There’s some things I need to talk to you about. Please sit down when you read this. I don’t want you to get ‘ticked’ and do one of those plague kind of things. I hate to say it but as a casual observer, God, that was pretty brutal. Just an opinion. But it didn't sit well in certain circles.
First, the Bible is getting to me. I'm not liking what it has to say. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard that said but this serious. I'm frazzled, running crazy, trying to make big decisions and every time I pick up the Bible I'm reading something that urges me to think, pray, and do something that I don't want to do. To be honest, God, it gets discouraging. I've got my life mapped out and it feels like you're trying to change my direction. Not sure if that would be a good decision for me at this stage of my life.
Let me give you an example of some disturbing Bible stuff. I'm reading about the 'sheep and the goats' in Matthew 25. What's that doing in there? Come on, God, I thought I was in. I prayed that prayer awhile back. And now, I'm reading this 'judgment' thing and I'm thinking that you're actually expecting more from me. Come on. It's not fair. It has a bait and switch feel to it. Kind of ugly.
And another thing, Lord, it's not just me who’s thinking about these kind of things. I’m not alone. We talk. We're all for the 'come to me if you're burdened' verses. We also like anything that tells us we're 'blessed'. Anything else isn't working for us. And you do want this to work for us, don't you?
Here's something else. I have a group of friends who aren't liking all the stuff about justice, and creation, and the poor and suffering. It sounds pretty leftist if you know what I mean. They're pretty sure you don't mean all this stuff about freeing prisoners and actually being kind to people who won't get off their backsides and work for a living. Next edition you've got to fix it. Just consider it. You're alienating some pretty influential people. Seriously, when you talk about freedom and jubilee and lack of oppression and stuff like that you weren't talking about that in real terms were you? If you're talking about real stuff things would really have to change here and there and everywhere. That would be asking a lot. It's just not playing well in the heartland if you know what I mean. You don't want to lose your base.
On the other hand, there’s another group of my friends who aren't happy about all the stern language. It seems harsh. Not very inclusive. It sounds like you're too serious all the time. They’d like you to lighten up. Make suggestions. Give options. If you could just tone down the language a bit and show everyone a little more love I think you’d get more followers. It’s just a hunch. But I know people like it when show the ‘love’. On the other hand, anything that implies 'should' or 'got to' is hard to swallow. Again, that's just some information I thought you'd like to have. It's another group that might walk if you're not careful.
Here's something else that needs fixing. When people in Africa or South America read the Bible they seem to get something different out of it than those of us here in the West. We know you wrote it for us in the West and that those in developing countries are probably just going to be disappointed if they take it too literally. I mean it goes back to those freedom, justice and oppression issues. They really think you mean it. We know you were speaking metaphorically. So, maybe if you could help the people down there and over there see things the way you really intended then maybe there wouldn't be such a gap between them and us. What do you think?
Consider this, huh? It might be hard to swallow but some of the Jesus stuff is bothersome. Don't get me wrong. Thanks for sending him. Good role model. But when Jesus says things like "I am" and "No one comes to the Father except through me." Whew! Hard to digest. It makes it difficult to stand up and be counted when you allow Jesus to make statements with not much wiggle room.
Maybe that's it. Wiggle room. We need more of it. I believe in you, God. I mean, you can do anything. So, work on it. Edition 2 will be much better if you think about some of these things.
Let me know what you think. Rooting for you to do the right thing.