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The Bottom Line……. November 30, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, faith, God, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
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The bottom line of what I’m saying in this blog is that I disagree with the premise that “we cannot know God apart from his word (implied the Bible).” This is a concept that has been ingrained in me from my Pentecostal/Charismatic/WOF background. I believe we know God through many other means – mainly our hearts & spirit. The Bible is our Holy Scriptures, but it’s Holy only because we say it is. Every Christian should do a study of how the Christian Bible was compiled.

The authenticity of the Bible has nothing to do with my faith in my creator and the way I believe we were designed to live – walking in love, compassion, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and tolerance to those around us and honoring and respecting creation in general. From my perspective, this is a higher way to live than attempting to follow a confusing book that has spawned zillions of denominations because we cannot agree on its meaning. If I give my kids direction, believe me, I make it as clear as possible because I want them to understand what I’m saying. I am very careful that there are no misinterpretations. The concept of speaking in parables so those hearing will not understand is just wierd. Stories are there to make things clearer and so people can relate to a higher concept.

I believe the basic truths are very simple. They include – love God, love your neighbor, and be kind one to another. Beyond that, the rest is just noise and in most cases is the root of wars, terrorism, genocide, and intolerance.

This makes so much sense to me. Who gives a damn about the meaning of Revelations? How does that apply to my life now and how I treat my wife, my kids, my co-workers, and my neighbors? Since I’ve quit trying to defend the Bible, its contradictions, its inconsistencies, its concepts that we just will never understand or agree on the meaning; and simply focus on these basic truths, I actually feel more in touch with God than I ever have before.

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1. novato - June 4, 2005

Roop,

Oh man I agree wholeheartedly with most of what you say. My own take is a little different on a couple of points, but not the main ones you make.

I’d still like to discuss some of these Bible inconsistency issues with you, in part for my own benefit. I don’t ever think about those things. It’s not an issue for me.

What did you think about my explanation for the apparent problem in Luke regarding Cyrenius? Is the “gap” in the record of govenors true? Are the alternate translations of the word “proto” accurate? Either would explain the apparent “inconsistency” and render it null.

Here’s the rub. I’m depending on “experts.” I’m not a Greek scholar or Roman historian. MT could probably come up with his own experts to contradict my experts. I don’t really know if the record has a gap in it. I’ve never examined it. Have you?

But I can understand a Gr. lexicon, and being bilingual, (tri- if you count the heavenly language) I know something about translation. So that argument is plausible and doesn’t require conjecture into the unknown.

Now, if the heart and meat of the issue is about the spirit of man (which I agree with), aren’t we back to the realm of subjectivity and experience? I mean, spiritual quantities are largely if not totaly, personal and experiential. Granted, you’ve set some parameters for choosing which parts of the Bible you wish to embrace in what you call “The Teachings of Jesus.” (I love those passages too.) But what about all the other “teachings of Jesus” that you cull out or ignore? I like where you’re going, but when you get down to the bottom line and say, “I believe that the creator put in each of us the ability to know right and wrong” or that we are “inherently good” do you have proof for those convictions or are they just subjective? And if they’re subjective, aren’t they just as useless or useful as what WOFers believe? (Of course you’re not abusive and intolerant, which is a MAJOR distinction. I don’t want to overlook that.)

I’m busy sanding / varnishing a hardwood floor today and tomorrow so I may not get back here to check for a while.

Novato


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