Feb 10 2013
Parental Warning: This Blog Contains Actual Bible Stuff

 

So is the Bible "family-friendly"?

I asked the guy from "Focus on the Family" that question. A great guy. Totally appreciate what they do at "Plugged In Online", where they review the content of movies and such, since I've always been strict with what my kids see and hear. But his answer was wrong.

"Yes."

You guys rate things on a family-friendly level according to "stars".  Given the content of the Bible, how many "stars" would you give it?

A pause. "Five."

Really? So, if there was a movie, realistically showing the actual stories in the Bible, you'd say it was appropriate for all viewers?

"Yes."

Man, I wouldn't take little kids to see Lot fathering his daughter's children. Maybe I'm more media-conservative than Focus on the Family...?

----

I know he gave the political answer, and the one he had to give. (Imagine Focus on the Family getting complaints, "The Bible's not 'Family-Friendly'???") But with due respect:  You gotta be kidding me.

"Well," you might say, "it's family-friendly, because I read the Bible with my little ones every night…"

Well, you read SOME of the Bible.  Parts of it.  Why?   Because you're a smart parent, and don't really want to be explaining what "like the emissions of horses" is all about, right before lights-out.  That's Ezekiel 23, and that's for starters.  Nevermind Lot getting his own daughters pregnant, or Samson taking advantage of prostitutes or Noah getting naked and trashed, or Song of Solomon's well-known lusty stuff. Kids have a sense of modesty, and wise parents protect that.

Here's another reason it's obvious: The Bible isn't family-friendly, because there's plenty of content that I couldn't share on the air without a disclaimer. Or at all. I can read direct quotes from Jesus, on a Christian station, and send people to their computers for emails of complaint. "My kids were in the car, so I don't appreciate you talking about how prostitutes will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven before the religious leaders."

Other people notice the decidedly unclean, non-family-friendliness of the Bible. Many Muslim leaders criticize it for being full of "abhorrent tales of sexual escapades as done by the Bible's 'holiest' men."  And, indeed, these stories ARE abhorrent, they ARE horrible, they ARE scandalous in the worst way if...

IF...God's ultimate, highest call on our lives is for us to be "family-friendly."  

But it's not. Not even close.  

-------

"Well, okay, but but the Bible IS family-friendly, because it shows us the best way to put our families first, and..."

Actually it doesn't do that, either. The Bible doesn't buttress the primacy of the family. It threatens it.

For those who want to idolize the importance of the nuclear family, Jesus, himself, is a threat.  He turned the entire idea of family on its head.

He says his kingdom matters more than your family, and my family, in Matthew 19. He does it again, in explicit terms, in Luke 14.

He says the poor, the imprisoned, the sick are his brothers and sisters in Matthew 25.

Shockingly, in Matthew 12, he compares his - what we would call - "real" mother and brothers with the people who were following him.  And he said the LATTER group, anyone who "does the will of my Father" is his real brother, and sister, and mother. He redefines family, itself.

"Yes, but that was a different time, and family is much more important now, in these troubled times."

I've thought that before, too, but... it's exactly wrong.  Family was your very IDENTITY at that time. Your past, present, and future, all in one. It was ALL about family. And Jesus, God among us, redefined it.  And no, it didn't go over well then, either.

For the believer, the Jesus-follower, "family" is redefined, and the centrality of our nuclear, physical family, is threatened. Like the old western, Jesus walks into town, confronts our worship of other things, even good things, like our families, and says, "There ain't room in town for the two of us."

-----

I thought about ending the blog, here. But then I anticipated the responses, attempts to take the shocking reality of Jesus, and simply make it fit what we're already doing. "Well, thanks, Brant! This is all true, of course, etc., but it doesn't mean we shouldn't care about our families, and…"

Yes, yes, of course. But don't use that as a means of escaping what Jesus is saying, here: If you are a believer, you are part of the body of Christ, and that means integrating your life, with others, in a way that recognizes this new conception of family.

