I am a friend of Jesus. He is my Friend who has promised me that He will never let me go. Yes, He’s done this in the Bible but He’s also told me personally.
This relationship is incredibly secure. I know that Jesus will always hold on to me. And the great thing is that this means I can explore my theology, I can explore my belief system, all in perfect security. If I go too far off beam, He will gently prompt me back onto the path. But that path is broad. There is space for all kinds of ideas and thinking in Jesus, because He is the Way and He can cope with His people – His friends – thinking for themselves and questioning what they believe in.
I believe in Him and I love Him. I am free to be Him to my colleagues and friends. And there is space in the Christian faith for free thinking.
So where does the Bible come in to all this? Well we must remember that the Bible is not God. My approach is to follow the direction of the Bible, in terms of the way it points, but not to let it dictate my path. That’s the job of Holy Spirit to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Bible and I love how the Spirit speaks to me through it. But it’s only as it is interpreted and applied by Holy Spirit that I take in what it’s saying. This means I can’t give you a scripture for all this, because the Bible only goes so far. It points me to Jesus, and after that it’s up to Holy Spirit and Jesus to take me on from there.
People who insist on legalistically following the Bible word for word are missing out on so much freedom, and the really sad thing is that they are actually following the Bible as interpreted by humans, not necessarily as intended by God. So although their hearts are technically in the right place, they’re going about it the wrong way.
Christianity is a huge, broad and ancient faith which really does take all sorts. For any one group to claim they have the whole truth is missing the point. What we need is for each of us to have a secure relationship with Jesus and then we are free to explore all that being a Christian can mean. It’s simply awesome out here in the freedom, free from the shackles of others’ rules. Where the only Voice we need to listen to is that of the Spirit of God.