The text serves the human (not the other way around)

Photo by Hiep Duong

The other day, I got an email from someone accusing me of being a ‘secular humanist’. The email was very long. It quoted a lot of Bible verses and pointed the virtual finger at me for my heretical, harmful words.

About a year ago, when I started using the ‘Christianity’ tag, I knew I was entering a minefield of personal and cultural triggers. And I was right. This kind of thing goes with the territory.

Anyhow, I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘secular humanist’, so I had to look it up. Come to find out, this person was close with their assertion (well, he was half-way there).

Secular, I am not. But as for the humanist accusation, I’m guilty as charged— hallelujah!

My guiding light as I stumble through seminary (starting in a few weeks — pray for me, please) is this:

The only thing that matters is the human who stands before me.

If religion can’t be a way to deepen the connection with God and bring healing to the interiors of humans, we/those in/pursuing the religious trades might as well send them packing.

I’m not going rogue here. My favorite theologians, pastors, and personal mentors always place the human in front of them before the ‘literal truth’ of the text. Jesus went off-script from his Hebrew Bible all the time so as to meet the human in front of him where they were*. Shouldn’t this be the example?

Here’s what Jesus is recorded as saying (see how I did that?)…

You pore over the Scriptures, believing that in them you have life, but now you have Life standing right in front of you, and you cannot recognize it.

John 5:39

Here’s the rub…

The text serves the human. Not the other way around.

Now, thanks for reading and I look forward to your email:)