It does not mean retrofitting the radical teachings of Jesus to keep doing the same thing. And that's good news, because the way of Jesus is BETTER, even if it doesn't fit our idea of what a "good Christian" looks like.

Imagine: Your money. Your time. Your home. Your everything, woven with the lives of others. Less isolation, less stressful relationships in the home, more healthy marriages, and true families for the lonely, the orphan, the widow, the divorcee, the single, or the misfit.  Jesus has a plan, and it's a good one. Don't short-circuit it by defending your status quo. (Frankly, as America becomes more post-Christian, we may find ourselves, by necessity, rediscovering just how great this family, his Real Family, is!)

No, by our definition of "family friendly", the Bible doesn't cut it.  Once again, Jesus takes our little categories and leaves them in tatters.

And once again, he threatens us, because he loves us too much to let us stay the same.

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Comments (40) -

2/10/2013 3:30:34 PM
Karen United States
Karen
Song of Solomon is a veiled prophetic book.  Messianic Rabbi Kirt Schneider has a detailed study of this book,  Song of Songs...Journeying Into Divine Love, that might be helpful to people reading it in a different light.

This prophetic book is meant for this time in history in relation to the prophecy in Matthew 25.
2/11/2013 7:36:12 AM
jennifer United States
jennifer
Thank you Brandt. Our" I am an American before i am a christian" cultural life style is crippling. We are to obey the word applied in love and live accordingily. for many of us this means our nuclear family will definetly disagree. I am a Christian first. Smile
2/11/2013 9:49:02 AM
Chris Dilts United States
Chris Dilts
So we should shelter our kids from the Bible?
2/11/2013 10:00:42 AM
Elise United States
Elise
I totally agree- here's a little humor about it as well! haha- he's got a point!

www.crosswalk.com/.../...awkins-on-noah-s-ark.html
2/11/2013 10:03:45 AM
Ann Feehan United States
Ann Feehan
Thought-provoking, Brant.  I love to see Focus on the Family shaken up once in awhile.  
No, we don't shelter our kids from the Bible, Chris, but we do pick and choose what we read to them.  Then, when they are teenagers and young adults they can read the entire thing for themselves and delight in all the crazy stories of the bible - the violence, the lustiness.  My son-in-law, who reads the bible to his 3 little girls every evening, delighted in sharing Ezekiel 23:20 with us a few years ago. He also shared it with his Mom, his sisters, and others.  Fun with bible verses!
2/11/2013 10:08:25 AM
Jason W Thompson United States
Jason W Thompson
I thought about writing something snarky in response to the comment explaining that "Song of Songs" is really about prophecy.  But I'm trying to do better at respecting people I don't know.

Anyway, I think its okay if Song of Songs is just about a physical romance.  I'm not qualified to determine if a physically passionate book is really about prophesy.  Perhaps it is, but perhaps it's okay if it isn't.

We seem to do this to our modern Christian culture as well.  Jars of Clay has a few really fun songs about physical intimacy.  Just listen to the album "The Long Fall Back to Earth" sometime.  A lot of people will say, "Well it's about God and divine romance".  I know for certain that's not true since the artist (unlike Solomon) is still alive and has explained as such.  And I don't see anything wrong with it or the need to sugar coat it.  Everything from hugs to sex is crucial in a marriage, even a "Christian" marriage.  So why wouldn't it show up in "Christian" music and literature?
2/11/2013 10:21:06 AM
jeanna United States
jeanna
So true! I was always taught at church about a God of love and that forgiveness of Sins was what I needed. While this is true, it left me with more questions and doubts because I couldn't reconcile what I heard at church with what I read in the Bible. God is a God of love, and justice, and mercy, and wrath, and so many other things. He wants to save us from our sins but he wants to save us for something not from something. There is a lot of feel good messages out there and we need them but we need to be conviction and honesty too. The Bible is what it is, The word of God!
2/11/2013 10:28:42 AM
Jim United States
Jim
I agree with you 99% of the time.  This time, I'm not so sure.  It seems to be a loaded question.  

