A fair bit of my week is spent trying to simplify the Bible, to teach it to kids. Simplifying doesn’t mean glossing over hard stuff, but breaking it down to understand it. When it comes to the postal survey, I don’t think it’s remotely simple, but here is what I keep coming back to.
I believe that there is a God who made the world and everything in it. He made people, he loves people and he knows how we work best. People turn their backs on God – every single one of us. We try to be the boss of our own lives, and the Bible calls that sin.
We’re already in massively confronting territory, right? And we’re not done.
The Bible says that sin has broken every single one of us, and that we can’t get rid of it or turn back to God on our own. So we’re broken AND stuck in that brokenness. We don’t know how best to live or be the boss of our own lives. God is the one who knows how we work best, and we’ve turned our backs on him.
If this is true – and I believe it is – then there is someone else who knows who I am better than I do. This is completely at odds with our culture, the idea that I don’t make my own truth, or find my own path, or look inside me for the answers to life.
The truth that the Bible tells sounds like very bad news. But the Bible doesn’t finish with sin, and people turning away from God. And that’s because God isn’t finished with the people who turn away from him. The very good news of God’s son Jesus, is that he came to deal with our sin.
I could go on and on – the good news of Jesus does! The Bible tells this story about God and people, and Jesus’ big rescue, and it calls on us to turn back to God, and live with him as the boss, which is what we were made for.
So… God gets to tell me what is good and what isn’t. That’s the heart of this post. And God says stuff, in the Bible, about marriage and relationships and sex, which is completely at odds with what our culture believes. This makes sense, because our culture is completely at odds with God being the boss.
There are many, many ways that people attack the authority of the Bible. And there are many people who can, and do, respond helpfully to those attacks. Four years of Bible college made me thankful for how robustly we can engage with God’s word, and trust that it remains such.
In this survey, I choose God and his way. I do this, believing that he knows how humans work best. I am so thankful that when I turned my back on him he did not turn his back on me. He is good, and he gets to tell me what is good.
You may feel, at the end of this post, that I’ve barely scratched the surface – and you’re right! I haven’t exegeted Biblical texts, or debated the place of religion in the public sphere, or even hazarded a guess as to why God says what he does. I’ve read a lot of posts like that, some of them good, and I don’t wish to add to them. Instead, I wanted to explain my worldview as simply as I can, and invite you to see how someone who believed such a thing might answer a survey in a way our culture can’t fathom…