The religious cheese I refer to is not the woman in the first 10 seconds of this incredible “Nu Thang” video:
While in some ways she is the epitome of how we could define “religious cheese”, my goal with this blog is not to pretend that I am cool and others, like our hip MC in the above video, are not. I know that I’m plenty not-cool, maybe not as not-cool as her, but nonetheless that is not the aim of this blog.
The cheese I refer to are the layers the Church, in one form or another, have added onto Jesus and topics relating to Jesus. Cheese is often found in difficult topics, where answers are hard so a layer of cheese is added.
This is not an “answers website” for these difficult questions, but I do hope it will be an honest one. I hope it will be a place where I can share how I’ve kept some very difficult questions consistent with Scripture as God’s authoritative Word.
The Bible is trumpeted as God’s Word, but when difficult passages are brought up, these questions are often side-stepped with selective status quo answers and pressure to conform. It can leave one wondering, “Does the Bible actually make sense?” “Is it consistent with itself?” “What do I do with the parts of the Bible that seem like they are from another world…the parts that are embarrassing…do I have to believe these in order to also believe in Jesus?”
Theologians give their answers to your questions, but for some these answers don’t hold water. It still feels like we’re being asked to put on a blindfold. Like the main message of the Bible is great, but there is so much fine print we’re asked to accept along with the good stuff that it becomes too hard to swallow.
There are 3 types of religious cheese that exist:
- The “Nu Thang” type. This is the most hilarious, but probably the least productive to discuss. Though I will undoubtedly not be able to restrain myself every so often…
- The Pharisee type. These were the religious leaders Jesus accused (Matthew 23:13) were preventing people from entering the kingdom of heaven. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, churches today do this. Churches do things that keep people away from Jesus. Jesus is the core, but churches have added layer upon layer of cheese to him to the point where if someone enters the church looking for Jesus, they aren’t able to find him.
- The third type of cheese is the type I referred to above, where we get uncomfortable with a sound and logical question that challenges the Bible. Instead of being honest, we stuff the gaps (that seem like they will capsize Christianity altogether!) with cheese.
I don’t have all of the answers and I’m not perfect in my display of Jesus. But I have honestly wrestled with many questions in relation to my faith in Jesus and especially with the Bible. I have not always been impressed with the level of honesty in the answers I’ve received in the standard theological venues I have sought wisdom from. Through prayer, struggle, and searching, I feel I have come up with a way of understanding the entire Bible as God’s authoritative Word in a way that is honest and consistent.
If you are someone who has been cheesified by religion, I hope you’ll follow along on this journey with me and I pray that God will uncover the layers of cheese and reveal his beautiful identity to you along the way.
QUESTION TO YOU: In the comments section…what questions do you have (feel free to post anonymously for this one) about the Bible and/or God that you feel have been answered with layers of cheese rather than in an honest way that makes sense to you?
Host of the The Flip Side Podcast
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