Update: Giving Up The Bible For Go(o)d

Last month I posted an entry telling everyone that I couldn’t find God in the Bible and was giving it up for a while. Well, my plans were waylaid when someone from church asked me to teach Sunday School for them a couple weeks ago. I did and was forced to study the Bible that week. Hence, my entry about Atonement theory and the differences between Baptist and Catholic salvation. Heck, I thought I’d get it out of my brain once and for all. Wrong. I fell into old habits and felt that guilt for not cracking the bible for over a week.

Now after cracking it open again, I still find that the bible is a barrier to my relationship with the ineffable. I am reading through Mark (when I do pick up the Bible) and all I see are men’s words addressed to other men and words from Jesus such as “it is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs (Mark 7:24).” The poor Syrophoenician woman only wanted Jesus to heal her daughter and in an uncharacteristically (?) racist manner, Jesus offered her the reply above. It’s a fact that the Jews believe themselves chosen by God and designate all other races as Gentile. Talk about sweeping generalizations. Anyway, it is probably therefore true that Jesus never intended his Gospel go to anyone but the Jews. I am pretty convinced at this point that Paul and the other non-Jewish apostles invented Christianity as we know it today. I most certainly am not reading the Epistles any more. Women are treated with little respect IF they are addressed at all. The bible is too marginalizing for anyone but perfect males to be credible.

So, I’ll have to nurture my spirit every morning with things that don’t tell me I’m going to hell, or that I’m the cause of Adam’s downfall, or that I should shut up in church and bear children. Gee, giving up the bible is probably why I feel so much better about myself and the world. Hmmmm.

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7 thoughts on “Update: Giving Up The Bible For Go(o)d

  1. Funny, someone else just posted on this also and I wrote this in response…still in my cut-paste buffer so here it goes…not sure it will do you much good as I see you have a few other issues…

    Consider reading Doug Wilson’s “A Serrated Edge, A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking”. His take on this is that Jesus is essentially “playing along” with the disciple’s prejudicial aversion to the women in order to ultimately teach them a lesson and rebuke them. I think it is a good take. He summarizes that it is either this or Jesus was using a racial epithet. And Wilson, like I, think the first explanation is more plausible. The book builds a good argument that we actually see this type of thing quite a but in scripture.

    – E

  2. Thanks E! I’d never heard of the book but it sounds interesting. I’d like to think that Jesus was not racist or sexist and that he was indeed playing along with the disciples. He certainly shows that in other passages to make a point. I will look up Doug Wilson. Again, thanks for the post!
    πŸ™‚ Ann

  3. I remember reading that post about you giving up the Bible for God. I read it in tag surfer but I did not visit your blog to comment because I didn’t have anything to say. About Jesus not intending for his gospel to go beyond the jews isnt true because he told his disciples to take it to the ends of the earth (Acts 1.8) and if the epistles are made up then the gospels are probably made up too, and we can’t trust anything in the new testament. I don’t think Jesus (or Paul) are anti-women or racist. But to see how precisely in line with Jesus’ teachings the epistles are, requires reading in a prayerful spirit. If ever you feel moved to take that up, I would love to know how it goes!
    I am a woman myself and I love the biblical calling for women. Not to “shut up in church and bear children” but the broader picture. Btw women are allowed to pray and prophecy like any man, Paul said so, and it is likely that in Paul’s time the women were not educated and disrupted church meetings by asking random annoying questions. All that Paul was looking for was order in the church.
    That’s just how I read it πŸ™‚ God bless you!
    Diana

  4. Thanks for the comments Diana. One thing I’d like to note: Don’t assume that I’ve not read the bible with a “prayerful spirit” because I come up with a different take on it than you do. I’ve read it with plenty of “prayerful spirit” as you call it. You see, I’ve read the bible for more than 20 years with a “prayerful spirit” or I couldn’t have come up with some of my posts on atonement theory. As a result, my spirit is simply saying something different about the passages than your spirit tells you. Like you, I was once enthralled with the bible, so I can appreciate the youthful zeal. πŸ™‚

  5. Ann, I don’t assume that you haven’t read the bible with a prayerful spiirt πŸ˜‰ judging by some of your older posts, you must have. But I did assume that you have stopped.

    A guy I know had the same doubt as you did about the “children and dogs” bit- if you want to check out that post and the discussion that follows, the link is here:
    http://hayseed.wordpress.com/2006/11/01/jesus-called-her-a-dog/
    I really liked his post and the conversation.

    Bless you πŸ™‚
    Diana

  6. Diana,
    No I haven’t stopped reading with a prayerful spirit. Like I said, the Spirit is leading us in different directions. Each of us is on a different journey, one that’s best for the individual. What’s best for you is not best for me and obviously, by the proliferation of sects in Christianity, what the Spirit deems best is not always the same. for everyone. Ann

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