Dear Friends and Members of Ark and Dove,
In our weekly Bible study this Wednesday, we discussed how Jesus appeared to the disciples in Luke's gospel. Luke says that the risen Christ "opened their minds to understand the scriptures." Amy Tardiff, one of the participants in our study, noted how important this line is for how we interpret Scripture. Too often, we read Scripture with closed minds.
Think of the way that the Bible was used to justify slavery and how many ministers were closed-minded when abolitionists said the Bible speaks of liberation. Think of how the Bible is used to denounce and demean LGBTQ+ persons and the way people pick out passages to support what they already believe about gender and sexuality. Or think of the way the Bible is used to scare people into being saved. Closed minds close the Bible.
But the risen Christ opened minds and opened Scripture. In his spirit, we can do the same. If we open Scripture with open minds and hearts, we will be led to wonder and find new understandings. The Bible does not have a singular meaning, and it should not close ourselves off to others. Scripture ought to open us to see God and know God's love in new ways.
We have two great new classes coming up that will explore the ways the Bible has been read and how it might be read. On April 22, Amanda Crose will lead us in a study of the verses that have been used to hurt LGBTQ+ persons. A week later, Tricia Gray and I will lead a discussion on what the Bible says and does not say about heaven, hell, and who gets saved. We pray that in these classes the spirit of the risen Christ will open our minds to understand the scriptures. Please find more information in the articles below.