Eyes. The first thing we must do then is try to figure out what the intent of the author was and how it fits into the overarching narrative of Scripture.

          Asking questions like:
          What’s the purpose of this book?

          How does it point to Jesus (Luke 24 – JC tells folks how the Scriptures point to Him)?

          Why this book is positioned here in the biblical canon?

          What if any benefit or teaching can we as Christians gain from it?

          Those are good places to start. I believe The Bible Project does a great job at helping to answer those questions. Of course, you need to check their work against Scripture, but it can be a helpful starting point.

        4. I guess that depends on which canon one uses, Ethiopian Christians have around eighty if I’m not mistaken, and Catholics have an extra half dozen. What aren’t we being taught that they are?

        5. As I understand the order of events, the epistles were written before the gospels which were written in the latter half of the first century. The Council of Nicaea didn’t even have an official list of the books when it convened around 325 a.d. . It wasn’t until one of the later councils in 425 a.d. was the canon closed, but there was some contention because not everyone recognized the same books, and some books which were popular like the Shepherd of Hermas and the Didache were were not considered as part of the canon even though for centuries many believers considered them inspired. Just as we cannot escape our western biases, so too it would have been impossible for the Bible’s writers to escape their own. If anything, they were more predisposed to doing so – think of the historians we have from their culture, they didn’t hesitate to emphasize events in ways that favored the understanding that benefited them or their patrons most. So too, we have to carefully weigh the stories and understand that a literal reading isn’t always the best one.

        6. Jamie,

          Here is an excellent article regarding the councils and the closed canon. http://www.theopedia.com/development-of-the-canon

          The important thing to remember is that the Bible wasn’t selected by one group at one council. Rather it’s canonization occurred organically as the Gospels and Letters were passed around from church to church. In other words, the church over centuries decided what they recognized as Scripture and what wasn’t. Sure, people wrote lists of what books were in or out, but those lists were just a record of what was happening in the church at that time. It would be like an estate planner walking into their client’s house and writing everything down they see.

          If you haven’t watched it yet, check out this lecture http://realitysf.com/sermon/lecture-on-canonization-with-tim-mackie/

          As to a literal reading of Scripture, I believe it is crucial we take the Bible at face value within its own literary style. If we don’t take the stories at face value, but rather decide what they should mean, we are sitting over and against the original author’s intent instead of under him. If we do that, we could make Scripture say whatever we want, championing some parts, while pushing others to the side because we don’t agree or don’t want to change. But that is not the purpose. Scripture is to build us up, but it is also to confront our sin and thinking in order to bring it inline with God’s will and thinking.

          Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

          “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Ti 3:16–17)

          So we must allow the biblical author to speak to us. We must allow him to challenge and confront. We can’t write things away claiming their cultural biases. We must believe that Scripture, though written by man, is God’s very Words to us. As Peter says,

          “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pe 1:20–21)

        7. There’s a certain degree of incredulity that goes with the territory, you know how a fistherman’s tale is often exaggerated? That was a cultural norm in which the Bible was written. It’s evident in how ancient historians didn’t stick to just the facts, but interpreted according to their own biases. When you take into account how not even in their culture everything was understood literally, then we have to question our own tendency to be literal when they weren’t.

        8. Honestly, I believe we run into trouble when we start to try to figure out the biases of the biblical writers. What ends up happening is that we write those portions of Scripture off because they don’t fit our cultural context. So we may claim a cultural bias towards homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, woman as pastor, etc. Once we claim the cultural bias towards these things, we can freely write them off. But that is not good exegesis. God doesn’t want us to write these things off. Instead, He wants us to obey them, even if they may push back against our current cultural norms. You see, if God’s Word can’t push back against us, then it really isn’t His Word we are reading. Instead, it is our own word cloaked as Scripture. We all know we are sinners who will do whatever we can to justify our sin. So instead of writing things off as cultural biases, which we do to justify sin, we need to listen and submit to all of what God’s Word says.

