Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bible Abuse

I’ve been thinking about the Bible a lot lately
and about Bible abuse

what is the Bible really
but a history of our attempts to understand God
a history
Biblically speaking

culminates in Jesus
(no disrespect to Paul, but seriously, he just tires to interpret Jesus,
 and sometimes nails it, and sometimes….. well….)

I love the Bible
but there is no doubt
that it is filled with stuff
that would make (did make) Jesus roll his eyes

stuff Jesus rejected
stuff Jesus amped up a notch,
or two or three

“you have heard it said, but I say”

when we try to make the primitive attempts of people
to understand God
the equivalent of what Jesus taught

we are totally screwed
caught in conflicting worlds
that just do not fit together

judgement versus grace
revenge versus forgiveness
punishment versus reconciliation

if you want to tell me that leveling Muslim communities
is OK
because after all, in the Old Testament it said the people of Israel
were to clear the land of all infidels
well I will suggest you may be abusing the Bible

of course there is the fact the Bible doesn't line up with other witnesses
For example Biblical archaeology
(are we going to reject that along with science)
suggests it took hundreds of years for Israel to control the “promised land
and the fact that for years
the people of God were marginalized refugees living up on the poorest land
the rocky and infertile land
while the “heathens” controlled the rich plains

but beyond facts
the reality is, the Bible is a document written by humans
through which the Sacred sometimes
often times
shines through
 (with help from the Spirit)

and in the awkward attempts of people
to write down what they understand God
we find much richness
than can inform our lives
both positively (this is the way)
and negatively (nope, not a good idea)

I love the Bible
It informs me
It points me toward the Sacred
It reveals what is possible

But… it is full of things
If we hang on to them
If we take them too rigidly
Inexorably (as with the Pharisees)

Make us dead wrong

I love the Bible
I love God

I have nothing else to say!

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