I was raised on a bit of a farm. It was the equivalent of half a farm. We had livestock (goats, pigs, three cows, turkeys) and a rather large garden. When I say “raised”, I mean the first ten years of my life. When my grandfather got sick, the garden died.
I remember every year in the fall we would slaughter a pig. Paw Paw or my father would shoot the pig. The pig would then be hung upside down and the men of the family would start “dressing” this pig. It would provide us with pork sausage, pork chops and roast for the winter, usually. The last time I remember seeing this done I was around 8, so it’s possible my memories are exaggerated.
If it was a 450 pound sow, there might be 250 pounds of usable meat on the animal. And I would see all this body fat, stomach parts, and meat we could not use thrown away. It seemed like a waste to me. But it was what had to be done.
I love it when my pastor talks about “rightly dividing the Scriptures”. We have to take what is good for edification and store it up. But, is it possible that some of it isn’t meant for us? Is it possible that this whole “word of God” that I was raised to revere as the fourth part of the Trinity isn’t all usable for my edification? Absolutely some have used Scripture to tear down and not build up. But are there even some verses (or chapters) that we need to cut? I can tell you, there are some portions of Scripture that I read that make me sick.
The Old Testament is littered with examples of nationalism, pride and racism, all perpetrated by the God of love that I know. This doesn’t fit with me. How can my God who even calls Assyria his people in Isaiah be a nationalist? How can he be a racist? How can he call for the annihilation of entire tribes? Is it possible that imperfect people wrote these stories and attributed their own desires onto God?
I don’t know. I know that I love Jesus. I know that my faith in Jesus is sincere and confirmed in my Spirit, but is it time for me to cut some of the fat out of my Bible? Is it time for me to take what is good for edification and throw away that which tears down?