A better way to phrase the question, in my opinion, would be "Is everything in the Bible kid friendly?"  The answer is obviously no.  You can't even get out of the fourth chapter of Genesis before you're faced with incest.  I understand it's purpose then but is it kid friendly?  No.  But there comes a point when that child is mature enough to understand it's context.  Does that make it family friendly?  Yes, if the family members are mature enough to discuss it.  

I read Song of Solomon as a kid.  It was titillating to me.  Now as an adult (and even as a teen when I read it again), I understand its context.

I will agree with you on Christ turning the idea of family on it's head.  He is to be first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.

Just my two cents.  If Christ is our focus, the rest will be dealt with properly.  (And that is a hard statement to live by, for sure.)

Love your thought provoking posts!  Keep them coming. Smile
2/11/2013 10:43:58 AM
brant h United States
brant h
Thanks!

I guess I'm just dealing with "family-friendly" as the phrase is commonly used.  "Is this something I could say on a 'family-friendly' show?"

The answer is, pretty obviously, "No."

Focus on the Family rates shows according to whether there's "sexual content" or "violent content", that sort of thing, and then gives out stars, accordingly.  

But if we elevate "family friendly" to the level of "goodness", itself, well, we can see the problem for the Focus guy in answering the question.  

We avoid this whole trap by acknowledging that "family friendly" is not, in fact, synonymous with goodness.  Like Jason says, we can just appreciate a song about the joy of sexuality without finding additional meanings in it.  God was so NOT scandalized by the uncleanness of our world that He was born in it.

Chris, I'm not sure what the question is...?  The Bible is a library of books.  Yes, as a parent, I select age-appropriate stuff.  Always did.  Did I "shelter" my kids?  Heck, yes.  That's my job.  I'm a dad.  I provide shelter.  I allow freedom as they grow older, according to the development I see in them.  Friends told me I was "sheltering" them, as a criticism that I wouldn't let them watch garbage.

My first sheltered child is now a linguistics major at Berkeley.
2/11/2013 10:51:40 AM
Wes United States
Wes
I agree with Jim....

Certain stories are not family friendly to a child.  An infant start out drinking milk and matures to eat meat and veggies.  The same goes for a person who doesnt have the maturity to understand the context and meaning of the message.

1 Cor 3:2
"I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it...."

Hebrews 5:12
"In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!"

my 2¢

Wes (Orting, WA)
2/11/2013 11:13:21 AM
Chance United States
Chance
Brant, I agree with you, 100%.  I have seen some in the ministry, however, misconstrue this idea to mean that they should devote 99% of their effort to their ministry and neglect their family in the process.  I think where they get mistaken though, is that they see their ministry as the only way to serve God, and not see being a husband and father as ways to serve God as well.  

Does that sound accurate?  
2/11/2013 11:13:30 AM
Melanie United States
Melanie
Brant, my kids and I have a huge amount of respect for you. I'm a little disturbed by this blog post, but probably not for the reasons you might expect.

First, you are right about the entire Bible not being what Focus might call "family-friendly." However, the message of the Gospel (Christ bringing new life to broken people) IS absolutely family-friendly, and can and should be shared with our kids from Day 1.

But I think it would be easy for someone to read your post and dismiss how we should treat our family, and while that may not be how you mean it to be read, that's how it's coming across to me, at least. One of the 10 Commandments is to "Honor your father and mother" and Jesus called people out for donating to the church when they should be using their money to help parents in need (Mark 7:6-13), and He tells John to take care of His mother after His death on the cross (John 19:26-27). Paul gives us all sorts of instructions for family relationships between husbands & wives & parents & children. God created us in family units and that is important, because it is where we START in understanding how to love & care for the family of God. I must start by loving those to whom I am physically the closest. Those whom I can see the brokenness and sinful nature most clearly (and they can see mine). Those relationships are messy and can be hard, but they are necessary for me to understand how God's family operates. I want to raise my children to be godly, not just "good" and that is the purpose of the family. Not to be raised above the family of God, but to give us a starting point.