        9. But don’t we already pick and choose? God’s word also says that women should wear head-coverings and men shouldn’t wear head-coverings. As a society we’ve looked at that verse and decided that it’s been done and there’s really nothing to it. In all the time women haven’t worn head-coverings, they haven’t burst into pillars of salt, caught fire, dropped dead, etc. Why can’t some of the other teachings be much the same thing? Ideas that belonged to it’s time and place but not necessarily the ideal that God wants forever. I’ve been talking with another on the subject of slavery. God didn’t condemn it, so perhaps we should re-instate slavery just to be sure we’re completely obeying the whole Word of God.

        10. You bring up some good questions. Certainly, the reference in 1 Corinthians 11 about head coverings is a difficult passage. I know I struggled with it when I preached it. One of the things I didn’t want to do with the passage was to write it off as a cultural norm. So I asked: Why head coverings? What was their purpose? What were they?

          Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that Scripture isn’t clear as to exactly what they were. They could have been a scarf or the like, or it could have referred to woman’s hair.

          Also, I came to the conclusion that their purpose was for women to show that their husband was their head. That is the principle behind the idea and what the passage is all about. For that reason, I entitled my sermon: God’s Authority Structure.

          With all that in mind, I came to the conclusion that woman should either dress or present themselves in a way so as to make it clear that they were married and that they recognize that their husband as their head. Some women may have done that with a head scarf, others may have done that by the way, they wore their hair. Temple prostitutes wore their hair different in those days.

          Based on the textual evidence, then, it is hard to tell a woman today that she has to wear a scarf on her head when the passage itself isn’t really clear as to what constituted a head covering in Paul’s day. However, I believe we can counsel woman today that they are supposed to dress in such a way as to indicate their husband is their head. For some, that might mean wearing a physical head covering such as a hat or scarf, for others, it might mean wearing a feminine haircut, for others, it might mean dressing modestly so as not to attract the attention of other men. Folks today are divided on the issue.

          Another thing we need to remember is that we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater based on one highly disputed passaged. Meaning that we can’t just throw up the cultural bias card because one passage seems to lean more toward cultural norms than others. While there seems to be a cultural idea taking place in 1 Corinthians 11, it is still propped up by a biblical principle — Men are the head of women. That is a principle we shouldn’t and can’t deny based on other biblical evidence.

          Also, I think it is important that we adhere to what God has made clear in Scripture, such as moral laws. We can’t just write those off as cultural norms because they aren’t. They are commands God has given based on His character.

          That takes us to slavery. Certainly, Paul never condemns slavery outright in his writings. But when we look at the text closely, we see that Paul’s purpose in his writings was to tell slave owners and slaves how they were supposed to interact with one another while they lived in that system. His purpose, then, wasn’t to completely rid the Roman world of slavery. It was to tell Christians how they can live distinct from the culture even while they lived in the culture. As slaves and slave owners treated each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, as they showed respect to each other, they shined the gospel light into a dark pagan world.

          It is also important to note that slavery in Paul’s day was much different than the slavery that took place in the United States. That doesn’t mean it is right. But to import that picture onto the slavery Paul encountered is inaccurate.

          Now, with that being said, when we look at the character of God, we see that He cares for the oppressed, hurting, and afflicted. Certainly, God doesn’t desire anyone to be a slave. He desires all men to be free. As Christians, we should desire those things as well.

          That is a lot of thoughts, so I’ll stop there for now.

        11. If one looks hard enough, they can find a similar Biblical principle to prop up slavery, the constant use of slavery metaphors, the instruction for Philemon to accept Onesimus, the direction of slaves to submit to their masters. In those same passages is the direction for the wife to submit to her husband in the same way that slaves are to submit to their masters. If that principle is intact as this beautiful principle in one part of one passage but deemed cultural in another because their slavery was different then we have to wonder if the first part is cultural as well, after all, their very families were different too. In as much as God desires all men to be free, I’m also wondering if God desires all men and women to be truly equal as where there is difference, there is inequality.

