Monday, March 11, 2013

3 reasons The Bible series has to include the rough parts

As History Channel's The Bible miniseries moves along, it enters the area of the Bible where things aren't quite clean and sanitary.

Judges is a book full of bad choices and worse results. The conquering of the promised land was not pretty. Not every character is squeaky clean.

The Bible decided to portray these aspects on television. Obviously, they didn't go explicit, but they did not shy away from showing the mistakes made by biblical "heroes" or the violence that was commonplace in their battles over land.

Some claimed to be offended that The Bible would glorify violence or showcase Rahab the prostitute. They accused History Channel of trying to use those to drive up ratings.

That is an odd claim, since the opening episode of The Bible was the most watched scripted program on television this year. I don't think it needs sex or violence to gin up an audience.

I do, however, believe that The Bible made the correct decision in showing the violence involved and portraying someone like Rahab. There are three reasons why those things have to be included in an accurate presentation of the the Bible.

Why include stories like Rahab's in The Bible miniseries?

1. It's true.

The Bible claims to be a historical book. People from the three major monotheistic religions take the Old Testament to be an accurate representation of the facts of that time period.

Since The Bible claims to tell the story of its namesake, it needs to include those events or ones similar to them. They are actually in the Bible.

Battles were bloody and violent. David cut off Goliath's head. Samson crushed enemies with various homemade weapons. Joshua and the Israelites destroyed cities, occasionally even killing the women and children.

You cannot tell the story of the Bible without being accurate to the source material, which does contain those types of scenes.

2. It demonstrates the reality of man.

Man exists simultaneously as the only being in existence to be created in the image of God, to be divine image bearers, yet also to be fallen and twisted from our original design.

When the Bible shows the actions and even thoughts of men and women, it makes that dual fact very clear.

The fact that battles and killing occur show that man is fallen. Prostitutes have a business because man has twisted God's design for sex. Even death is a reality, only because of the fall of man.

The good that is described in Scripture is there to point both backwards and forward. It points back to the way things were when God created everything. While it also points forward to the way things will be when God completes the redemption and restoration of His creation.

The Bible needs to show man in a positive and negative light because he exists as a fallen creature who still retains remnants of God's image.

3. It makes it evident that grace has been the plan since the beginning.

Many are under the false assumption that Jesus was a last resort plan. God had to come up with something because man screwed things up, as if it wasn't until around 2,000 years ago that the Father thought about sending the Son down to save us.

That is not the case at all. Revelation describes Jesus as being the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. This was God's plan to bring us back into a right relationship with Him from the beginning and we see that in the Old Testament.

The Bible allows us to see that with people like Rahab the prostitute. She's a foreigner, a prostitute from one of the cities the Israelites conquered on their way to the promised land. Rahab doesn't deserve salvation.

That is entirely true. She doesn't deserve it, but she gets it anyway. Not only that, but she is placed into the lineage of the coming King David and the incarnate King of kings and Lord of lords. She is part of Jesus' ancestry.

Seeing Rahab there reminds us that grace is here. That is a great thing.

What did you enjoy most about The Bible's second episode? Are there any other reasons that they should have included the frailties and feebleness of man?

No comments:

Post a Comment