Black & White?

To those of you who may be unaware...I am a fan of comic books.  So, I was understandably thrilled when my wife recently snagged me a very cool piece of art depicting the hero known as "The Question".  Perhaps you have never heard of The Question; that is understandable, as he is a bit of an obscure hero.  Many of you have probably heard of a certain more-famous character based off of The Question however: Rorschach from "The Watchmen".  Named for his "Ink Blotch" mask, Rorschach saw the world strictly in black and white...there was good; there was evil, and the two never mingled. 

 Rorschach:  Great in comics...not so great in exegesis.

Rorschach:  Great in comics...not so great in exegesis.

While a staunch black/white rendering of the world seems an attractive way of looking at things, we should refrain from attempting to read the Bible in such a way.  

There are certainly absolutes in scripture: God is good and sin is bad.  However, this simple approach does not work when it comes to the people we see in scripture.  Who comes to mind when we think of biblical heroes?  Jesus certainly, but also Moses, David, Solomon, and Elijah.  Beyond these giants, we have prophets, Old Testament Judges, and even mere commoners who were chosen by God to be instrumental in the long arc of salvation.  

Aside from Christ...all of these characters were, in the end, people.  They were flawed, they worried, they doubted, and they sinned.  Sometimes in truly abhorrent fashions (see Jephthah).  So what is to make of them?  Well...their stories, ugly though they may be at times, yet serve to educate us and inform our faith.  I certainly would not endorse emulating some "Biblical Heroes", but rather we are to learn from them.  

People seldom fit into the neat little boxes we would like them to.  As you continue in your walk with Jesus; as you continue to grow and nurture your faith, avoid the temptation to read scripture with a good-guy/bad-guy mentality.  After all, apart from Christ, we are all bad-guys in some way...and accepting that my friends, is the first step towards repentance.