        12. It seems what you are pushing back against is the complementarian position. That position doesn’t hold that men and women aren’t equal – they certainly are equal. What the position holds is that men and women are equal, they are just given different roles. When biblical writers talk about these different roles, they either refer to how Christ is the head of the church or back to the creation account. So when we argue against equal yet different roles, what we are really arguing against is God’s design. Complementarianism isn’t a cultural position for us to reject based on our cultural position, it is a biblical position grounded in creation and Jesus’ headship.

        13. And I’m sure that the Bible would also say that masters and slaves are equally human with different roles – but humanity lacks the capacity to not abuse relationships of authority and submission. Every form of it has been corrupted.

        14. I think it is important to separate the discussion. You are dealing with two separate ideas – headship and slavery. One is grounded in creation and Jesus. The other, slavery, is the result of the Fall of man.

          Sin is the reason people are oppressed and enslaved. Based on God’s character, how He fights for the oppressed and enslaved. How He renders justice to those who experience injustice, we can categorically state from the Bible that slavery is not right. It’s not right to oppress and harm another human.

          While Paul never condemns this system head on, presumable by believing in and preaching Christ and by magnifying God, His character, and calling us to imitate Christ, Paul doesn’t see slavery as right. But again, going back a few comments, Paul wasn’t necessarily speaking to the system itself. He was speaking to those involved in the system as brothers and sisters in Christ. He was telling them how they are to live.

          So a few last points:

          (1) We have to separate different exegetical questions and place them in their own categories.

          (2) We can’t set parts of the Bible aside that we don’t like. Doing so means that we are sitting over the Bible instead of under it. If we believe the Bible is God’s Word to us, we must sit under it, not over it because we sit under God not over God. In other words, we must allow the Bible to tell us how to live, even if what it tells us is difficult and hard.

        15. Ephesians 5:21-33 are always lauded as the proper example of headship, the authority of the husband and the submission of the wife. Ephesians 6:5-9 is part of the same conversation, it’s the proper example of slavery, the authority of the master and the submission of the slave. Further, 1 Peter 2:18-25 instructs slaves to submit to their masters and 1 Peter 3:1-7 tells wives to submit to their husbands. The same structure – authority leads and non-authority submits exists in both types of relationships – the master/slave as well as husband/wife. One is a difference of class, the other is that of gender. We can see from the whole history of slavery, there’s a pronounced tendency of humans to abuse their authority and in the process degrade the humanity of the other party who is required to submit no matter what. It happens in every form authority and submission relationships appear in – the Shepherding Movement, for example, was a more recent occasion where a human authority became a controlling dictator and the “sheep” were reduced to adult children who were incapable of making their own decisions. Humanity lacks the ability to not oppress and harm other humans, when there is a difference it is often exploited – be that difference class, wealth, origin, and gender. I remember this one woman at church, she really bought into it all. She would always walk a few steps behind her husband. She never uttered a word inside the building. Her husband always did the talking, when he did, she was standing there, looking down at the ground. His headship was total, her submission was absolute. It reminded me of the phrase that “children should be seen but not heard” and it occurred to me that its true of slaves and wives in the ancient world, and when we take a leaf out of their book then all that remains is for certain groups of people to be silenced while other groups speak for them. That’s not what Christianity should be. Jesus always let the women in his life speak for themselves, he valued their input, he considered what they had to say, and he even conceded that they had a point even though he was God. Christianity doesn’t follow Jesus’ example, I’m sad to say.

        16. Again, I believe we need to look at these two topics seperately.

          Headship

          Just so we are understanding the passage correctly, here it is in full.