As for Focus on the Family, I feel like your blog post is trying to "call them out" or "shake them up". My question is, WHY? I believe they are doing their part to further the kingdom of God by strengthening marriage relationships and helping parents learn how to raise their children to know and love God. Not because that is an end in itself, but because it glorifies God. Their focus is necessarily going to be "family-friendly" because of their  area of ministry. So please, use your gifts to further the kingdom of God, as they use their gifts to further the kingdom of God, but don't criticize the way they do it (1 Corinthians 12:4-5).
2/11/2013 12:04:21 PM
Jeffrey Kline United States
Jeffrey Kline
Dear Brant, my Brother in Christ, you are absolutely right and you are absolutely wrong.  You are absolutely correct in pointing out the things that Jesus has to say about his “real” family is and that, by today’s standard of what is defined as “family friendly,” the Bible is not so family friendly.  
But I think you fail to recognize a few key commandments here.  First, God’s very first commandment to Adam and Eve was “be fruitful and multiply (or increase in number)” (Genesis 1:28), thereby setting up and defining what is meant by nuclear, physical family (that is a male (Adam), a female (Eve) (see Genesis 1:27) and children (multiply)).  Second, is the command that Jesus gave which is to “make disciple” (think of it as the “be fruitful,” or “bear fruit” as John 15 puts it, part of the first commandment).  Couple this with the knowledge that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) and the wise saying “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6) Christian parents are have no choice but use the Bible.  To do otherwise is not to adhere to what God commands us and if we truly love God, as He loves us, we will keep his commandments (John 14:23).
One of my family values is “Take care of your family first”.  This comes from 1 Timothy 5:8 which says “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  How can I be a member of God’s family if I don’t take care of my immediate family (nuclear, physical family)?  If I don’t first support my immediate family, God says I have denied Him and I am, through my lack of integrity, worse than an unbeliever.  How does your view on Jesus’ teaching take this into account?
So I must ask, in view of Jesus’ teaching about his “real” family, did he really redefine it?  Does it really threaten “the centrality of our nuclear, physical family”?  Absolutely not!  Jesus did not come to over throw but to fulfill it.  Please recall, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…”  If this is truly true, then how can we are children become God’s children, given that God really did establish and ordain the nuclear, physical family (as I understand from reading Genesis 1:28), and Jesus did not come to overthrow the Law (God’s Commandments)?  Simple, by fulfilling the Commandments of God because with every commandment given there is a promise, and the promise here is that by training up our children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it; that is to say that they one day will become heir of God in their own right and become of part of God’s true family.  This cannot be done devoid of God’s Word.
In today’s politically correct world is the Bible family friendly?  No.  Do I want my children exposed to the contents of the Bible?  Yes, for the simple reason that it is "family friendly" toward becoming an adopted member of God’s family.  Does this mean I expose my children to all things at once?  No, for “{t}here is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven” and as such my children are not always ready or able to hear or understand what is said any more than I was and sometimes still am.  May God be glorified by granting me the wisdom to know what my children need to hear when they need to hear it.
2/11/2013 12:28:08 PM
Shannon United States
Shannon
I'm a long-time fan of your show and blogs, Brant, but, like Jim and Melanie, I'm not sure why you felt the whack at Focus was necessary to make your point here. Loaded question in the way it was phrased, indeed. At any rate, maybe you have a myopic view of who Focus is and what they're attempting to do these days.  Be assured, however, that they're well aware of those "less than savory" parts of the Bible you mentioned. I also think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone there who would advocate for placing family over and above Christ's calling in our lives ... or anyone who'd disagree with most any of the basic points you've attempted to make in this blog. Really disappointed you chose this route to make your point.  
2/11/2013 12:29:01 PM
brant h United States
brant h
Chance,

If anyone would use this as an excuse to mistreat their wife and kids, for instance, I'd have a real issue with that.  I don't think Jesus is collapsing the definition of family, I think he's expanding it  in wonderful ways.

