The Desert Sanctuary

Spirit * Soul * Body

(this is a rewrite of something I did about a year ago)

If you are like me, it’s hard not to watch the show called The Curse of Oak Island.  It is a “reality” show that combines myth, legend, some history and quite a bit of mystery.  I don’t know if I even like it, but it is compelling.  The theme is a treasure that seems to always be just out of the reach for the treasure seekers.  Like most reality shows, there is a certain level of believe-ability and a certain amount of showmanship.  It’s just fun to kind of get lost in the “what ifs” of the treasure hunting journey.

It takes me back to my childhood.  Before the era of computers and video games, sometimes children just went outside to play.  My brother(s) and I would do what the brothers on the Treasure Island show did.  We would leave in the morning seeking treasure of unknown quantity and destination.   I remember one day we set off for the Lake.  We really didn’t know where the lake was or how far it was, but we strapped our fishing poles to our bicycles and headed out.  It was a good thing my mom came to rescue us because we were literally exhausted by the time we got there.  My own children went to explore a pond in the area of our  home only to come back with leaches all over their body.  What were we actually doing when we went treasure seeking?

In my mind, treasure seeking is discovering the unknown.  Someone outside our circle has given us a hint that something exciting or intriguing or better is out there somewhere.  In various ways, they give us a map to hopefully help find this treasure that we seek.  They draw a map because they have experienced it before us.  In a way, the Bible is a map to lead us to a destination and treasure we seek.  It names it as the Kingdom of Heaven with its main treasure being the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  The map even hints that this treasure is something we should sacrifice everything to find.  Everything in this map is pointing to the one thing, the treasure.  It’s not a handbook or a history book – it is full of poetry and word pictures and descriptions of past treasure seekers.  It progressively leads up to the revelation of when this treasure was observed—the one time when people saw it in person.  Then, the rest of the map tries to explain what they saw and how others can find it too.

In the Oak Island show, many different maps appear from all over the world.  These maps might be described as different accounts of where they think the treasure is and what is buried there.  When the brothers on the show investigate the different maps, they are not weighing them against one another—what they are doing is looking for similarities.  They often lay one map over the other to find out which points on the map are common to the other.  I think that is a great point to consider.   They don’t dismiss one map because it is slightly different, they look for things that match up and spend their time “digging” there!  But, even that is not the most important point.  To me, the most important point is:

THE MAP IS NOT THE TREASURE

Even though it seems silly for us to fall in love with a treasure map, many have made the Scriptures an idol to be worshiped instead of a treasure map to be used.  The treasure map of the Bible points us to Jesus, not the other way around.   The treasure map is not perfect- the true treasure, is!  It is a means to the end—not an end in itself.

But, let me push this just a little further.  May I suggest that sometimes we don’t even need the Bible (the treasure map) to find the treasure.  I know, right?  It sounds heretical because the map has often become the treasure.  But may I just investigate a couple of ways quickly that we find treasure without a map.  You probably could think of more.    The map is helpful to start us in the right direction, but then we often can effectively use other things to lead us to the treasure.

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a guide.  I am very adventurous and love to discover things on my own, but usually before I head out to discover the new thing, I ask a couple of people that have been down that road before.  You see that in the Oak Island show and it ‘s true in life.  Paul needed Barnabus – Timothy need Paul – and, even Jesus, needed the Father and the Spirit and even his mother and teachers at times to tell him what they knew.  “What I’ve discovered to be true …” is one of sweetest sounds to me.  It means this is a possible way to interpret the map and an approach that someone has found success with – it’s experience.

Sometimes we stumble upon treasure.  Many times, my brothers and I went out without a plan.  We just went out open for adventure and finding what we hadn’t already experienced.  So, in a way, it’s the opposite of the previous point.  To me, this relates to my contemplative experiences when I am meditating and not really focusing on anything and I receive something that is truly a treasure – like a thought, or peace or confidence.  All these are treasures that I wasn’t specifically looking for but found none-the less.

I am a treasure seeker at heart.  I’m always looking for that which I have not yet discovered.  Sometimes that comes within the pages of Scripture.  In others words, I see something on the map I have never seen before.  But most often, it is the treasure that the map points to that is most worthy of my attention.  It is possible to fall in love with the map, but that’s not what treasure seeking is all about.  Guarding the map or guarding the treasure is the trap that all treasure hunters fall into.

What if we would stay excited about the treasure hunt and we stayed on the journey?

Karl


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!


 

Over the past few years, I have had the privileged of having some great guides lead me on a journey of healing. Most often, the wounds in our life were inflicted by people that genuinely cared for us and by our own stubborn strategies that didn’t work and only made it worse. In a addition to a guide, I think it’s also important to have a good friend.

Jason and I have very similar stories, so we decided to get vulnerable and talk about our stories without any reservations. If we would have done it in any other way, it would have seemed phony and that is probably why I’ve avoided having him on the podcast for so long. This is probably what we longed for all those years as a pastor — to be vulnerable – to have real friends – and to find real healing!

Enter at your own risk!


Connect with Jason Elam


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

I was a pastor for 20 years, but I never really considered myself a theologian. When something puzzled me or interested me, I would do some research and try to find understanding. Often, I was more interested in what made people work than proving a religious point of contention. But, over the past few years there have been several things that I once held to that no longer make any sense. Inerrancy is one of those things that I no longer ascribe to. Here’s why.

For inerrancy to hold up, here are just a few of the things that must be true.

  1. God only spoke directly to writers for 1600 years

This is what people with flat Bible beliefs believe. They would insist that writers in the 21st Century couldn’t possibly have any new revelation. There was none before that time period and none after. Of course, unless it directly copies what is said in the pages of the Bible.

