Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Thou Shall Commit Adultery"

Have you ever heard of "The Sinner's Bible"? I mean, in theory every Bible is a Sinner's Bible in that only sinners read it and are hopefully transformed by the reading and hearing of God's word, but there was a Bible printed in 1631 that has been labeled as "The Sinner's Bible. That Bible is much like every other Bible. It tells of the same story of creation. One can read it in about a coming Messiah and then can read about that Messiah who has come...and will come again. With all of the similarities and with the overall theme being the same, you can't purchase a Sinner's Bible today...all because of one word.

It seems that those responsible for editing that version omitted a single word in Exodus 20. Apparently, one of the Ten Commandments about adultery was forever changed when the word "not" wasn't printed. Instead of the text forbidding adultery, the Sinner's Bible states, "Thou Shall Commit Adultery". Anyone who thinks a small omission or incidental change doesn't matter never omitted the word "not". The Government of England was even involved in outrage over the mistake as the two men who printed the Sinner's Bible were fined 300 pounds.

That story caused me to think about other changes in scripture that perhaps we wouldn't write or even speak but that we live out daily. I guess with time I could come up with tons but in the brief time I can spend on this here are some off the top of my head.

I Timothy 6:10: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of power .

Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must never deny himself but should admire my cross from a distance and follow me in so far as it is convenient and doesn't cost too much.

Romans 12:2: Do not worry if you continue conforming to the pattern of this world because we all know that keeping up with the world is just reality and is inescapable.

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, unless the thing over which you are anxious is happening to you. In that case you can never be sure if God is big enough to take care of you.

Luke 18:22: When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Jesus then explained to his followers that this teaching was not applicable to anyone after the 1st Century.

Luke 6:37: Forgive, and you will be forgiven. However, if the offense seems particularly dreadful to you, you should feel no obligation to forgive. One also has the option to say they have forgiven another but actually harbor resentment in their hearts.

Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes disappointment and failure as no one can sing your praises or assure that you get what you are due except you.

Like I said, there are plenty we could all come up with but these are certainly enough to get me started on a search for a more righteous and holy life. This morning I was fortunate enough to eat breakfast with a dear Brother who is a Pastor. We discussed the fact that so many christians and churches as a whole are so content and satisfied with "baby christians". People are not expected, encouraged or required to grow past infancy. If my 5 year old was not yet speaking, not walking and still in diapers we would all be concerned that he had some kind of disability or some degree of brain damage. Yet we have people who have been saved for years and years who are not speaking the truth in love, are not walking with their personal cross and still end up all too often with their own crap all over them. Do we label them as disabled christians or brain damaged christians? No. We call them "normal". In the state of Alabama...and probably most states, a high school senior isn't allowed to graduate without passing a graduation exam. This exam tests them to make sure minimum requirements have been met and they they are equipped to function to some degree in life. if all has gone well, in 12 short years of education they have gone from illiterate children to teens who are capable of algebra, chemistry, a second language, English Comp, etc. 12 years of school in Alabama means they have been "educated" for a grand total of 2100 days. If children went to school every single day the 2100 days could be accomplished in 5 years 9 months. Again, that is from illiterate to writing term papers in less than 6 years. That means in less than 6 years our children go from learning numbers to working complex mathematical formulas. Yet we expect essentially nothing from anyone who has been in a relationship with God for 6 years.

Here is a verse that I won't change to meet my needs...God, Please help us all grow up.

Hebrews 5: 11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In 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! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

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