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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Bible: Inerrant? Infallible? Or None of the Above?

I'll be bluntly honest here: I've been pissed lately. I've been so beyond mad about some things, some theological things, some actions Christians take because they bow down to "theology." Some really, quite frankly, shitty beliefs. In part, it has manifested in me being particularly judgmental towards Christians and I've decided that I just don't want to be called a Christian because of this: it is predominantly associated with "a special" or "chosen people," descendants of Israel and those grafted in (Gentiles, etc). I believe in ALL OF HUMANITY and I believe in love and I'm so beyond tired of not being able to say that for fear of my beliefs being attacked by, you guessed it, Christians--the one people group humanity is "supposed" to count on to show love because they preach it "enough" (but not really...holiness schpeels, righteousness moves, holier-than-thou complexes, mega churches with no purpose, endless holy wars between denominations and other religions, guilt, shame, fear, every negative thing that's not supposed to happen typically finding Christians first to express itself...ya know, the whole thing). So here humanity, friends, readers of this blog. Here's Martina's raw thoughts about stuff I'm not supposed to have my own thoughts about, or at least not supposed to conclude like this.

I don't believe the Bible is infallible. I don't believe the Bible is inerrant.
I know I said I wanted to state my beliefs outright and I do. However, I would really appreciate it if these statements 1) didn't offend you enough for you to stop reading this blog post cause that's just lame and 2) didn't stunt you in thinking that you either know exactly what I'm going to say and know exactly what I mean, based on Christian assumption, or that they are instantly a complete summary of what I'm working through. Please don't ever assume that my statements mean I have everything figured out because I don't. But please don't also assume that you remotely do either. There, now can we begin on level playing grounds? Thank you.

With these statements said, let me also clarify what I believe about sin.
I don't believe it's a real threat to our persons as humanity. I DO NOT think it is our nature. In fact I think that's the dumbest thing anyone could ever be taught, that their very existence works against them and they then have to go on this rabbit trail around pleasing an angry God...but wait, there's hope in Jesus because now God's less apt to gag when He looks at you...ya know, that whole BS story. [Let me just say here that I love people, but I HATE certain trains of thought like this. Most people WANT me to judge them based on these ideologies and I admit that when they ask for it, it's difficult not to give them what they want when I'm in a bad mood. But I STILL LOVE YOU AND I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. YOU DO.] I believe sin is an exploitation against our inherent, divine, royal, like-God natures. I believe Adam and Eve were duped by a bad train of thought. I won't go in to detail, but right now, I believe Adam had a history of creating with God. I believe he got confused about his lack of having a partner in life and interpreted that as actually being alone and maybe romanticized that feeling too much and became its friend, attaching the snake with that kind of lying, thieving identity. In that, I also have quite a hard time believing Satan is real either. Long story for later.
At any rate, I think we're all SO GOOD and SO BEAUTIFUL and we don't have to try to prove that to anyone, ESPECIALLY God/The Father. Jesus came to show us/remind us of who we are by living it out. Scripture itself in Luke talks about how God called us "gods" (read Psalm 82...and no, I don't think that's talking about angels or some false idea we had of ourselves...I literally think God likes us enough to give us His actual image and being called a god is pretty stinking awesome and not prideful at all! It's the highest form of royalty and preciousness!!!). In that passage, Jesus refers to Psalm 82 and tells the people they shouldn't have problems with Him claiming Himself a son of God (thereby making Him one with God, or claiming to be God) because they were called gods. We are one with God and that's not an eschatological reality/future thing that's gonna happen. We're one now and just as a husband and wife grow closer in knowing each other, the same beautiful freedom is bestowed upon us. How beautiful, lovely, and fair!!!
Alllll this to say a few words about what I think of Scripture. I don't think it's inerrant or infallible because I don't believe it needs to be. I believe the messing up that happened with Adam in his mind was completely okay to Papa! I believe that perhaps He created a world where mistakes are not a bad thing at all! Maybe they're just the beauty and freedom in creating--more and more revelation and learning! And that's sounds so creatively cool to me! Like a child learning the art of living and breathing. So beautiful. Scripture can be applied in the same light. It doesn't need to "fall from heaven," it doesn't need to be 100% correct, it doesn't need to say all the right words and have all the answers to life. That sounds like Jesus to me, not Scripture. Scripture can be errant and fallible because let's face it people, men wrote it. And absolutely nothing against them, but have not we all been figuring this thing out about life's deepest meanings since, well, forever? In the Old Testament, who's to say they didn't superimpose pagan ideas of an angry god onto Yahweh, the real God? Who's to say they didn't demand sacrifice systems from God? Who's to say they didn't misinterpret God's voice in the Law? Who's to say they didn't add laws that had no purpose? Who's to say they didn't get what we think is so important wrong? I don't think the Law was set up to "point us to the end of us" or to point to Jesus even. I believe we demanded God relate to us that way and made up all this crap about His character. That's why you see His love unraveling more and more throughout Scripture until Jesus--He's been pursuing us relentlessly because He loves His babies!!! And sometimes we remember/get it! Jesus was the final say about what God feels about us--that is unconditional love. Because the very image of God, the very image of US, died because we demanded He did. Just like the sacrifice of the Old Testament, only this time we marred and bruised and killed God, who is us/our nature/our very make-up/our very image in a completely dependent and passive marriage of action with Him (I do not here assert that we are actually God, in the sense that the concept of God is made up and we are actually just dependent on ourselves). We couldn't handle the fact that Jesus claimed us as gods and loved us and hated our religious ideals but not us. So we killed Him. And if we would have known what He represented, we wouldn't have killed ourselves! Or God!
And then there's the little nit-picky verses that people will declare against what I'm saying and I'm so fed up with that. What if the apostles got stuff wrong? Or better yet, what if we translated what they were saying about the real message of the Gospel (revealing who we are) in a twisted way because we picked those religious ideals back up? What if there's some serious stuff wrong in Scripture? What if we did add junk that wasn't there? What does it affect? I would hope nothing but we're so caught up in it being our ultimate authority, worshiping it, laying with it, singing it, quoting it, memorizing it, reciting it over our problems as if the verses are more anointed than our very selves...it's absolutely asinine. If my one or major reason for belief in God/the Father/Jesus is because of a book, I'm screwed when it comes down to real life problems. I'll cower and hide behind my Christian religion and never truly be fulfilled, only trick myself into thinking I am because I define myself by how well I'm doing as a Christian (based on how much I pray, read my Bible, attend church, and forcibly tolerate people I really don't like). All this not realizing my identity lies in my heart, where the Holy Spirit, the conviction I have about loving people because I'm MADE IN LOVE and everyone knows love is good, UNLESS THEY'VE BEEN BRAINWASHED OTHERWISE. AHEM.
I leave you on this thought. Ponder this question: If you could not use Scripture or any other ministry, tradition, or something you've heard someone else say (especially another Christian) as your reasoning, what reason would you give for your beliefs?
Thank you for your time. Sorry/not sorry that this may have offended you. I STILL LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL. No arguments!

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