Friday, October 2, 2009
Was Jesus a Biblical Literalist?
So many churches today are preaching and teaching how the Bible is to be taken literally. That this is the infallible Word of God. I was bought up to believe that what the Bible says is precisely what it means. That to ere from the written, God -inspired Word would place you on a slippery slope leading directly to the open gates of hell. Through this journey of life, I have come to question this theology. Jesus's teachings according to the New Testament, did not follow the biblical teaching of the Old. He rallied against the religious leaders. He stopped a woman who was caught in adultery from being stoned. He condoned working on the Sabbath under certain circumstances. He seemed to teach using wisdom to determine our actions. And to base those actions on love. He did not support the current religious movement, but modeled change. If so many people believe the Bible is a literal manual, relevant for today's society why do they find excuses to veer from so many of it's laws? They condemn homosexuals, yet go out for shrimp dinners, when both are called abominations in the Old Testament. They allow women to teach in many sects, when the New Testament says a woman must be silent in church. How many people do you see walking around missing an eye or limb in church because it caused them to sin? I think that true church reform would be in allowing members to learn to think and question for themselves. Much like Jesus taught. We continue to slice the Word apart at every turn and wonder why church in America is declining. Our religious leaders are becoming laughing stocks instead of true moral champions. Morality is based first and foremost in the reality of love. If we truly find it in our hearts to love those around us (and not just those who are like us), I believe we will be able to bring more balance to this controversy. Jesus taught that if the golden rule was followed, everything else would fall into place. Jesus did not uphold all the law of the Old Testament, but bought freedom from it. Jesus was more of a revolutionary than some religious leader. He bought change from the heart. He did not follow the rules. He was not a team player in His time. It's funny how we claim to be like Him, but live more like the ones He condemned.