Melanie,

I'm writing here about the 66 books that make up the Bible, but the Good News about Jesus, itself, is not "family friendly" in the popular use of the term. It's dangerous.  It may get you killed, even by governments or religious power-brokers or, in some cases, both.  Jesus says it will actually *divide* families.  I *like* family-friendly stuff.  But causing family division is difficult to reconcile with the label "family friendly", isn't it...?  

This is not a fault with the Gospel.  It's an admission that "family friendly" is not synonymous with all that is "good".  That's all.

I actually LIKE Focus on the Family. (I've mentioned this on the air not too long ago.) Irony:  I *just* met, ten minutes ago, Jim Daly, for the first time ever.  Didn't expect it.  Got to thank him for all the changes he's been making.  I told him how much I support him.  The guy has been stabbed in the back, repeatedly.  They are charting a new course, which I think is great.

Jeffrey, I love families. I never said you shouldn't take care of your family.  Far from it.  In fact, I thought I took on that very line of thinking in the blog, itself.  I'm guessing Jesus got this same response, though, when he challenged what "family" really means.  It's certainly worth struggling with, I'm sure you agree.

Thanks for the input!
2/11/2013 1:02:53 PM
Melanie United States
Melanie
Hi Brant, thanks for your response; it is reassuring to me that you aren't trying to "take a whack" at FotF, because that was one of my initial reactions.

As for the Gospel being "family-friendly" I guess we have different interpretations of that phrase. I've always heard it to mean "safe for me to share with my children". That's FotF's reason for giving things ratings, right? So yes, I'm willing to share the Gospel with my children from Day 1. And I want them to understand the importance of the family of God through how our little nuclear family interacts.

I'm not sure I've ever heard the phrase "family-friendly" elevated to mean "good" the way you've used it in this post. I would agree with you that it shouldn't mean that.
2/11/2013 1:06:33 PM
Jennifer United States
Jennifer
Brant, I totally agree with you! I think you surprised the focus on the family guy by asking that question. I think the Bible is family friendly, and non-family friendly at the same time. I think some of the things people rate "Family Friendly" can be, but the moral in the story is nothing, or it is not something you don't think is "Family Friendly"!
I just love when you question these kind of things.
2/11/2013 1:22:01 PM
Margaret United States
Margaret
Brant,

I think it's so cool that Jesus doesn't separate people into categories, that he breaks down the walls and the masks and frees us from whatever titles have been put on us. Because he sees us for who we really are.

And you are so right--it would be just amazing if we could treat every single person like our own family, like Jesus does, seeing who they are and loving them the same. I agree with you that the point isn't that Focus on the Family is wrong or that kids shouldn't be taught the word of God. It's that we should love other people like Jesus loves them, like family. And we should live out what Jesus has called us to even though it is dangerous and people may hate us because of it.

My mom and I were talking about the "inappropriate" things in the Bible the other day, and I realized something. Yeah, there's lots of sin in the Bible, horrible, horrible things that God's people have done. But it's not there because it's saying those things are right. Those things are in the Bible to show our redemption story, to show just how much forgiveness and grace Jesus offers us. It's a story of redemption. Not of sin. And because he has redeemed us we can live free and love the people around us like family.

Isn't our God an amazing God?
2/11/2013 2:43:01 PM
Candy Corn Bandit United States
Candy Corn Bandit
What Jim said.  Also what you say in your reply comments - i think they clear up a lot of confusion about this blog.

