Personal Plumb Lines

Every once in awhile you have to remember who you are. These are a few plumb lines that I use to remind me and others about why I do what I do. What are yours? Who are you? What beliefs and commitments about you shape your actions and decisions?
  1. Start with God, because God starts with God.
  2. Straight Bible, no chaser.
  3. Think deeply, live simply.
  4. Everyone needs Jesus.
  5. Speak to real people: People and place always go together.
  6. The Spirit of God uses the word of God in the mouths of the people of God to change us.
  7. Be generally irreverent about everything that doesn’t matter.
  8. Get people together: wisdom is passed on between generations.
  9. Persevere through pain.
  10. Lead from the middle: give up neither leading nor participating.

Exploring my plumb lines

#2 Straight Bible, no chaser.

Have you read the Bible? Maybe a better question is, do you know how to read?  I know that is a punk questions, but I guess I am a punk. As a pastor and a man of the Bible, it becomes very frustrating to hear commentary on the Bible from people who either haven’t read it or who do not know how to read it. Sometimes we forget that words make up sentences and sentences make up stories.

When we are not honest with the words that are actually there in the Bible and the context which they are written, then we can make them mean anything. And people often do. As a pastor, it is my job to point to the words of the book and show that understanding God from the Bible does not require a magician or holy man…kinda working myself out of a job.

So, this plumb line is my plumb line so its not about me being frustrated with others not being honest and faithful to God’s Word. It means two things for me.

  1. Straight Bible means that as a pastor I will teach the Bible as directly as I can so that all who hear me speak not only know but can see that the truths come from the Bible not from Robert. Look at the text, you can put your finger on the words.
  2. Straight Bible means that in my personal arrogance I will be tempted to treat the Bible with laxity and teach my own ideas. After all, I am experienced and educated. But this plumb line gives me a constant reminder while I may be educated, experience and arrogant…I am not inspired.