"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable." - James A. Garfield (20th President of the United States)
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:18-19 ESV
I ran across this video clip a few weeks ago on the Internet:
This would be really funny if it wasn't in fact true. One may say, "Sure there are many people who produce commentaries, books, and tracts on their own ideas about the scriptures, but no one would be crazy enough to edit the bible down as to not offend or to conform to their own sensibilities, right?". Wrong.
For example--the Positive Bible. That's right, you can have your very own bible that is all filler, no killer (literally). This is what the publisher's synopsis has to say about this product:
"Turn to any page in this book. You will be greeted with a Biblical passage that offers hope, help, and encouragement. This collection of advice, instruction, inspiration, assurance, and wisdom, drawn from the King James, Revised Standard, New International, King James Modernized, and The Living Bible translations by scholar Kenneth Winston Caine, has the power and beauty to teach and comfort across the centuries.
Ponder just one passage or every one; browse this book at random or read it straight through. Find a problem or question in the index of more than 250 everyday life applications of scripture-from healing to living through grief to nurturing a child- and you will be directed to Biblical wisdom that speaks precisely to you, as timely and relevant to modern culture as the evening newscast. Here is your inspirational guide to the most remarkable of all books-condensed compendium of truth and knowledge that will enrich your entire family for years to come."
There are a couple of things here that are that are worth commenting on. First of all, this is a compilation of the whole of scripture (from Genesis to Revelation), yet it only covers 300 pages (if you add a concordance it is going to be less). I checked this with my own bible the other day and that only got me to somewhere in the middle of 1 Kings. This is a dead give away to the fact that there's a lot of information missing from Mr. Caine's so-called bible. Positivity is not the message of the Bible. It is the historical record of God acting on the behalf of sinful man in Redemptive History throughout time, with the center piece of that redemption coming in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Secondly, the parts of Scripture that make us uncomfortable are supposed to do just that. We must remember that all negativity that we find in scripture is brought about by our sinful nature. God made everything good. Man takes that which is good and turns it into something evil. Besides, without fully seeing the depravity of ourselves, we will never be able to fully understand the goodness of God through sending Christ into the world to save us.
"Without a firm idea of himself and the purpose of his life, man cannot live, and would sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if he was surrounded by bread." - Fydor Dostoyevsky
"Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." - Matthew 4:4 ESV
"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." - Revelation 22:18-19 ESV
Soli Deo Gloria,