I guess I'm blessed to have a family that isn't divided by the Gospel, but rather welded together by it.  I think I can say the same for my "Last Commenter" thread family.  Smile
2/11/2013 3:23:16 PM
Chip G United States
Chip G
Like CS Lewis said...In the Chronicles of Narnia is He Safe, No, but He is good. We are a flawed people pursued by a Holy God. The Bible doesn't sugar coat humanities sins or its cost but He is the answer to the problem...I love God's Word it is not fake, but for real people.
2/11/2013 3:41:35 PM
Julie United States
Julie
Good points Brant. I do have to say that sometimes pastors/churches use that as an excuse to keep children out of the church sanctuary during Sunday service and shoo them into their "proper" Sunday school classes and that really bothers me. As long as the kid can sit quietly and behave, why kick them out? Here's how I look at it in that case: Kids are going to hear about bestiality, homosexuality and all manner of perversion no matter what. I'm including homeschoolers in this too. I homeschool. I know. Anyway, I'd rather my children hear about this stuff from the Bible and get God's perspective on it that little Johnny next door's version or even worse, they hear it from little Robbie from small group at church because they trust him. Kids will be exposed to all this stuff, it's just a matter of when and where. Thanks so much for your ministry and words of wisdom. I greatly enjoy listening to you on the radio. Especially Monday afternoons.
2/11/2013 3:42:06 PM
Telly United States
Telly
Two thumbs up. I always thought that people who say that the Bible is full af fairy tales, needed to read a couple of chapters to see that its far from that. I believe that God has a purpose for everything and each story has a truth that speaks even in these times.  Its probably a good thing that there are children Bibles that keep innocents strong.  Jesus spoke in ways that showed we should care more for others than even for ourselves. Jesus clearly states the greatest commandment to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds but not just that, to also love your neighbor as yourself. In matthew 22:37-40.      
2/11/2013 3:51:03 PM
Taresa United States
Taresa
I agree with this. HOWEVER i think that in todays society what is viewed as kid friendly is quite skewed! pg13 movies now days are what R movies were when i was young, and im not even 30 yet, Some disney movies have sexual innuendos and bad language....There are some things in the Bible i think my kids need to be a tad older and more mature to listen and understand, we read our bibles often, do devotionals and such but i wont be reading song of songs to my kids anytime soon.If they so desire to read it on their own when they get older than so be it....that will be a great time to explain marriage and what God intends. The Bible isnt some rated G movie/book where everything is good. It became a fallen world the second Eve bit that fruit and since that time sin has been a part of this world. Do parents need to filter some things in bible study time YES BUT parents should have the knowledge of their own children at the time in order to know what/how and when to filter. This is why parents have such a HUGE responsibility. If we are gonna let our kids see partial nudity of a Victoria's Secret commercial or sexual innuendos of cartoons, bad language on prime time TV then why do we filter the sins in the bible?!
2/11/2013 4:43:09 PM
Brian United States
Brian
Yep! Agree
2/11/2013 7:40:25 PM
Courtney United States
Courtney
And then there is the question of who Adam and Eve being the only two people on earth at creation, then their grandchildren came by and incestuous relation....
2/11/2013 9:28:06 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Thanks for ALL your thoughts.  Indeed, this isn't about Focus on the Family.  

Like I say, I think the guy was trapped by the reality (the Bible is anything BUT a sanitized story) and the inevitable reactions they would get from saying, "Yeah, it's not a 'clean' book, or anything close."


2/12/2013 9:21:14 AM
Jon United States
Jon
It was said in an early post that our teenagers can read those parts on their own. I would much rather be a part of their reading and understanding those parts than to leave it to their hormone ravaged minds and the minds of their friends.
2/12/2013 1:06:39 PM
Karen United States
Karen
While I can certainly appreciate Brant's "clean" comment, the bible is Holy Spirit breathed and the amazing God who created our infinite universe communicates in multi-streams through the bible depending on where the reader is spiritually, at that moment(like when God asked Adam and Eve where they were at right after the fall).

The key to getting the fullness out of God's word is to be aligned with the Lord Jesus' agape love and grace along with the three Kingdom of God keys listed in 1 John 2:15-17

" 15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever."

