“Just Following the Bible”

BibleI wrote a few days ago about the “Best of Stuff Fundies Like” for 2013. My personal favourite was a very short piece that satirised the way that many conservative Christians approach the Bible. When an issue gets too complicated or too controversial, they will quickly retreat to a position of “well, I just try and read the plain meaning of the Bible without all that fancy interpretation stuff”. If they are a little more trained in Bible interpretation, they may revert to “well, the plain meaning is always the best – your attempts to show alternative interpretations are just playing with words”.

While I hardly ever encounter the staunch KJV-only type Christians this post also satirises, I do encounter people who still cling to young earth creationism on the basis of their “plain reading” of Genesis 1-11, and to people who still restrict women from leadership roles based on their “plain reading” of Paul’s instructions, and, of course, the homosexuality issue is pretty much all about this kind of interaction about what Scripture really means. Whatever you might believe about homosexuality, surely you do have to start the conversation with some humility based on the long history of the church realising that maybe Scripture didn’t mean precisely what Scripture appeared to be saying (I think of everything from flat earths to the Sun at the centre of our galaxy, from slavery to women’s rights to vote, and more recently the causes of HIV/AIDS and apartheid).

Anyway, you can read the original here (and I’d highly recommend taking the time to follow the conversations in the comments), or below. These are things your church should be talking about, but I am sure they’re not:

I just follow the Bible. I just follow the obvious meanings of a 400 year old translation of a document written originally in languages I don’t speak, influenced heavily by cultures I don’t begin to understand, and by people who I assume looked, acted, thought and dressed just like I do.

I just follow the Bible. It’s not only a road map for life and God’s love letter to everybody who isn’t an Amalekite but it also apparently contains an uncanny number of direct statements about how much beat is acceptable in music and how one should pledge to the country’s flag — even though countries didn’t have flags when it was written.

I just follow the Bible. And the Holy Spirit. And my pastor who God sent to tell me what the Holy Spirit says the Bible means. Just last Sunday I learned that Job 31:10 is a seven-thousand year old sermon against twerking.

I just follow the Bible. And my cultural predispositions. And my inherent biases. And my economic expedients. And my filters of time, place, biology, psychology, technology, and personal experience.

I just follow the Bible. You’d better follow me too.

Source: Stuff Fundies Like

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