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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 22-04-2011
Category: Other
Two views of the Bible

When I was a kid, we seldom went to church. I grew up in what can be called a dysfunctional family. It can take many forms, but in our house it was the complete absence of love. My parents never quarreled, but neither did the temperature ever rise above 50 degrees Celsius. As my father was a farmer, he made good use of his four boys for unpaid labour (naturally he gave us food and lodging, never interfered with our schoolwork, and sent 3 of us to university).

To escape from the cold atmosphere, I was an avid reader. You name it, I read it, especially Zane Gray's cowboy stories (if I remember correctly). What better narrative than the handsome man with his horse and loyal dog coming to town where a damsel was in distress because of some crooks? It was good! The few times I was in church I thought I could give the minister some advice on good books to read in church, instead of that boring black book he used. In defense of the minister I must say that young boys of 12 or thereabouts are probably not interested in the history of Israel and how God led them (especially as the specific boy had no idea of who God is).

That is how I grew up, and when I went to university, I could have been described as an atheist, agnostic, or a person who didn't have the faintest idea who God is, why there is a God, or why He would be interested in a person like me. My parents showed me no affection, so why would this God do it? I couldn't understand or see God's grace and mercy in my life. In my sixth year at university I met a girl. We grew up in the same town, and we even dated at a time. Now, however, I fancied this girl. She was a great Christian, I mean her Bible was almost totally underlined, except for a few verses. I found out later that the verses she didn't underline were the ones that she was not supposed to go out with an unbeliever. When I asked her to marry me, she hesitated. Later I found out that she had a short discussion with the Holy Spirit that went something like this: 'Holy Spirit, you say I must not be yoked with an unbeliever. Can I accept that he is a believer if he believes in me, because he asked me to marry him.' The fact that the Holy Spirit told her she is quoting out of context apparently bypassed her, as she said yes. As a young woman who wanted to become a missionary in China, she had her share of suffering in the marriage, but after 40 years she has one convert: her husband.

What is now my view of the Bible? It is the wonderful, precious Word of God, given by God personally to Gerard, to show him how to be part of the bride of Christ, to be reconciled to God. It is wonderful news, an example of God's grace and mercy to the unsaved.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27