Lord, remember David
and all his self-denial.
Psalms 132:1 (NIV)
I always had trouble relating to Jesus. Churches sell that detail particularly hard when communicating the truth of God – that Jesus is the “human” part of the Holy Trinity, and thus, we can easily relate to Him and vice versa. His struggles and temptations reflect ours; who better to place our trust in than someone who is just like us? But I never saw any of myself in Jesus – He was too mythical, my view of Him was too esoteric.
But He was tempted just like us! But He never sinned.
But He feels all of our emotions! But He was never ruled by them.
But He was mortal! Eh… sort of.
This is not to say I didn’t believe in Him; I just did not really get the overwhelming opinion that Jesus was so much more relatable than God the Father or the Holy Spirit.
Most Christians spend Good Friday considering the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for our collective sins – some likely just consider it an ideal day to take off of work early. But for the spiritually guided, this day is meant to be a good reminder of the humanity of Christ. He died. He experience that penultimate moment of life before blackness – that place we all will one day face.
Most Christians spend this day considering the love that must be present in order for Jesus to make such a sacrifice, to die in such a horrific fashion, to be tortured and brutalized. Queer people often turn to the love that Jesus displayed for those on the fringe of society. And when we feel attacked by Christians, we point to it as a symbol of hypocrisy.
I say all this to preface an odd chapter of Psalms. I recently went on a date with a gay Christian, who midway through our conversation, admitted that he believed that homosexuality was a sin. Blown away, I asked why he thought that (and then proceeded to ask why the hell he would agree to a date with me if he thought that)? He said because the Bible was infallible. Every word stuck.
God doesn’t change, after all.
Psalms 128:1 – 3 says:
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
I just read an entire book called “Job” which states over and over how this is not true. Just because you walk in obedience with God, that does not mean you will be prosperous. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, after all. I know of God-fearing women who cannot have children. There are tons of right-with-God Christian families who are not prosperous.
I never knew how to resolve these issues, but I know many Christians do not struggle with questions like these. I can get on board with so much of the Bible – but Psalms is a perfect example of a book with inherent logical problems. It features a variety of writers making claims about God in the heat of exaggerated circumstances. Fallible people writing about the nature of God through the lens of emotion. So, yes, I have logical problems with believing that every single word of the Bible is infallible and not meant to be read in context. Even on Good Friday.