I won’t be there when you cross the road, so always use the Green Cross Code
I love my childhood sometimes. Public information videos starring the Green Cross Code Man, who could teleport to any place where young kids needed some instruction on safety near roads, were very popular and helped teach kids about road safety with a memorable code; Stop, Look, Listen, Think! Genius!!
Sometimes I wonder how beneficial it would be if we had something similar for when people are handling the Bible. A public information video for anytime someone begins to utter the words “because the Bible says so”. In it the hero teleports to where they are studying and spells out the danger of simply going “because the Bible says so”, come up with a cool, relevant and rhyming and takes off; or just slap them and say “grow a hermeneutic”. I recommend NT Wright for the role of the hero and I apologise if you now have an image of NT Wright in tight spandex and a cape.
Stop, look, listen and think is pretty good advice for approaching the Bible. Look up from your Bible from time to time. Knowing what it says is great, knowing it’s context then knowing how to apply are something else entirely. Look at the damage certain doctrines are causing, whatever the reasons were for giving us the scriptures I doubt destruction of people was among them. To do that you need to actually go out and engage with people. That requires listening to them, hearing them. How is what you’re saying coming across? What are they actually hearing? Seek out other Christians that don’t necessarily agree with and listen to what they’re saying. Don’t just listen to disagree or seek to correct, listen to learn. You’re not going to agree with everything but think before responding. How would you feel if someone responded to you in the manner you’re about to respond to them? You don’t need to continuously run back to the Bible. The Bible is not the only source of information we have and indeed need, and I think that’s how God wants it. To quote Francis Bacon:
“God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation“
Look at the history surrounding the Bible, the culture of the time. There’s so many books on these subjects that there’s really no excuse. I sometimes wonder if the biggest mistake Christians made was creating the Bible (yes, we created the Bible). We were given 66 books written by human authors under the influence of the Holy Spirit and we created a book, claimed it came directly from God and made it the center of the Christian faith. We made an idol. I know this will upset some people some more, but I don’t need the Bible to tell me about every detail on how to live my life. I don’t need it to tell me that murder is wrong, that rape is wrong. I don’t need to point to scripture to justify treating people as equals. If you’re constantly saying “well the Bible says” you may want to stop for second. Not even Jesus constantly used scripture.
Stop, Look, Listen, Think.
 Image from https://www.facebook.com/christiansmisrepresented