Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bible Readers... The Danger of Being Piously Convicted and Marginally Informed



From my perspective, Isaac Asimov had it correct when he noted that the Bible is the best evidence against itself. Many Christians are excellent Bible READERS. Minister types in this area excellent Bible READERS. They can jump from one scripture to the next with finesse. For any scholar you could quote, they would quote one that confirmed their perspective. However, in some areas of the country you really just have to quote the Bible and skip the scholar part too.
It never ends. The reason it never ends is that for one the NEED to believe the inerrancy of the Bible is more than important. The NEED for the Bible to tell one consistent story and be totally true in its conclusions is WHO they are at this particular moment in time. One local minister when he saw I was reading a quantum physics book asked me what that had to do with the Bible. I said, "Nothing, it doesn't need to have anything to do with the Bible." He said, "Oh yes it does, the Bible is the greatest science book ever written." He needed to believe that and he was very wrong.
On the other hand, there are those who have passed through the literalism and inerrancy of scripture to see it for what it is. It usually takes a traumatic religious experience to provoke the change. My pastoring past supplied more than enough impetus for me to examine what I used to teach. It's not a matter of stacking your scholars against my scholars to see who wins the argument because personal growth is an inside job. Spirituality comes from within.
Religious belief comes from examining what a scripture SAYS and assigning it a meaning. People who assign scripture the same meaning for them as a group usually form a church or a denomination, but that may not translate into a real spirituality. I personally feel that most Churches sift out according to personality. Angry and fearful types tend toward the exclusive "we only" mentality, read the Bible like a newspaper and hold such beliefs as an everlasting form of punishment for deeds done in a very finite amount of time. Of course, it will be YOU that experiences the eternal punishment or punishing and not them. Other Churches are shame (I'm a bad person) and guilt (I do bad things) based, with most being a combo of both. We have social churches where the minister had better mind his own business and control churches where you know he is about to mind your business for you. It's always a "he". At the other end of the spectrum are churches of people burned by religion and desirous of spirituality only. They don't want to hear the phrase "God says", or "The Bible tells us..". Those phrases are burnout for them. These are perhaps the Unitarian types who don't argue doctrine and just be who they are for now. Leading Unitarians is a bit like herding cats. I myself consider myself Non-Condemnational. That's about all I can come up with at the moment.
Spirituality is not about scholars vs. scholars. It's personal and often painful. We can all find someone who backs our "position". I don't find Bible READERS very often the kind of people I feel comfortable around anymore. I don't spend time with them and rarely engage them in a discussion because the Meme (mind virus) of conditioning is firmly in place. There is no discussion. Only arguing and pushing back. One sees very quickly that most minds come preloaded with their own form of truth. Frankly, if we took religious caused conflict and mayhem out of the news, we'd only have ads from Wal-Mart to read.
Recently a fundamentalist tried every way she could to save me and to convince me that the bible was the BEST science book, the Best psychology book, the BEST history book, the BEST guide for morality. I asked her if so, why did Israelite soldiers get to save the virgins of other nations for themselves, i.e. for sex, and kill everyone else or why Moses, upon returning with the big ten got really angry and had over 3000 people killed for not waiting or getting really angry when people in the DESERT felt a need for a bit more water and food. ...she mumbled something about the justice and judgment of God and changed the topic. One could ask hundreds of questions like that about both Old and New Testaments. At any rate, she told the others around me that I was making up a God in my own image to suit me and said they should shake the dust from their shoes when around me. (I ain't kiddin!). I knew I had made progress when is simply was able to smile and go about my business.
Scholars, mine or yours have a place, it's how we learn and get to make those personal decisions about how it may actually be in the realm of spiritual truth and growth. I don't care if Elaine Pagels and I agree (which we do) near as much as I appreciate that she is so adept at explaining the EVOLUTION of God in the Bible from Canaanite storm and fertility gods to what we have today in three major religions.
If I had to pick a book that actually said what I had always wondered about it would be John Shelby Spong's book Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. He simply and with great insight said what I was already noticing about the Bible. I understood I was not crazy for noticing stories and teachings that seemed at best ignorant and at worst contrived. For others, it simply made them angry and feel threatened to the point that a woman hit John Spong over the head with her umbrella from behind at his own wife's funeral and others to wish the next plane he took to crash. I consider the former types to be religious and John Spong to understand spirituality and reality at it's best. It's difficult to argue with a spiritual person. Religious people thrive on arguments. It drives them nuts when you don't feel the need to.
The "my scholar vs. your scholar" mode of spiritual awakening has never worked. Spirituality is always an inside job perhaps only understood best by the person experiencing it.
Dennis Diehl


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/93539

29 comments:

Near_Earth_Object said...

