The Bible Smorgasboard | Mark’s Remarks


Ever heard people walk around and quote things from the Bible, yet they will tell you they don’t believe everything the Bible says? Ever talked to someone who wanted to dispute the Bible or tell you it’s not true, yet they haven’t read much, if any, of it?

I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar by any means, and I am often intimidated and keep my mouth shut when I should be speaking up. There is always a fear that I will misquote or look stupid, so I don’t talk. On the rare occasions that I’ve been able to spout off some truths from the Bible, I can only believe God was allowing me to do so.

You hear folks dispute the Bible all the time. It’s been translated over and over. It was written by several people over a number of years. How can the Bible be the word of God when all those human men wrote it?

I’ve heard them all.

I recently started going back through the Bible, reading it chronologically this time on advice from a friend. It’s been a long time since I’ve read some of the books the plan suggests, but my oh my how enlightening it is to read the Bible in chronological order.

There are other Bible reading plans, too.

My problem has always been consistency. Sticking to it.  Trying to read your Bible every day is sometimes a huge challenge. I get it. I would tell you there are few people I’ve ever talked to who are hardcore, dedicated people.

Naysayers like to talk about people who profess to be Bible readers.

“Did you hear how that guy talks? He claims he reads the Bible.”

Listen, just because you read the Bible or go to church doesn’t mean you are a perfect person.  If anyone is coming off that way, well, wow. Thank goodness flawed and sinful people can still pick that book up without it catching on fire. I’d have soot on my hands.

I’ve always been amazed when I hear folks quoting the Bible for their own comfort or someone else’s. They are good at it. But then, they talk about rejecting or not practicing another part of the Bible because they don’t believe it or they don’t think that’s what God intended to say.

Long ago (and I’m going to sound pretty full of myself), I was totally convicted that the Bible was complete and 100 percent true. I believed that everything it said was true. I believed the words in it were inspired by God, spoken to men.  I believed it all. And I still do.

However, I still struggle. I still wonder how God could love someone like me, with all my black, evil thoughts and my sharp, two-faced tongue. How could God love someone who walks around professing to love folks yet hears some of the crap I say behind someone’s back?

Why do I have so much trouble believing I’m forgiven?  I could keep going on and on.  Yes, I believe what it says in the Bible. But do I believe what it says about me? I must. But, why do I have so much trouble with it sinking in to my thick head? Or more than that, why isn’t it in my heart too?

One of the biggest proving points of the Bible, I believe, is how God continued to use ordinary and extraordinary people to do His work. I’m also amazed at how He used flawed and broken folks as part of His plan. Folks messed up time and time again, yet were blessed and used mightily by God.

It really is an amazing story.  Even if you don’t believe, it’s a good read.

I would urge you to read the Bible. I would urge you to ask questions; and I would urge you to do lots and lots of research and open-minded listening before you make your final judgment on the Bible. There is an amazing amount of fact out there. I’m telling you. It’s mind boggling.

With all the super-natural stories and amazing happenings in the Bible, it’s no wonder some folks struggle. That’s why I urge everyone to go on a search. Why not?

I have to remind myself all the time that the Bible is not a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose from.  If you believe that part of it is true, then you must believe that all of it is true.   All the stuff God says in the Bible; all the scripture about His people.

Well, He’s talking about me too.

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Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.