          “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” (Eph 5:22–30)

          If you notice, while the women is supposed to submit to her husband, the husband is supposed to love his wife. Both play their own roles, but both are in no way inferior to the other. Nor is one supposed to mistreat the other, like the example you gave.

          While the woman is to submit, the husband is to love his wife self-sacrifically. He is to be willing to die for her has Christ died for the church. When a man is operating in that way towards his wife, he will not use or abuse her. He will instead care for her in a way that most men don’t care for their wives today. It is sad, but I believe a lot of people think a wife’s submission is supposed to look like the scenario you described, but I believe that is far from the biblical idea, as we see here in Ephesians 5.

          Also, you can’t just write the idea of submission off as cultural because it is intimately tied to the idea of Christ and the church. The church submitting to Christ and Christ self-sacrifically loving the church isn’t a cultural concept. It is a deeply biblical concept that we can’t erase. If we do, we are erasing our faith and all that Christianity is built upon. Paul, by tieing his argument to the church and Christ, meant for this idea, this concept, to live on into the future, which means that we, as 21st century Westerners are supposed to live by it as well.

          As well as, it is to our advantage to live in this way. When a woman respectfully submits to her husband, she shows respect and ends up building him up. When the husband loves his wife like Christ loves the church, he build her up as well, washing her and sanctifiying her, so as to present her blameless.

          Often times, we miss the fact that the man has the harder duty in these verses. He is not only to self-sacrifically love and lead his wife, but he is also to help her grow spiritually so as to present her to Christ at the end of the age. I don’t know about you, but that is a huge responsibility. So men who use this passage as a way to require their wife to quielty follow them around not saying a word, nor disagreeing with them, are not only missing out on the wisdom their wives have, but they are also missing the entire point of their immense responsibility.

          Slaves

          As I have already mentioned, slave/master relationships in biblical times were much different than in colonial America. Instead of slavery for ethnic reasons, folks were enslaved because their people group was conquered, or they could not afford to pay their debt. In most instances, those who were enslaved, had an end in sight. They weren’t treated like animals or property, but rather as human beings. Certainly, the system was far from perfect, and I am not advocating for that system in anyway, I’m just relating the historical idea.

          Paul arrives on the scene as a Christian in the first century. He speaks into this system, telling those who are Christians how they are supposed to live out their Christian life in the real world. The world where there were masters and slaves. He tells the slave to respect and work well, as well as he tells the master to treat the slave like a brother in Christ. Certainly, if both groups acted as Paul commanded, mistreatement would be kept to a minimum, if not non-existent altogether, as well as they would shine as lights into a dark culture. In other words, their actions would point to a change in heart by the gospel.

          Now, I do believe that Paul did speak against slavery, especially the type that exploited other humans, like the kind we find in colonial America, when he included enslavers in the following list in 1 Timothy 1,

          “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” (1 Ti 1:8–11)

          The Bible itself has no place for those who are going to treat others as property to be sold and profited from. The idea of slavery at all, while found in the Bible, is certainly not something that God desires His creation to experience. This is why He works on the side of the oppressed, the suffering, the hurting, the enslaved. In fact, He brought is very onwn people out of slavery in the Exodus episode.

          To accuse Paul of advocating for or championing the cause of slavery is false. Paul no more liked slavery than did Wilber Wilberforce, the man who fought for the abolition of the slave trade in England. He was against it, but he also recognized there was a system in place. He needed to tell his people how they were to live while that system was taking place. That, I believe, is what he is doing in 1 Timothy, as well as in Ephesians 6. I also believe that is what Peter is doing in the verses you referenced. They are telling Christians how to live in the system that is in place. Certainly, we would do the same today with things like same-sex marriage or transgender issues. Pastors will counsel their members how they are supposed to interact with that system and even work in a world where those things are taking place from a Christian point of view.