Who wrote the various books of the Bible? For the moment, set aside which canon we are talking about. In most cases, there is no documentary evidence who wrote the various books. But that does not mean that the books are un-credentialed.

Who wrote Shakespeare's plays and sonnets? We may have been taught in school that it was Shakespeare but now this is controversial. There are scholars that believe William Shakespeare did not have the breadth of knowledge to write what he supposedly wrote. So now there are other candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare's body of work. And Shakespeare lived only in the Elizabethan Period - when compared to the age of ancient texts, just yesterday. Yet, verifiable knowledge of authorship is lost.

So it is not unusual that documentary evidence of authorship for the books of the Bible should be lost. Credentialing of the books of the Bible is through acknowledgement by the Body of Christ and in particular the Church Fathers - for example, Eusebius. The Church Fathers were closer to the time of origination. But not everyone living at all times and places are in agreement about the validity of the books.

Perhaps, even personal decisions enter in. I do not, for instance, reject the book of Revelation but I have strong doubts about its inclusion in the canon.

What I am saying is that just because we do not know who wrote the books of the Bible by direct documentary evidence,this does not nullify the cohesive message.

But shouldn't God have had the text of the Bible written by one author (so we don't have to futz with multiple provenances) and imprinted on indestructible plates and enshrined some place forever with by-lines prominent? Only a recovering legalist would come up with this kind of expectation.


He did what He did and you have to either refuse or receive the pedagogical effect.

Anonymous said...

Yes, arguing with opinionated, closed-minded people, even if their religion is not having a religion, is often futile. But others who listen-in sometimes learn something. It's kind of like when a troubled ditto-head on a tiny blog says nobody listens to you. As if he speaks for everyone. As if he would know. As if I care. But he's lying of course, because I notice that a number of arguments I used to refute, that used to be mentioned frequently, are rarely if ever brought up now.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, (2nd commenter): Anonymous posters are
untrackable. Nobody knows which one is saying what to whom.

Doesn't Rush Limbaugh or the EIB hold the patent on the word dittohead?

Anonymous said...

what amazes me about you people is how your kind in the last 200 years or so have arbitrarily declared that your sources are more credible than someone elses even though none of us really know the truth considering we are essentially no more knowledgable than a farm animal or forest creature;

and ur scoffing is no different than that of those of the apostle Sauls day, except in those days they werent into self worship like you are today, but rather the worship of marble statues...

and you are constantly citing the musings of others, most of whom are dead, as if their words are the key to salvation even though they themselves couldnt save their own lives...

add to this the fact that you scoff at those with whom you disagree for doing essentially the same thing your urselves are guilty of???

nck said...

re NEO: "But not everyone living at all times and places are in agreement about the validity of the books."

re NEO: "He did what He did and you have to either refuse or receive the pedagogical effect."


With regard to literature and movies, I have als found that I found different meaning/interpretation, taking the same content at different ages/ stages of maturity and experience. Being diplomatic here, not saying better or more profound, but at least different.

nck

Anonymous said...

so my posts have become a burr under ur saddle have they???

all great civilizations ultimately collapse, and the asimovs of the world, in their vain wisdom, couldnt stop this from happening, so you keep on quoting from them and see what good it will do you in the days to come...

i will quote Daniel, or the apostle Saul or Jesus, and they have told me that our world will collapse, and have told me why, and how i can have salvation...

ur philosophers simply are commentators vainly running their mouths as if the cure all is mankind when in acuality the problem is mankind and his vanities and his refusal to do unto others as he would have done unto himself...

