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Rules of the Game

May 16, 2007

I had a wonderful discussion with the Adventist minister who is a part of the fellowship that rents our buildings for Saturday worship. For some reason today he asked me if I thought it was strange that they met on Saturday. I told him I saw nothing strange about it at all.

Now in retrospect I suppose that was his question to engage me in a discussion on which day was correct for worship but those aren’t the rules that govern the game so I realize I may have missed the bate.

Now we did end up discussing Saturday worship but I could tell my understanding of church history wasn’t the one he held. He then asked me what scripture authorized Sunday worship. He wanted to know where I found it in the Bible.

Well since I believe that the early church met both Saturday and Sunday this wasn’t a large issue for me. I explained that historically the Jewish believers and met on Saturday while the Gentiles met on Sundays. That is my understanding and I explained how Romans and Galatians deal with the tension that resulted because of these two different cultures.

Well he needed to pick up his daughter so we didn’t really get to finish the discussion but I promised to continue it at a different time. He assured me he could show me from scripture how certain truths were found there. I told him I was sure he could and I also promised I could get another group who would hold up their understanding of truth and yet it would be diametrically opposed to his.

What are the rules to the game? I have a mixed feeling about our discussion. I enjoyed it because I like learning about how others think, it intrigues me, but why do we think these are the rules of engagement? Why can’t people see that there basic assumptions about what they are supposed to be doing with the Bible are simply not historically true? What can you say to someone who wants to approach the Bible with such a rule book?

I am thankful that I feel no obligation to dissect the Bible in such a way. I praise God I have been freed from approaching His inspired word from the wrong direction.

Why do we create such rules? Why do we not step back and ask if this is really what the Bible is for? I mean it sounds good and noble and righteous but the results are anything but good and noble and righteous.

Oh how I pray the church can return to a place where God’s text is less about rules to be discovered and more about a story to live. Hey but who knows, maybe after we talk again I will have to throw away my Sunday worship for Saturday.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. johndobbs permalink
    May 16, 2007 1:19 pm

    It is interesting how others (and sometimes ‘us’) choose to ‘pick a fight’ when we think we’ve got the upper hand. I used to think if I could just prove I was right that others would HAVE to follow Jesus in the same way I do. pitiful!

    I’m thankful, along with you, for freedom from this idea. Well said.

  2. May 16, 2007 2:42 pm

    Why do so many people find joy in proving others wrong? Your last paragraph Darin, said it all. “Oh how I pray the church can return to a place where God’s text is less about rules to be discovered and more about a story to live.”

    a big heart Amen!

  3. May 16, 2007 4:31 pm

    JP thanks for droping by. Yes and my greatest frustration is the fact that there is no right or wrong with much of what they want to prove.

    JD thanks for coming by. A lot less prove Him and a lot more point to Him, I agree.

  4. May 20, 2007 2:54 am

    On the Newsweek/Washington Post website, Tom Wright offered an interesting bit of eulogy on the passing of Jerry Falwell. Part of it expressed something that I think would help us deal with the rules of engagement.

    “Within the strange, large economy of God’s grace, which filters the truth of scripture through all of us imperfect interpreters, it may be that I make just as many mistakes as I think he did, but we are each called to be true to what we find in scripture and I have no reason to suppose he was not as obedient to that imperative as I struggle to be. ” – NT Wright


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