          As far as Christianity living like Jesus, who is perfect? No one. We all make mistakes, we all live as hypocrites from time to time. We all do things we regret later. Hence, the beauty of the gospel. Even though we continue to sin, Jesus still loves and advocates for us. He remains our mediator and we remain a child of God who will one day be released from this corrupt and sinful world to live for all eternity with Jesus as our King in a perfect world where slavery and the like do not exist. I long for that day, but until then, we have to figure out how to live in this world in a way that pleases God. Thankfully, God has not only given us the gospel, the Holy Spirit, and a changed heart, but He has given us His Word. Praise God for the Word. May we treasure and follow it’s teaching!

        17. Would you say, then, that slavery was cultural – in particular the New Testament slavery was that of the law of the Roman Empire? Is it also not possible that headship/submission was also cultural according to the law of the Roman Empire? While it’s difficult for us to imagine our family unit as being subject to the law, the Romans saw the family as the smallest unit of the state – to that end, Aristotle once wrote to Masters and Slaves, Husbands and Wives, and Fathers and Children – the same pairs we see in the household codes – except Aristotle wrote about them a few hundred years before the apostles did. Since slavery and male headship are discussed in the same passage, one cannot be a “tearing down of a system that the apostles weren’t a fan of” and the other “a hearty endorsement of a system that the apostles dearly loved.” Just as their slavery is different from our colonial slavery, so too are their families different from our nuclear ones. The laws don’t fit the situation. Their masters, husbands, and fathers were usually one and the same person; and that’s only if they were rich enough to own slaves and not be one, married and not single or widowed, a parent and not childless. It didn’t apply to absolutely everybody – these household codes failed people living outside of those relationships as the Church fails people who live outside it’s sanctioned relationships today.

        18. Can you clarify what you mean by the church fails those outside its sanctioned relationships today? What sanctioned or non-sanctioned relationships do you have in mind? What do you mean by fails?

          To answer your question, I don’t think you can say headship is a construct of the Roman family unique. See my argument above about headship and submission being tied to Christ and the church.

        19. When the Bible was written, singleness wasn’t uplifted until Paul wrote highly of it. Even then, there was immense cultural pressure to marry. Because of that, Christianity today fails it’s singles and often neglects it’s widows for having fallen from or never achieved the high and holy state of matrimony. The world today has slightly more single individuals than married couples, but the church exclusively preaches to it’s marrieds as if they’re all that matter. It sets it’s schedule and activities around those of the married parents as they matter most. It shames single women for working because that’s what men are supposed to do, and it shames single men for cooking and cleaning because that’s what women are supposed to do. When you’re a married parent, all door are open to you. When you’re a single childless individual, you’re a project they have to fix.
          The Romans system of headship was called pater familias – he was the oldest living male in any given household and had complete control over all family members, his sons and daughters, their sons and daughters, his slaves, his freedmen, and his clients for whom he was their patron. He was the family businessman, the family lawyer, and the family priest, among other things. Just as Rome had slavery, Rome had headship. Just as Israel had slavery, Israel had headship – “Thus the sages laid down that a man shall honor his wife more than his own self and shall love her as he loves himself, and shall constantly seek to benefit her according to his means; that he shall not unduly impose his authority on her and shall speak gently with her; that he shall be neither sad nor irritable. Similarly they laid down that a wife shall honor her husband exceedingly and shall accept his authority and abide by his wishes in all her activities…” (Maim. Yad, Ishut 15:19–20).” What Paul wrote was in agreement with that which already existed – but because we often lack cultural knowledge then we have to wonder: is this wisdom rooted in God or in man? If God, why didn’t he lay down the law when the Law of Moses was being written? If man, how much of it applies after thousands of years have passed and our culture has changed?
          Perhaps the principle being established is that one ought not go against the norm, and if it’s normal for husbands and wives be equals, that’s what Scripture would reflect were it written today in our own culture – and it would find something in the nature of God to establish that as divine proof it’s so – perhaps the equality of God and Christ as they are one.

