Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Bible - Magic Book or Holy Book?
In the end I find religious fundamentalism disappointing because it proposes simplistic solutions to complex problems. Now I realize that we can make things unnecessarily complicated when they are simple, but the world is a big place and our own perspective is often very parochial. This is not to say that there are not clearly delineated boundary lines established in scripture. The lines are there and not difficult to identify. But there is often freedom given within those boundaries that is not always understood. When this fails to happen there is a rigidity that manifests itself along with a self-righteousness that looks down on others and enshrines its version of 'truth' as the only possible way to go. Worst of all is the assumption that God sees it the same way! The whole concept of divine revelation presupposes a divine point of view, but we only know what that is as we interpret the scriptures in context and then apply them as God intended. Where his intentions are not clear, we should be very careful and tentative. When they are clear, we should proceed carefully as well, with humility and thankfulness, accompanied by a readiness to make corrections if we or those around us come to see things even more clearly. Christianity is one thing, Christian fundamentalism is another. The Bible is a holy book not a magic book!