look around, look around, what see you? we are a nation of selfish entitled imps raised at the feet of the asimovs and the freuds and yet our society has produced leadership that is poised to throw us under the bus as long as they can benefit, not unlike how we treat each other in our day to day lives...

and this they do because none of them believes in the Word of God or in the way of God!!!

we have scoffed at His Commandments and Laws and written our own laws as if we are so smart, then we contantly amend them to make up for the dumbness and ignorance of the laws we originally write...

and in the face of all this, blogs like this one are constantly singing the praises of the virtues of the wisdom of mankind, even as millions of their fellow man suffer around the world...

well, guess what, we too must suffer in this nation cuz we are so detatched from the consequences of our vanities that we think ourselves higher than we ought...

Anonymous said...

"Religious people thrive on arguments". I call bull shit on that one! In my very personal experience I have known atheists who enjoy arguing with people and I knew of one who got his ass fired for slapping a guy over the head just because he was reading his bible in the break room. The atheist I have ran across have violent tendencies.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said: "The atheist I have ran across have violent tendencies.'

LOL. You must live in the South where they have to defend themselves from attack by the Funda-mentalists.

Your statement is what is known as a glittering generality. Of course it is not true of atheists anymore than Christians. Now psychopathic ones...sure. I'll give you that.

Nuther anonymous noted: "and you people.....
...and you are constantly citing the musings of others, most of whom are dead, as if their words are the key to salvation even though they themselves couldnt save their own lives..."

Ummm...everyone you base your beliefs on is someone else and all of them in the Bible are quite dead...and couldn't save their own lives either evidently.

Anonymous said...

so why fault Christians for following their dead when following the dead is exactly what you people do?

at least the words of the dead men we cite are enduring and prophetic, and are the keys to living a life of peace; i dare say no one will even know who asimov is 1000 years from now...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:58 AM, I can't say who are atheist or who are Christian because I don't discuss religion or even politics. But I did know a couple of atheist that bragged about it and even said that if they could get away with it they would kill all Christians.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Hey Dennis, I concur with the Asimov observation that the Bible is the best evidence against itself. John Shelby Spong is also spot on with his comments regarding Fundamentalists and the Bible. An additional book I read about once a year is "Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine. It reminds me that a real God would never communicate with mankind through a human language on a page that can be so easily twisted and used for vulgar purposes. Paine's thoughts are pure logic, priceless and inspiring. He lays the Bible out for what it is.

Your post seems to have brought out some closed-minded anonymous posters who defend the parts of the Bible that they think speak to them. Too bad they don't read the whole thing with their total consciousness awake and in gear. The Bible is "the best evidence against itself". Clear your mind and read it again. The whole thing. It is pathetic.

I believe most of these anonymous posters are cowards, afraid to take responsibility for their positions. Most are not protecting themselves or family members from a splinter's ministry. They are wimps, without moral conviction or courage.

Anonymous said...

Our dead men can beat up your dead men...so there.
Lol

nck said...

Gerald

How ironic that we are all here through the musings of a son of quakers. Who seems to be utterly refuted by another son of quaker worth reading at least once a year. Perhaps on a later day I'll invest some time on who influenced Thomas to exercise his iron logic.

nck

nck said...

One of them was the religionist Locke.
His essay on tolerance influenced Paine.

Locke implied that those that know the truth must tolerate the heresies of others since every church declares to be the true church.
Tolerance therefore implies acceptance toward the unorthodox.

The State should limit itself to protect from harm.
I one church claims the existence of 20 Gods and the other claims only one God. Accordign to Locke

‘it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg’

So no harm done!

nck

Near_Earth_Object said...

If comments like Anon 6:38 can show up on this system, why do we have moderation? Anon 6:38 owes everyone looking at this section of the blog an apology.

NO2HWA said...

NEO

The issue with some of these comments slipping though is that if I ok comments on the blog itself I only see about half of the comment. I guess I need to read every single posting that I receive in the email notice and approve each from the email individually.

I am also going to start deleting posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the original topic. Some straying is fine, but it is getting ridiculous.

