Summary: This is the introduction to a series that we look at where to go in the Bible when faced with difficult situations. This message looks at the validity of the source.
They are everywhere. You can find them in magazines, in newspapers, on bill boards, stores and restaurants. You know what I’m talking about those funky little square bar codes that are showing up everywhere. They are called Quick Response Codes and they were first developed by a subsidiary of Toyota in 1994 for use in their manufacturing process.
If you’ve ever wondered what they are for you scan them with your smart phone or iPhone and they take you to a website. There is one on the back of our bulletin that looks like this, if you scan it you go to our homepage.
Now you might be thinking “So what”? And I certainly didn’t see much use in it but this summer Angela was looking to buy a new Kayak and while we were at one store they had a QRC on the tag on the Kayak, I scanned it and there was everything I needed to know about that Kayak. And that is the one we bought.
What if we had that type of resource for some of the things we face as Christ Followers? Answers to questions we have and situations we face? Through the month of November our series will be “QRCodes for Life” and we are going to look at where to find answers to some of those challenges that we face.
But to start with, we have to be sure of the source. I mean if you were having headaches and there was a QRC for headaches and you scanned it and it took you to “Billy Bob’s self-guide to brain surgery and taxidermy” you would have second thoughts about using that as a guide to diagnosis and treat your headache . It might say, “First you drill a hole in your head, then take a stick and root around.”
So this morning we are going to look at the source of the QRC’s we will be talking about over the next four weeks.
You may have noticed that in my messages I use a lot of scriptures, when I was in college I read the words of John Wesley who said “I am a Bible bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small.” And I really didn’t understand what he meant but I have come to understand, because I too am a bible bigot, I don't think that anything I or anyone else has to say has the potential eternal consequences of God's word.
You don’t come to church on Sunday Morning to hear the collected wisdom of Denn Guptill you come to hear from the Bible, the word of God the Holy Scriptures, so I don’t want to take the time you have entrusted me with to let you know what I think.
And I would be naïve to think that everyone agrees with me on the validity or the value of this book. A number of years ago I was asked to take part in a debate on CBC radio concerning the Oxford translation of the Bible. This particular translation worked very hard at trying to offend nobody. So they were very gender unspecific. Now I understand some of that, he and her become they, mankind becomes humanity or should that simply be hu-people-y. I can even concede a little bit on us becoming Son’s of God becoming Children of God, although socially and culturally speaking, 2000 years ago being someone’s son was a whole lot different then simply being someone’s child and was understood as such.
But the translation kept going, it removed any mention of the Jewish leaders asking for Christ to be crucified instead it was simply the religious leaders. Because it didn’t want to be anti-Semitic. But historically it wasn’t just any religious leaders who demanding the execution of Christ it was the Jewish religious leaders. That’s not to put any blame of Jews who live today that is simply the historic reality. To deny that is akin to just referring to the authors of the holocaust as political leaders and not mentioning that they were German political leaders.
In the Oxford translation the right hand of God was no longer the preferred place because that would imply that left was wrong or bad. The parable of the blind guides was left out because it was offensive to blind people, you get the gist. And I was asked to debate another pastor who thought the Oxford translation was the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I challenged her saying that regardless of how you viewed the Bible it was wrong to take that much liberty with it. If it was the word of God how could you make such radical changes, if it was just a historical document how could you justify tampering with it or if it was only great literature we wouldn’t change the wording of Shakespeare’s plays simply to make them more appealing for today.