Monday, March 10, 2014

For or Against

You know those people. I know those people. I used to be those people. 

The kind of people that have strong opinions and speak loudly. 

Have you seen the miniseries The Bible that was produced by Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey?  We watched it when it was first on television, but we have been watching it again with our small group. 

I wish I could say that I have read the whole bible, but as many times as I have started through a one year read... I have never finished. Nathan on the other hand, has read through it several times. And he's super smart. So as we have watched the miniseries, we have paused and discussed some parts, talking about how that part of the story was portrayed or going back to the scriptures to verify what we have seen. All in all, I would say that they did an excellent job of telling the most important story in history in an eight hour miniseries. 

We did find small discrepancies. For example, when Jesus walked on water.  In the bible we are told that when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they thought it was a ghost, but He said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” And then Peter asked him “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” In the miniseries Jesus sees that the disciples are scared and calls out to Peter to come walk on the water, without Peter saying anything. 

So while this is not technically a 100% accurate portrayal of this story, it doesn't change the story. It doesn't change the gospel. It doesn't change the truth of who God is. 

Last week, one of the members of our small group found an article about the miniseries and forwarded it to the rest of us because he thought it was an interesting talking point. As a disclaimer, I did not read the entire article. It was long and wordy, and I could quickly see that the author had a very strong opinion and agenda of discrediting the miniseries by discrediting the Burnetts. 

She attacked their character, she called them "false teachers" and "fake Christians" and had the gall to say "they are NOT real Christians."  {A judgement reserved for the Lord.} She also accused Rick Warren and Saddleback Church {who have been very supportive of the Burnetts work} of being New Age. I live very close to Saddleback Church, I have been to events there, and I have several close friends that attend there regularly. I have never seen anything but authentic Christianity coming from that church. 

This article really bugged me. Not because I thought she was incorrect. Not because I am a big fan of the Burnetts. Because I feel like this is the problem with the church today: we are too busy judging each other and we have forgotten that one of the last things Jesus did on earth was to pray for the unity of believers. “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you... I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are oneI in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." {John 17:20-23}

The "church" has become many churches with countless denominations and sects, some of which still serve and worship the God of the bible, and some that have reinvented the bible to serve themselves. There is only one truth and the truth is important, but a lot of the issues that Christians spend their time arguing about are not salvation issues. They are not things that change the gospel. And it makes me sad when Christians would rather be right than be love. 

A few days after perusing this article about The Bible my pastor said something that I have heard him say many times before. He said:

And it struck me what was really bothering me about this article: this woman is busy trying to be known for what she is against. She is being divisive. 

This miniseries has brought a lot of attention to the bible. It has brought a lot of attention to Christ and the gospel. And that is a good thing in my opinion. 

And maybe, just maybe the Burnetts are off track on some of their beliefs. I don't know, because I don't know them. And I would certainly NEVER claim to know their hearts. But I do know that they are being used by the Lord to shed light into the darkness. 

I want to be known for what I am for. And I am for the bible, Christ, love and truth. 


  1. AMEN! If more Christians sought to love rather than judge we would see more souls find salvation.

  2. YES! This is IT! I've spent the last couple of weeks searching through adoption blogs (most Christian adoption blogs) as we're in the process of adopting from Haiti. I've been so shocked and…confused by the super strong opinions Christians have about other Christians on their motives for adopting. I understand every one is different, but it just makes me sick to my stomach to think of so many strong opinions being held over something that doesn't change the gospel of who Jesus is. It is not Jesus' heart and it breaks mine to see it happening among believers. Especially in regards to giving a child a home. I LOVE the quote you have at the end. It seems like so much in our culture everyone wants to be defined by what they think and feel and stand for, doesn't matter if it's true or not, it's what they choose to believe. How much more freeing to be defined by what we are for and WHO we are for.

    i just really needed to see that today. thank you for sharing it. i kept praying to come across a blog that would encourage during this process and yours did just that. thank you!