“The Bible is not a smorgasbord, Lara,” a loved one told me during my very early days of studying the Bible. “You don’t pick and choose what you want from it.” Fortunately, my loved one had a tough skin. He was able to handle how I argued at least every other scripture. He was also able to manage how I fought against his declaration that the Bible is not a buffet. How many believers in Jesus Christ, I wonder, subscribe to the Bible, buffet style?
“I am sick and tired of you playing church,” a pastor told his mega church congregation just weeks ago. “You come to church each week with Bible in hand,” he told thousands of people in so many words. “You play Christian in church. You cry, you shout, “hallelujah, you talk about the teaching, and you go back into the world to your addictions, your adultery, and everything else.”
I know all about this. I am a not-proud graduate of the Bible, Buffet Style school of thought. Unfortunately, my degree got me absolutely nowhere. Not true, actually. My degree gave me a whole bunch of hell, while I missed the phenomenal opportunity I had to live the life the Lord intended for me all along.
I stopped playing church and studying the Bible, buffet style when I was sick and tired of living a life of hell on earth. The Holy Spirit showed me there was a much better way. God’s way.
With a whole lot of trepidations, and a big bunch of remaining rebellion, I told the waiter at my favorite restaurant that I wanted to try the full-course, sit-down dinner. It had become more than apparent that indulging in the temptations of the buffet had done me wrong.
Life is very different now. In some ways, it seems harder. But it so much purer, so much more real, and so brilliantly full of the everlasting love of the Lord. He is teaching me a new way. His way. No more picking and choosing.
This time around, I am learning to follow Jesus. No more playing church. No more Bible buffet.
Just plain Truth. His.