        20. I can’t disagree with you when it comes to the church’s treatment of singles. I, however, assure you that is not all churches. Many of my pastor friends have a robust singles ministry at their church. It is not to push them into getting married quicker, but to minister to them where they are. Certainly, that is my intention as well, even if I don’t have a lot of single people in my area.

          I would suggest finding a solid gospel-centered church in your area that is preaching the gospel and God’s Word week in and week out. If you are able to find that, I think you will see something much different than what you have seen in the past. May I suggest looking at the church directory on The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks.org, or Acts29. Most of those churches are solid and most will offer something different than what you have seen in the past.

          To say that the Bible should or would be changed with the culture is a major assumption we aren’t in a place to make. We were given the Scriptures in their context and at that time. Even though we sit 1000’s of years later, they are still profitable and useful for us.

          Here is a thought I will leave you with: If the Bible we read, the church we attend, or the God we worship, can’t disagree with us, then we aren’t really worshipping, attending, or reading anything more than our own creation.

          The very nature of Christianity requires that God sit over us and we sit under Him. We are to look to Him for wisdom and how to live, He is not to look to us and see what we want. When we look to God for how we are to live, we aren’t always going to agree, nor will His ways always agree with our culture.

          I am sorry your church experience hasn’t been great in the past. I pray you find a solid church that can change your perspective.

        21. Perhaps so many singles have been so thoroughly burned by this marriage-centric Christianity that they feel that they do not belong there at all which is why they no longer come. They are out there – as scattered and isolated sheep whom shepherds fail to seek out. Having seen more than a little bit of bad press from TGC, 9Marks, and Acts29, these churches are probably the greatest offenders – from Mark Driscoll’s destruction of Mars Hill (I can’t believe he’s got a new church started in Phoenix so soon), Sovereign Grace’s Child Abuse cover-up (seems like an evangelical version of Spotlight), the Village’s treatment of a woman married to a man who was into child pornography (she was put into discipline for getting an annulment and he wasn’t disciplined for his sin as he was “walking in repentance”), I just don’t think of any of them as a place for singles because their view of marriage is central to their teachings more-so than anything else, it’s the altar they are willing to sacrifice everything on for the sake of their image. Besides, no such churches exist in this county – it’s the benefit of living in the middle of nowhere; but the downside is having very few choices about the churches that are out here. Most of them are small country baptist churches, as many as fifty might attend, most of them will be elders, there will be a few scattered couples with their kids, in some of the churches I was the only one in my age/life situation so they sentenced me to the next group up. I know by heart the teachings about authority and submission, love and respect, gentle headship and intelligent, responsive obedience. But it’s all quite useless to a family of one. I read how 1 Corinthians 7 talks about Paul saying that singles can do so much for God, perhaps that might have been so in his day, but since marriage is a prerequisite for doing anything in Christianity these days, singles are little move than too old immature children who haven’t gotten the message that their only role is to be mom and dads, husbands and wives – anything outside of that is unbiblical.

        22. I wouldn’t let a few bad decisions spoil the whole bunch. You are missing out on solid churches.

          Also, I would challenge you to use this time to serve instead of looking for the perfect church. There are none but you can use the gifts God has given you to serve in them anyways.

        23. It’s more like avoiding a bad branch of the family tree that bears toxic fruit.
          Most churches I’ve visited are too used to having things their way, they wouldn’t know what to do with my skills – I speak Spanish, I can read Portuguese, I’m having a tough go of learning American Sign Language but I can understand some of it, I know a lot about church history and cultures of the Bible – but I’m disqualified from pretty much every typical ministry they have as I don’t have a family and am not authorized to use the gifts God gave me without one. If I’m lucky, they might let me push buttons on the sound board.

  2. I also recently discovered The Bible Project and I’m loving it! Super helpful for understanding the general theme of a book and the events that take place. I think I often loose sight of this when I am just trekking through to finish a book of the Bible. Love it!

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