*Please refer to my disclaimer page for a list of disclaimers.
Would you buy a piece of meat if it was just lying on the grocery store floor?
Of course you wouldn’t. You’d want to know its origin, expiration, who cared for it. And that’s just one part of one meal, certainly not all of eternity!
Yet, isn’t it funny how so many people spend their lifetimes believing what other people tell them the Bible means to say?
One of the significant benefits of attending a public school or university is that many faiths mesh together, and each of my teachers’ and professors’ views were unique and necessary to understanding humanity.
I had this really interesting professor in college who made questioning God a requirement for passing his class. Back in those days, we had the rudimentary beginnings of online learning as a chat, and at the end of every class, we had to write our questions about God on this chat.
No questions? No passing, bud.
At various times throughout history, the Church was the gatekeeper of knowledge.
And since they portrayed knowledge as an evil endeavor for laypeople to pursue, of course a college professor, a studier of knowledge, would want to challenge that notion.
This belief about the sinfulness of knowledge goes all the way back to the Garden and “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
Although there isn’t a single verse in the Bible that commands man to lack knowledge–quite the opposite, actually–to this day, we sit in Church on Sunday as many preachers condemn the use of reasoning to understand the world in which we live.
Why do they do this?
Because knowing how the world works leads man to question what the Bible says about how the world works.
Or, more importantly, what the leaders of the Church say the Bible says about how the world works.
The following is an example of the way fear cloaks itself in the need to be right and certain. From the website, theologythinktank.com, study the rabbit trail the author goes down when deciding whether we should take the Bible literally:
“What of the claim that some of the accounts in the Bible are based on myths (creation, the worldwide flood, Jesus, and so on)? Here again, we will stick with Genesis and the creation account to see how a non-literal view impacts the rest of the Bible if Adam and Eve are a myth:
Brandon Medina, “Is the Bible the Literal Word of God?” (Bold Mine)
- If Adam and Eve were myth, why wouldn’t the garden of Eden be mythical also?
- If the garden is mythical, then what about the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
- If there is no tree, then there is no command from God not to eat of it.
- If there is no command, then there is no temptation.
- If there is no temptation, then there is no sin.
- If there is no sin, then there is no need for redemption
- If there is no need for redemption, then there is no need for Christ.”
How does this author get from Adam and Eve being a myth to there being no need for Christ?
Think about this for just a second. Throw out every belief you’ve ever had and just sit with this thought… is man perfect in any way?
No! So, whether Adam and Eve actually existed doesn’t really matter. Setting aside Christianity, even, there has to be some perfect source, some law that keeps this all going. Some energy to draw upon in order for the world to accomplish all it’s set out to do.
For Christians, this perfect Source, Law, and Energy is God. His Son is Christ.
But there isn’t a single story in the Old Testament that must be literally true for us to acknowledge a Creator. In fact, this is only my opinion, but I think the hang up most atheists have about a Higher Power isn’t the possibility of one, but the way Christians interpret His power to harm other people.
We can look solely at Jesus’ Divine Power–which was exactly what He told John the Baptist to do–and see Him as God through the miracles He achieved. We can look at his words to those trying to harm him, his ways with those of a “lesser” nature.
I recognize that believing in miracles is difficult for some people, and that this is indeed where faith has to take over. I personally have never struggled with an idea of the supernatural. I’ve had a built-in woowoo button since the day I was born.
But I have struggled with what the Church has told me about the character of God and Jesus, and what I’ve discovered through years of prayer and study is that I don’t have to believe everything they’ve said.
- When the Church teaches that Christ didn’t die for all mankind, that is but one interpretation of a couple of Bible verses.
- When the Church teaches that he was an atonement or ransom to an actual being called Satan, that is but one interpretation of his death.
- When the Church teaches that Jesus said x but meant z, that is but one interpretation of his words.
- When the Church teaches that he felt this way about that group, that is but one interpretation of his thoughts.
And when you think that questioning the Church and its interpretations is a sin, this is where the beauty of written history comes in.
[1 Peter 1] 17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.1 Peter
Did Peter, the supposed author, say God ransomed us from Hell? No? What was it then? Why would God in flesh have died to save the people from Jewish laws? What does Peter think the cleansing will lead to?
Could it be that Christ came so that we could live abundantly in the now, free from restrictions placed on us by human hands and minds?
Is it possible that his life on Earth wasn’t meant to focus on an eternity awaiting us, but a Kingdom of peace and love we could bring down here?
And have you ever thought about the fact that what Jesus spoke so harshly against is the very thing that the Church has tried to return to over and over again?
Maybe we should start examining our understanding of Sacred Text.
Maybe it’s time to look at Easter in a whole new light.
Maybe the Savior of the World died not only to free us from the bondage of death**, but also to allow us freedom to live and love here on Earth, unleashed from human law and tied down only by the law of Love…
A love that sets the captives free.
See you soon,
**Here is an amazing alternative to atonement theology. In my opinion, Atonement Theory is one of the most dangerous theologies to make its way into Christian understanding. Please read.