When one or more of these veils/storms from the enemy is active, it slows the flow of the Holy Spirit's fullness.  



2/12/2013 1:53:35 PM
Chance United States
Chance
I think a lot of the people here are missing the point.  Brant says the Bible is not family friendly, and people take that to mean, the Bible is "bad", or "not good for families " on the whole.  I think people see "good" and "family friendly" as so intertwined that to question one is to question the other.  
2/12/2013 3:50:40 PM
Candy Corn Bandit United States
Candy Corn Bandit
Exactly, Chance!  Which is precisely why anyone who reads this blog really should read all the comments underneath it as well.
2/12/2013 7:09:51 PM
Kevin United States
Kevin
Thanks!  Love it!
2/13/2013 3:41:59 PM
Larry United States
Larry
Starting at the begining with the nudity we would consider inappropriate for children.... I'm considering all the picture bibles of Adam & Eve strategically hidden behind bushes & trees. Sin is what made it this way.
2/13/2013 6:22:49 PM
Karen United States
Karen
-well, I worship Esh Oklah, El Kanna, El Roi, Migdal Oz (Consuming Fire, Jealous God, God Who Watches Over me, Strong Tower . . they're only a few expressions of Who He Is)

"This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church" in Ephesians 5

"If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—
The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you." in John 14

"For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] Just as you were once disobedient and rebellious toward God but now have obtained [His] mercy, through their disobedience, So they also now are being disobedient [when you are receiving mercy], that they in turn may one day, through the mercy you are enjoying, also receive mercy [that they may share the mercy which has been shown to you—through you as messengers of the Gospel to them].
For God has consigned (penned up) all men to disobedience, only that He may have mercy on them all [alike].  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths! For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor? Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! in Romans 11

-in the gift that Christ Jesus paid for us with His own blood, we are called/agape loved into obedience out of whole-hearted, overwhelming love for our beloved King.  The more I fall in love with Him, the more I want to know what He thinks, feels and what pleases Him.  Isn't that what a wife in love does?  The bible says He studies us in several different books, especially Job. Amazing!

Besides, the alternative that I read in Isaiah 33 is a choice that doesn't make sense to me.








2/13/2013 10:57:24 PM
Corey United States
Corey
*begins slow clap of approval*

i like this article a lot.  thank you.

i often have contentious discussions with others over these same things.

ime it's often atheists who blast the Bible with sayings like "the Bible has this and that bad stuff (insert bad stuff here, rape, incest, sending a military guy to the front lines so he dies so you can have his pretty wife, etc.);

and in their angry anti-God rant they point to bad behaviors in the Bible as if (if not infact directly saying it) this were touted as good or what God wanted that person to do.  

that's ridiculous and why i no longer waste my precious time talking to these liars and meaning-distorters.

Peter denied Christ 3 times - i'm convinced that was put in the Bible to teach us what not to do.
My older siblings got in a lot of trouble, me and my little sister learned from it and got in a lot less trouble.

Just because it's "in" the Bible doesn't mean it's instruction what -to- do,
it's pretty obvious to anyone reading, what parts are telling us what -to- do, and what parts tell us what -not to- do.

to follow their logic, i guess if i read "Jaws" it's a book telling us that humans are delicious and we should go eat them when they're swimming.  

i mean i guess if you're a shark and you read that book then yeah, but if you were a shark who could read books - wouldn't you have more fun getting paid to be on Ellen and Oprah and using your money to buy a steak at an expensive restaurant?  

if i were a shark who were paid $5k to sit on Oprah's couch for an hour, the next place you'd see me is sitting at an Outback enjoying a delicious meal.  why spend countless hours exhausing myself swimming and hunting people?

*sighs* but i digest...

