I think it’s so cute how so many people, Christians especially, think that the Bible is a warm and fuzzy book of uplifting stories and beautiful poetry.
In the book of Genesis, a two young women get their dad drunk and have sex with him. Why? Because they have no brothers and their bloodline would end. Good call, gals!
Leviticus gives the gory details of animal sacrifice. Joshua is all about war and conquest. Song of Solomon is about sex–literal sex, don’t give me that “It’s a metaphor” nonsense, these people are getting INTO it!
Probably the worst…at the end of Judges, a man basically allows a bunch of sodomites to rape his concubine to save his own hide (nice fella). They sexually abuse her so bad, she dies. It’s a horrible story, and how does her master react? He gets mad because she won’t get up when he calls her. But he suddenly changes his mind and decides he cares that she’s dead, so he cuts her into twelve pieces and mails them to his friends as a way of spurring a revenge so heated that the enemies who survive have to kidnap random women to continue their bloodline.
And people think the Bible is rated G!
Good Lord, you say, why is that stuff in the BIBLE?! Well, because unlike too many Christians, God deals with reality. Don’t get me wrong, God isn’t condoning everything that’s in the Bible. Much of it is history, depicting what actually happened, not just what should have happened. Even the big Bible heroes often acted like the scum of the Earth, but I say again, God deals with reality. And I fear that we do not.
And don’t tell me “That’s just the Old Testament,” either! Jesus himself dealt with the cold, cruel reality. One of his closest friends betrayed him and the other eleven abandoned him. Some soldiers put a crown of thorns into his head. Why? For the lulz, that’s why! And have you ever considered what dying on a cross actually feels like?
God knows the darkness of this earth, the deep depravity of man. But he never once shied away from it. Though he is a holy God, he reaches down into the muck of our lives, even sending his son to die, because he loves us that much. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty (or bloody) if it means getting to us.
But many mainstream Christians aren’t like that. We want our religion to be calm and safe and family-friendly. We put a shiny gloss over ourselves so that we always look pretty and new. We call ourselves Christians, but we’re afraid to get dirty. We call ourselves Christians, and yet…
- We want drug addicts to come to us because it’s too “filthy” to go to them.
- We fill our movies and books with fake people living fake lives because reality is too dirty, not always G-rated.
- We don’t talk to our kids about sex, so they go figure it out themselves.
- We don’t talk to our adults about sex, so they go into marriage with no clue how to please each other.
- We elevate our pastors and speakers to God-like levels they cannot truly fill, and we’re shocked to find they’re human.
- We probably wouldn’t let a prostitute sit next to use because who knows what she has?
- We tell our children not to stand up for themselves we’ve misinterpreted “turn the other cheek.”
- We won’t chat with homosexuals because “Ew, that’s so gross! They’re living in so much sin!”
We repress and repress and repress all the issues of life because they’re “bad,” but we never open up and get them out into the fresh air, where we can actually deal with them. I’m not saying go buy every R-rated movie, that gratuitous violence is something to aspire towards, or that we should start making “Christian porn,” (that was a weird thing to write) I’m just saying we need to be real.
My buddy knows what that’s like. He was heavy into drugs and drinking, a male prostitute and a porn star, who only turned to Jesus after a demon told him to jump in front of a car. Sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, and demons all in one testimony. And you know what? He’s now radically on fire for Jesus. He said himself, “I want all the filthiest, nastiest people you can find. I want the pimps, the drug addicts, the prostitutes, the porn stars, and I want to wrap my arms around them and love all over them.”
That sounds like reality. That sound like Jesus.