Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Walking by faith and not by sight

There is a surprising amount of reliance on intuition in the Christian faith.

We are often taught to rely on faith and not by faith. And doubt is a sin.

After some thought over the years I think a certain amount of skepticism is needed - for the discerning person.

Regarding the Bible - I'm don't think we can place 100% reliance on a group of letters and papers written by men thousands of years ago - collated by a church committee - all of them humans like you and me - 4000 to 2000 years ago and say - golly, that's the undisputable Word of God.

God wrote it.

Some questions - Who told you? Why do you believe it? What do you chose not to believe?

I'm sure those bible writers were biased as much by their own culture and particular circumstances - as much as any biblical scholar or pastor would by his own personal thinking.

I'm not saying the Bible is 100% to be discredited. But c'mon read it and you'll find a lot of bizarre stuff. Di you know that slavery was not condemned and polygamy allowed? Did you know that God of the Old Testament condemns people before they were even born? Read about why he hated Esau and loved Jacob. Marriage by the way - one man one wife was never stated clearly. It was ok for men to have multiple wives. The lineage line of Jesus was descended from the sex act between a father-in-law and his daughter-in-law whom he mistook for a prostitute. As for women who want to lecture me on the bible - I suggest reading about how Paul taught that sin came from Eve - condemning all women to be subservient under men. If a woman didn't scream when she was being raped - she would be stoned to death. Yeah all in the Bible which the Psalmist is suppose to love - "thy word is a lamp unto my feet..."

Anyhow thank goodness we are now in the 21st century. I think we as Christians ought to be more circumspect before we try to subscribe to all the joys of 1st century morality.

The Bible has a lot of teachings - killing false prophets, stoning adulterers/ non-virgin brides to death, laws against  usury/ bank interest, what to plant in your field, what not to eat etc..

Not to long ago - a big issue was the case for divorce. Divorcees were also not allowed to remarry. Its in the New Testament too - Jesus himself supposedly said it.

Or someone wrote that He said it. So it MUST BE TRUE.

And guess what? This teaching caused untold suffering to millions of people. One King - King Henry 8th of England felt compelled to execute one wife and torment one to an early death because he wanted to re-marry a new bride.

You know the adage "Don't believe everything you read".

Then what do we believe?

Try reading the Bible again and thinking it critically and deeply. Who was Jesus? What did He come to do? How was he so radically different from so many others? Why do you choose to follow him?

Most people actually don't think. They just follow what someone says.

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