2/14/2013 10:13:28 AM
Karen United States
Karen
Corey brought up an amazing instance of the love of God expressed through Lord Jesus.  When Jesus was asking Peter if He loved Him, and in the Hebrew He was using words for different types of love each time, Jesus had literally been to hell, heaven and back and was cooking Peter breakfast on the shore of a sea shaped like a human heart!  This after Peter had betrayed Him-but had not hardened His own heart.

When I meditate on this, King David's song comes to me-
" O Lord, our Lord, how excellent(majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory on [or above] the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.  When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of[earthborn] man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him but a little lower than God[or heavenly beings], and You have crowned him with glory and honor."
-and then, how God lifted us to Himself within Christ Jesus, as described in Colossians 2, (especially the Amplified translation).  

If that doesn't stir up the Holy Spirit within a true believer . . .


2/15/2013 4:46:31 PM
Chris United States
Chris
Of course the Bible isn't family friendly in the way that it often gets defined today!  The Bible frequently shows humanity in all its ugliness and God's desire to draw rebellious, destructive individuals to Him.  Do I want to discuss all of those issues with my six-year old son?  Not really!  But God's choice to include the depravity of humanity as contrasted with His loving kindness gives me hope that I can't escape from His love.
2/26/2013 11:16:19 AM
Karen United States
Karen
Here's a link to a Song of Songs teaching that discusses the relationship of Jesus and the Church.  Some believe this is a special blessing for the end time church to walk in Jesus' love instead of the world's form of commodity love.  Others believe it is the key to the new testament parable about the virgins with oil who were ready and went into the wedding feast before the doors shut, an echo of Ark account.

www.lightsource.com/.../...love-part-1-324779.html


3/20/2013 6:39:22 PM
Jewely Isham United States
Jewely Isham
Well, it's a long time after this post, but I feel I need to say thank you anyway.

Before the middle of last September, I would have said that my family relationship (my husband and I) was important. Right below my relationship with God. Then I found the photos on my husband's laptop... of all naked men. I have never felt so alone in my life. Never.

Your post reminded me that I still have a family. It just no longer includes a husband. But, it includes the family that Jesus mentioned. I am not alone. Not alone. Not alone.

Yes, this is what I took out of this post. No, it probably wasn't what you really were trying to convey... but that is what I needed to read. And that is what I needed to read today. Because today I was feeling alone. And I needed to remember that I still DO have family.

So, thanks Brant... I really did need that. I need to remember there are still men out there who do love and respect the women they chose. That even when some men choose porn over what God gave them in flesh... the flesh they leave behind is not worthless. And that flesh can still be part of a family, just a different type of family.
3/22/2013 1:03:28 PM
Emily United States
Emily
Wowee, what a debate. Hmm. This post does seem to be kind of "out there" for a lot of people. But really, I see Brant's point. As someone else said on here, it's like in Narnia. Aslan isn't "safe," but he is good.  As a teenager, I know if I'd heard some of the Bible stories as a younger kid, I would've gone, "Mom? I thought that what Abraham just did was wrong." Well, it was. And what David did to Uriah was wrong. But if you read later, they admit they messed up and ask God for forgiveness. That's the important part. But I'd agree that it's best to inform each kid according to how well they understand things. Am I saying that you should forbid your children from reading the Bible? No.I'm just saying that some parts of it will serve them better when they're ready to comprehend it.
3/23/2013 6:14:46 PM
Angela United States
Angela
Right on Brant.

Song of Solomon is BOTH about marriage and Christ and the Church, and there isn't a secret meaning for the present day church to walk in something special -- both Jews and Christians have interpreted it this way for a LONG time, and there have been some Christians in every age that understood the love relationship we get to have with the Lord.

Concerning the family -- the Lord is clear that your family is the people of God, period. That's where your loyalty lies, and that's who you should be having family dinners with, not just your kids. If you have underage kids, obviously they are part of the family of God as well. But maybe grown ones or your own siblings are not. (Jesus' family were not believers when he made that statement -- they were coming against his work.)Once again Brant gets in trouble for something JESUS said!
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