Fellows Reflection: DJ-isms make Bible Study memorable and rich
Jul 09, 2021|Written By: Luís Sanchez Rosa
As the 2020-2021 Fellows year came to an end, so did an integral part of the experience. For the last nine months we were privileged to attend weekly bible study with Rev. DJ Carter. There is something very distinct about bible study with DJ. Actually, a bunch of distinct things: his charisma, dynamism, and spontaneity, to name a few. Ultimately, it’s Spirit led.
“The Bible is the source, I’m the instrument, and the Holy Spirit the worker.” – DJ Carter
Not your ordinary bible study
When you hear the words ‘bible study,’ you may picture folks sitting around and listening, and perhaps answering questions about the text. But DJ’s bible study is full of discussion, reflection, and open ended questions with no right or wrong answer. He brings together a discussion that invites the Holy Word into our suffering, sin, love, work, sexuality, ministry, etc., for a better union with Christ and those suffering around us.
DJ set the tone by stating, “The Bible is the source, I’m the instrument, and the Holy Spirit the worker.” He added, “It’s not about hearing the elders about the truth of the Gospel but knowing it’s in our lives that the Lord works!” DJ routinely asked us the most simple questions but at times, very deep ones: what is life about, what is work, what is sex? Such questions made us think about our perspectives, not what we think the right answer is. He had no intention to judge our answers but to embrace them as God does our finitude. DJ has seen our young curiosity and ignorance as Fellows and challenged us to be contemplative of the world we live in and to embrace others in their suffering as Jesus truly would. After all, Jesus said, “I only do whatever the Father is already doing” (John 5:19).
Jesus is for the marginalized
Pulling from scholarly resources like Bible Gateway, Bible Hub, and Blue Letter Bible, DJ demonstrated how inclusive the Word has always been to the meek, condemned, and oppressed. The Word, most importantly, invites all to the table. It challenges us to be critical in how we may have not been the most helpful Christians in America in our attempts to help and understand others with the array of cultural meanings behind the words. A major example was the word ‘woman’ via Blue Letter Bible, which can mean wife, handmaid, divorced woman, wicked woman, delicate woman, silly woman, among a few more lexiconic connections. There is no mold for the Kingdom of God in Heaven nor on Earth.
DJ began the year by stating, “We can pour into others but God pours best into us” and in another moment that, “We should be ready for all types of conversations in the Body of Christ.” With these in mind, we ought to know that there’s no topic that shouldn’t be referenced in our conversations amongst siblings in Christ as we all comprise the Heavenly Kingdom above.
“We should be ready for all types of conversations in the Body of Christ.” – DJ Carter
These are the most important lessons I learned from DJ. Be ready to have tough conversations in the name of the Lord and in the love of the Lord. Our minds should be as open as our hearts with the Spirit leading. No one should be excluded from God’s table – they have been invited to it just like us. Instead of pushing the marginalized away, we should be making room at the table through genuine relationships. We should just continue doing “whatever the Father is already doing.”
Luís Sanchez Rosa is an Abundant Life Fellow. For more information about the Fellows Program and to apply, visit our Fellows page.