Friday, May 4, 2012

Still more about the Bible

As already stated, The Roman Catholic Church does not accept that the Bible is the infallible word of God.  Many Protestant churches believe that the Holy Spirit will guide any Christian to the truth if a Christian honestly seeks for the truth in the Bible.  This is a great theory but in practice it does not work, for whenever a seeker finds a different truth than the church believes, of course the church cannot allow that such a finding was the Holy Spirit's doing, for that would mean that the church had been wrong. 

We, Protestants, have been so conditioned to believe that everything in the Bible is true, exactly as we read it in the Bible, that if we do find something that does not agree with the same fact, somewhere else in the Bible, we are thrown into a tailspin. 
Let us not insist that everything in the Bible must be taken as a literal fact.  A case in point would be the hyperboles that Christ used in His speeches.  Here is another quote from the previously mentioned book, We also notice some very ambiguous teachings in the lessons taught by Christ.  For example, If your right hand offends you, cut it off.  If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains into the sea.  Why have we tried to make ourselves believe that Christ was speaking literally?  It is much more logical to believe that He was using hyperboles.  It is really the only way that His statements of this nature can make any sense.  What can we say about a camel passing through the eye of a needle?  Theologians have wrangled about how this could possibly happen.  They have twisted the meanings of Christ’s words, just so that those words, by Christ, can mean exactly what He said.  Billy Graham said that by using chemicals, one could liquefy a camel’s body and so it could pass through the eye of a needle.  Could this possibly be what Christ meant?!  Another theory advanced is that there is a gate in the wall of Jerusalem, named, the Needle’s Eye, and if a camel gets down on its knees, it can crawl through the Needles Eye.  The problem with this idea is that, according to Christ, it would be possible for a person to gain salvation by trying very hard.  It would not be easy, but possible!  For theological reasons alone, it is simply impossible to accept the explanation of a camel on its knees.  In the meantime, it is possible to imagine Christ somewhat amused, or perhaps, very upset at the theologians who engage in that kind of teaching.  If not amused or upset perhaps Christ is thinking; surely, they cannot have taken seriously those things that are so blatantly hyperboles.  As I wrote in an earlier post,  When once we set the Bible free from our tenacious grasp we will find that it all makes a lot more sense.