Dennis Diehl said...

Very few comments actually address the postings. No one actually ever addresses the specific examples given save to criticise for revealing them. They fly off into

Dennis Diehl said...

...space :)

Anonymous said...

Gerald
Serious Christians are persecuted and live in inconstant danger. Calling them wimps etc means that you do not know this from personal experience. Which means that you are Gerald the failed Christian. Yet you moralize to those who are succeeding.

nck said...

Dennis,

Thats sounds like the saloon keeper complaining that none of the visitors mentioned the new pianola.


Kidding, it wouldnt be the same without your edification.

Did the "great salesman" of Portland library fame not urge you to include a "call to action in your posting, or end with a question."

Otherwise the postings are like the dancing ladies in the back of the saloon To he enjoyed and entertaining but far removed from the table with the card players in the center.

Call to action!

Nck

RSK said...

Sure. Christians in the kwaliso of the DPRK are posting here anonymously. And Gerald is calling them wimps. Yeah, makes all kinds of sense.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Anon 10:17, do you post anonymously because you are being persecuted, or because you are a gutless coward? I do not claim to be a Christian. You say I moralize to those who are succeeding...succeeding at what? I am simply calling out those who hide in the shadows (like you) and take shots at real people with honest, researched opinions.

Have you ever read "Age of Reason" or any book that deals with the flaws and contradictions of the Bible? Didn't think so.

Gerald Bronkar said...

RSK, I have no idea what you just posted. Can you clarify?

Liberal Atheist said...

RSK, have you ever thought of taking English classes? Most here don't speak in slang!

RSK said...

Not slang. Kwalliso (sometimes kwanliso) is the specific term for the DPRKs prison labor camps.
I dont think their Christian inmates are posting here anonymously.

RSK said...

Your commenter's assertion was funny, in essence.

Anonymous said...

frankly, u should be so lucky to have free wheeling discussion; notice how paticipation increases? i come to ur site more than i do any other cog related site; the prospect of doing spiritual battle with they what worship flesh and blood is intriguing...

Anonymous said...

Jerry Springer 101. So says Yoda

As anonymous has said;

"so my posts have become a burr under ur saddle have they???

all great civilizations ultimately collapse, and the asimovs of the world, in their vain wisdom, couldnt stop this from happening, so you keep on quoting from them and see what good it will do you in the days to come...

i will quote Daniel, or the apostle Saul or Jesus, and they have told me that our world will collapse, and have told me why, and how i can have salvation...

ur philosophers simply are commentators vainly running their mouths as if the cure all is mankind when in acuality the problem is mankind and his vanities and his refusal to do unto others as he would have done unto himself...

look around, look around, what see you? we are a nation of selfish entitled imps raised at the feet of the asimovs and the freuds and yet our society has produced leadership that is poised to throw us under the bus as long as they can benefit, not unlike how we treat each other in our day to day lives...

and this they do because none of them believes in the Word of God or in the way of God!!!

we have scoffed at His Commandments and Laws and written our own laws as if we are so smart, then we contantly amend them to make up for the dumbness and ignorance of the laws we originally write...

and in the face of all this, blogs like this one are constantly singing the praises of the virtues of the wisdom of mankind, even as millions of their fellow man suffer around the world...

well, guess what, we too must suffer in this nation cuz we are so detatched from the consequences of our vanities that we think ourselves higher than we ought..."

January 2, 2018 at 11:25 PM

This above post makes sense to me as humanity has perfectly shown in our ably recorded history how we have not been able to find a way to peacefully exist on this earth from our supposed knowledge of the start of it all. What new way will come about after all these years to give us new and enlightening futuristic ways to have this. Now if one were to believe in a God that had this power to bring this about what would be wrong for any to accept and believe in this possibility? Would it not be nice to forgo war, murder, addictions, strife, natural disasters etc.? Or is this what we can just continually tell our prodigy to look for as we continue to populate this earth?

Anonymous said...

i responded to gerald bronkar, who called me a gutless coward, but this blog censored my response, so it is pointless responding to you given the highly discriminatory nature of this blog...