"Extreme" \ik-ˈstrēm\ adjective: exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected "Christian" \ˈkris-chən adjective: of or relating to Christianity

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"The Bible"

The bible. Fact or fiction? Loving or lethal? Divine or godless? Here are my thoughts on the infamous/famous book. Please hold your stones until the end.

I once heard that the word “bible” was an acronym for, “basic instructions before leaving earth” and honestly I think that perfectly sums it up. A good book full of basic instructions on how to live your life in a mentally healthy, truly loving and mutual beneficially way for you and all who occupy the space around you.

Now with that said the bible is a book, one with many wonderful and loving messages, but nonetheless it’s still a book written by man, an imperfect man at that. This book may be God inspired (for those who believe) but it was still written by humans, those who (according to the book itself) are not without agendas, flaws and biases, just to name a few of our shortcomings. Not to say that all of the influences of man within the pages are bad, because believe it or not we sometimes do things with the best of intentions and without any concern for what we stand to gain as a result of our actions.

We don’t even really know the authors (or possibly even multiple authors per piece) of the documents contained within this book, the works were originally written anonymously and names were attached to each piece later on down the road by scholars. Books were omitted; things lost in translation and extended periods of time passed from when the events took place and when they were recorded. I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone the exact details of an event that happened many years ago…just saying. I’m not trying to tear the book apart; or crap on anyone’s religion; I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page (no pun intended).

I consider myself a Christian, and I have read the bible many times and honestly it has helped me get through some really tough and unfortunate circumstances in my life, but I don’t just ingest everything I read on its pages like a pig dining at the trough. I question things. I trust my own interpretation of what I’ve read. I don’t go into it with a preconceived notion of what the text is supposed to mean because of what I was told it should mean by others. I keep an open mind and form my own opinion.

I consider most of the Old Testament a collection of parables, beneficial and positive lessons for sure, but the stories are not to be accepted as literal events. I do believe most of what I’ve read in the New Testament, which should go without saying or I would be a complete idiot for following the faith. I just don’t believe any man, in person or on paper, can speak for God. The only way to truly fulfill your spiritual needs is by going to Him directly. Speak to Him yourself, because like Frasier Crane, “He’s listening” and always willing to have a conversation.

I do have some questions for those who believe that the pages are divine and full of nothing but accurate historical content.

Why is it that you believe God’s story is confined between the covers? If Harry Potter can go on and on why can’t the bible, is God not greater than J. K. Rowling? I’m not saying that this book is a children’s fairytale, I just don’t understand why people think, as an author, that God is a one-hit wonder. Do we really hold ourselves in such a high esteem that we seriously believe that we can keep Him imprisoned between Genesis and Revelations because it makes us feel all warm and cozy inside?

Why couldn’t He create and inspire additional works, like a New-New Testament? Isn’t that blaspheme to say that He couldn’t continue to grow, to change the world and adjust His word to more adequately coincide with how His children are behaving nowadays? This is not an attack by any means, these are real questions that come to mind when I think about the bible.

As far as His word and change is concerned (because I’m sure I just opened up a can of whoop-ass on myself with many Christians), in the Old Testament He told us to go after an eye if our eye is attacked and then in the New Testament tells us to take the eye poking and graciously turn the other cheek exposing our unplucked eye, leaving it ripe for the picking. Now that’s just one example of the many changes from one testament to the other, and proves the point that His word can, and does change. Whether you like it or not, it’s right there in black and white.

His word is a never-ending “developing story” like in a breaking news spot, and to believe otherwise is ignorant and utterly foolish if you ask me. He is orchestrating change all around us, every new idea and innovation has his fingerprints on them, nothing happens without His approval. Everyone knows that change sucks, but it’s impossible to prevent, so we have to get over trying to be comfortable and allow him to be like a fine wine and breathe. Give the artist his space and let Him make his masterpiece.

This book also gets the blame for lots of the madness that surrounds us in the world today, but truthfully it is not what you read that defines you, it is how you react and treat others based on the information you are absorbing mentally. It’s not the words on the pages that make a book dangerous, it’s the actions of the reader that does. We don’t have to obey everything we read, it is not our master and we are not its slave. The bible is meant to be a companion piece to help make your life on this otherwise dark and dreary planet a little bit easier, not as a means to condemn/judge your fellow human beings.

The bottom line is this, for the most part I love its message and I’m happy to have it in my possession, but I’ll be damned (possibly to hell if I’m wrong) if I’m going to let it persuade me to hate and/or become “holier than thou” because of it. The book should be kept like a diary, something that is personal and near and dear to your heart, not as a weapon used to attack all who oppose your beliefs (notice I said “your beliefs” and not God’s) and those who don’t walk the same path as yourself.

For the record, this rant is not just about the Christian bible either; I’m only speaking on what I am familiar with, because I have no doubt these sentiments stand true against any religious and/or holy book. As cliché as it sounds, knowledge is power, but as with Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. Take what you’ve learned in that book and use it to make the world a better place for all involved, because in the end it will only make things better for you and your loved ones.

One for good measure…

Remember, when you see someone acting the fool in the name of religion, especially your own, speak up and put them in their place or you are just as guilty as they are for destroying its image. One bad apple spoils the bunch…don’t believe me, ask Adam.