KevinI am not trying to push you at all...Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:58am18.104.22.168I really am not. I am not trying to be mean or vindictive nor do I want "stardom".
You think you are playing nice? Making comparisons with religion to "Nazis"?
You think you are being "objective" because you are talking about "crowd control"?
What bothers me, as I said -- is not that you disagree with me. It is that you act like you are objective and I am not. The thing is we are BOTH coming from particular points of view and you are interpreting the data in your way. I have yet to interpret any data at all really in this thread. I am only pointing out and clearing the ground to get us to talk about the same things.
For instance, you claim the bible teaches about whole sale slaughter of people....but that assumes a particular interpretation....a very literal/linear one. I have pointed out twice in this thread already that I don't read the bible that way nor is it meant to be read exclusively in that way. It is a book that is used in prayer and ritual. And we would have to get into what I meant by that....but you haven't asked that question.
I didn't realize that English was not your original language and so that is probably why we are talking past each other. That makes great sense as your posts are not clear to me and this conversation requires precision because the subtle difference between talking about God and prayer in the way I mean it and the way you are describing it is a very subtle distinction....but it makes all the difference in the world.
I am very sorry to hear of your pain. I wish no one to have to suffer like that and there is nothing to be happy about or grin about there. May you find peace and comfort in, from and through your pain.
Why do I defend the bible? Because it is a text that feeds me. Once read with the proper understanding and background, it gives believers a tremendous mirror and map of the journey toward inner depth and understanding. It helps one to see one's own prejudices, biases, fears, hopes. It is a much more psychological text where one can come to understand themselves and the journey to spiritual transfiguration. But in order to read it well, one must know the context and point of scripture. One must know about the multiple levels of meaning in scripture. One also must have a particular point of view to look at scripture the way I am talking about. One has to be a believer and trust that in the stories, God is offering things to reflect on.
1) For instance, reading the story of Noah's flood. To read it strictly literally and historically, one would think the story is about a recorded historical event of God destroying the world through water. But for centuries and centuries that story was read as the story of baptism...evil being washed away by the waters of baptism as God led his people through the water to freedom in the Ark that is God's Church (and Church here means MORE than just the organized institutional structures). That is a very different interpretation than the literal/historical one! The story was not used to talk about how God killed or hated....but how God continuously loves and saves. It was read for centuries in that way. As proof, there are tons of sermons written down that were preached to the average person for the first 1200 years of Christianity on this very topic.
2) Further, the story can be used in personal prayer where one looks to each character in the flood story and ask themselves, "How am I Noah? How am I the evil people? How am I God? What am I supposed to learn personally in this story? Are there aspects of my personality that are revealed or stirred up from this reading? Do I get angry, sad or happy about God saving through baptism, through the church, through Christ? Why?"
You see those are only two ways among many -- that pushes in a very different direction than assuming that God is literally killing everyone with a flood. It is asking very different questions and using the text very differently. As I said -- it is a ritual and prayer text. Not a book of information. It gives a language and symbols and categories to talk about how humans move from being self-centered and focused on control to one where one empties themselves as Christ does. "5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11).
The point of the reading is to "put on the mind of Christ" -- see as Christ sees -- live as Christ lives -- to be Christ in the world. Which means what? Learning to be willing to "no longer live but let Christ live in us" as Saint Paul says. Which means what? A complete loving and serving to all. Turning the other cheek, loving neighbor as self, being transformed into complete and self-giving love. The Christian message is to demonstrate that God is not one of power and control and manipulation but that what is meant by the word God is really love, service, compassion, non-judging. When the bible is read in a linear/historical/literal way only -- then we change the text rather than letting the text change us.
So that is why I defend the bible. When approached as it should be -- as a book of prayer -- as a book that reveals God through story -- and grounded in a good historical understanding of church, culture, the time period and the Jewish and Christian faith -- it makes sense. How can one claim to be objective and reading the bible story well if one doesn't know that it was an objective fact that the church interpreted the flood story to be about baptism? How can one read the text right if one doesn't consider it a prayer book that one sits silently with or uses to ask themselves personal questions about how God is teaching about Christ's service to the world through it?
It has been my experience, that I have come to deeper understandings of myself as a person through the study of it.
So I apologize if I have come across mean-spirited to you. It was not my intent. I was just pointing out to you that your views are coming from a completely different direction than mine. You assume the bible records historical literal atrocities perpetuated by God and "holy people". I hear the silent voice of Christ who is self-giving love shining through the book.
- Wrong and don't push me, I been nice and like to stay that Διός, Fri Jun 15 10:04pmway. I asked for you beginning to religion and not your whole journey. And you know why I ask that and be honest you can't claim now that you might have been looking at a later stage but again that... more
- I am not trying to push you at all... Kevin, Sat Jun 16 7:58am
- When I was saying donít push me might sounded too harsh. Διός, Sat Jun 16 7:11pmI meant donít make me go in to all the nitty gritty stuff. I do have no time for that and I was taken aback by you criticism of my interpretation of you post on you beginning of you introduction to... more
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