  1. Inspiration has to mean innerancy

I have often been inspired, but very rarely am I inerrant. But, to be a flat Bible person you must believe that each writer of the Old and New Testament was not only inspired, as Paul said, but they were also perfect and got it all right. Everything they wrote down must be exactly what God meant for them to say (even the bashing babies on rocks, ruthlessly killing and owning slaves, etc.)

  1. The Apostle Paul has to be equal with Jesus

When flat Bible people take Paul’s words and make them literally the law for all times, such as women keeping silent, they are demanding a perfection out of Paul that he didn’t even acknowledge of himself. Paul certainly had a transformation and did lots of work and suffering to tell people about Jesus, but he acknowledged several times that he struggled to understand. Why would we take some of his words as infallible and ignore the fact that he said he wasn’t?

  1. The oral tradition had to be flawless

Many people don’t know that the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were not written immediately after they happened. The four evangelists participated in the oral traditions for approximately 30 years before they wrote them down. Jesus probably died between AD 30 and 36 and the gospels were probably written between AD 66 and 110. That means every time someone said, “Remember when Jesus said that..” or something similar, they had to remember and retell it perfectly for the gospels to be inerrant and for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to record perfectly what happened and what was said. This seems way more than unlikely to me.

  1. Jesus judgment would have to come into question

In the “fire from heaven” passage, Jesus tells the disciples to ignore what the author of I Kings said. Several times, when quoting Hebrew Scripture (OT), Jesus left off the violent parts of the scripture He was reading. Several times in the Sermon on the Mount, he directly opposed the OT Scripture by saying, “You have heard it said, but I say…” Paul also did this occasionally, but let’s focus on the one that was supposed to be perfect. Jesus quoted Scripture, but often corrected it, not just for cultural correctness but because He disagreed with the basic premise (using violence, being retributive, etc.). For the Bible to be infallible or inerrant, Jesus opinions (as quoted in the Bible) would have to be demoted or ignored.

  1. The church didn’t realize it until recently

Biblical inerrancy was not included in any of the creeds or councils until after the reformation (500 years ago). Even by loose standards, that means that it’s only in the last few hundred years did the church officially adopt inerrancy as an official view. Many of the modern-day stances on inerrancy come from sources such as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978. The early church certainly thought Scriptures were “useful” as they were piecing together their understanding of the Divine, but there is almost no indication that anyone for the first 1500 years of Christianity would have taken this view.

  1. The men that chose the books were perfect

To make a long story short, several groups of men got together in the 4th and 5th Century and decided what books were to be included in the Bible. To be fair, they were partially guided by what was commonly accepted at the time but try getting anyone to agree on what is accepted in your life. My point would be simply this, there have been multiple councils in the 4th, 5th, 16th and 17th centuries by fallible men (again, unless you’re going to ascribe perfection to normal people). For the books of the Bible to be infallible, they had to get it all right. For it to be inerrant, the right books have to be IN there. The book of Revelation almost didn’t make it – wouldn’t that change things if it didn’t? Are we sure they got ALL of it right through ALL the councils and revisions? Does even one convention like the Southern Baptists make perfect decisions every year. Obviously NO!

  1. We would have to ignore some things in the Bible

The writer of Hebrews makes a special point to tell us that in the “last days” God speaks through Jesus. In other words, like many now are accepting, Jesus cleared some things up about the Law and the Prophets (OT Scripture). In the account known as the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John are brought to a place where Moses and Elijah are seen (representing the law and the prophets). A voice says “This is my son, listen to HIM!” If you believe the Bible, like flat Bible people do, this creates a contradiction for you. Why? Because Jesus brings into question Moses and Elijah’s inerrancy. If you’re going to say something is inerrant in the Bible, you must make a choice whose words you will follow.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, I’m not a theologian. These are just my thoughts. I no longer take the flathead approach to the Bible, yet I still read it and find it to be “useful.” I find a greater peace in wrestling with my understanding of truth that is found there than in trying to wrestle it down to a doctrinal statement that someone taught me to recite. I’m pretty sure Jesus would have never forced a flat Bible approach to the Bible, at least it doesn’t appear that way in the pages of the New Testament.


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Jason Elam, of the Messy Spirituality Podcast, and I got together to talk about a couple of things. We didn’t have nearly enough time, but we figured we would package it in bite-sized segments. This is JOINT PODCAST that will probably air on both stations.

This is directly from our hearts!

PART 1 is about church and how our views have changed over the years. It is not to discredit those that find what they need there, we just wanted to discuss what we are discovering now that we view the church from outside the walls.

Hope you enjoy the discussion – I’m exhausted!


Find Jason HERE



Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

David Hayward is a cartoonist, author and teacher knows as the Naked Pastor.

Today, we talked about his work, including his work with the Lasting Supper online community and especially his 10 statements about spiritual independence.  It exists:

To help people become and remain spiritually independent.

His website: The Naked Pastor


 

 


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!

Allow me to inatroduce you to one of my fellow Quoir authors.  His new book is called Shame: An UnConventional Memoir.   We talk about his book and how shame affected his life and how he eventually went of a journey of reconstruction and rebuilding of his emotional and spiritual life.

Find the book on Amazon!

Facebook for Josh Roggie


 

 


Oh wow, my book, Apparent Faith, got nominated for a Christian Indie Award in Theology for 2020!! This is quite humbling. Please help me out by voting and then spreading the word.

“Apparent Faith” under Theoloology

—>VOTE HERE<—

book image

If you still haven’t ordered the book, it’s still on sale and available in print, audible and Kindle version.

blog_subscription_form]

IMG_20190602_124853_323.jpg



Support us on Patreon!

Here is the link if you want to help.

If you cannot help, I appreciate your love and support.

https://www.patreon.com/thedesertsanctuary

Thank you for your friendship – let’s see what the future holds!