Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Real Life" or the Bible?

When teaching, be it adults, children, or youth, there seems to often be this false dichotomy that we either teach Scripture, or we teach "real life." (I use the expression "real life" the way some people talk about it, as if God and the Bible are something for Sunday and funerals and hard times, but that aren't relevant in the "real and immediate" day to day "real" stuff that presses in on us.)

The separation of Scripture and "real life" by teachers teaching any age group is a tragic error which perpetuates this trend toward doing our "church stuff," and then doing our other "life" stuff. To reference my last post, I think that this, also, has to do with a false understanding of the Gospel, and an emphasis on salvation and heaven at the expense of the Kingdom calling and war we are in.

It strikes me that in life too many people have God and church things as one of many spokes on the wheel of their life—with themselves being the hub about which all the spokes revolve. Intentionally or unintentionally, when we draw distinctions, or unBiblical separations, between Scripture and "real life" we only fuel this—and for youth determining where they will build the foundations of their life it cripples the Bible's chances of being that foundation because they don't see its relevance, and hence have no choice but to trust science, doctors, psychologists, teachers, etc., more than God and the Bible for non-religious things.

Rather, I believe that all Scripture study should end at "real life," and that all "real life" discussions should end at Scripture. We need a radical shift in which God moves to the hub of the wheel of our life, and all of our spokes revolve around Him.

There is no part of our life which Scripture should not give us insight in to, and which God should not be our source for dealing with. Be it depression, financial issues, job decisions, voting, etc., God provides our insight, our world view, our strength, and our answer. If we look at Scripture in the right way, we are hard pressed to find parts of it that don't have solid application in to our life—from practical instructions, to deeper insight about the character and nature of God that strengthen our faith we walk by. Likewise, if we look at "real life" properly, there is no part of it that God and the Bible shouldn't be our ultimate answer and perspective on, and strength we rely on and draw from going through.

There is no greater evidence of God's activity and relevance in our life than Jesus walking among us. He made us, He understands us, He faced the same temptations as us, He ate the same food as us, He got tired like us, He needed money like us—on and on and on. God is very interested in every part of our life, and every part of our life we try and "solve" apart from Him is a part we make a grave, and very costly error in.

It is no wonder that we have generations falling away from the church when we teach, and live, like there is the "God stuff" and then there is "real life." How can we wonder why generations are rising up that see scientists and teachers and doctors as the be all, end all of wisdom for anything not directly and overtly "religious" and "spiritual"? How can we truly find solutions that are eternal apart from the One who made eternity? It is truly a very grave, serious, even deadly error to allow ourselves to separate God and "real life"—and an even more serious error if we teach or model that to others. All Scripture study should end at "real life," and all "real life" discussions should end at Scripture.

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