December 6, 2011
Thanks to Facebook, I am connected with people via the internet I may never have known otherwise. Case in point, the very talented husband of a dear high school friend whose response to a message of mine is pictured above. Both are intelligent, budding musicians of the Christian persuasion with their fingers in the pie of the internet. And so, like the small town that Tumblr is, it was just a matter of time before something ruffled my feathers.
Now, I must say before I begin dissecting things that I bear no ill will here. I intend to attack statements, not people, for my own personal clarification. And so, if any ill will is festered by this post, let angered parties understand: this is not about you. Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty!
The original post simply stated, “we can be sincere and wrong at the same time, our subjective experience must yield to the objective authority of scripture”. Like a puzzled pup, my head was cocked. Instead of reblogging and picking that complicated little sentence apart, I sought clarification and received it. Too many times I’ve come across Christians who were unable to coherently explain their beliefs or had no concrete idea what their beliefs actually were and, lemme tell you, it breaks my little Christian heart. :) Thankfully, this was not one of those times.
And now, for careful dissection from start to finish. First, “being inwardly sinful beings we must look outside ourselves to find ultimate truth”. I do not believe we are inwardly sinful. Every man has his own moral compass. It leads him naturally to act poorly though he thinks well & act well though he may be wicked. Perhaps this natural moral progression is what we like to call “sin” but it is only the moral evolution of a man. If a man does not feel he can learn from himself because he has been made to believe he is an awful teacher, he will look elsewhere for lessons. A man left alone with his thoughts sans outside influence, if he is inclined to look for it, will find ultimate truth within himself but he has to look for it. If he does not believe it is there he may never think to check and therefore overlook it entirely.
Secondly, my answerer states that ultimate truth “is the word of God” and that’s just poppycock. A bunch of inwardly sinful men wrote the collection of works we call the Bible whether or not their messages were dictated or inspired by a spiritual being. An even larger group of inwardly sinful men assembled these works from different places, translated, re-translated, misinterpreted, misused, and translated again. Now, I do not deny that there is truth to be had within the pages of the Bible. Galatians 5:22-23 (from a letter written by Paul to early Roman Christians) states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” While here I believe Paul is identifying “Spirit” with the Holy Spirit (a member of the Godhead along with Jesus and God), I think our interpretation of this is too small. Christianity teaches that the Holy Spirit dwells in all of us. And it does. But I would argue that the Holy Spirit is us, and the proper implementation and examination of our humanity will cause us to both reap and sow these essential characteristics. I have born more ripe fruit in my disbelief than ever I could have during my belief though my belief was pure and true. The “word of God” being the Bible, I can attest that unless you are able to disregard 85% of the word, you will not find ultimate truth within its pages.
"The truth of Gods word is unaffected by emotion, culture and any other influence that affects the human perspective." Essentially, I see where my answerer is going with this. The essential truth of the Bible can be applied anywhere, anytime though it is not exclusive to the Christian Bible. But where is this essential truth biblically? Here I think we may differ. I do not believe that the truths of the Bible ly in whether or not a man was swallowed by a whale or taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire nor in that a man died for my transgressions and rose from the dead three days later. These truths are much simpler and easier to swallow. They capture the essence of humanity—our love for one another, our struggle to keep our heads up in the face of our enemies and that of the world—our need for a purpose and a light at the end of the tunnel. The Bible teaches us many things but it cannot be the extent of our learning nor the focus of our teaching.
"In other words, what I "feel" and what I "think" must be conformed to scripture…" I wouldn’t think "conformed" would be the right word here, but I get where he’s going with this. Essentially, we must check ourselves to scripture to make sure we’re doing it right. But what if scripture does it wrong? My ultimate truth resides within me. What I "think" and "feel" is conformed to the base line of my ultimate truth. If I think or feel incorrectly, I examine and correct it. There is no middle-man within me. There is power to be had in taking personal responsibility for both the weakness & the strength. I fill my own cup and it runneth over.
In the end, there is no such thing as objective authority. All authority has its own agenda, God’s agenda being the worship and reverence of himself, secondary to the love of his children. It is difficult for me to be instructed by an authority whose personal philosophy contradicts that which he commands his students. The general philosophy of scripture is not wrong, it is simply lost in a sea of absolutes when there are no absolutes, absolutely.

Thanks to Facebook, I am connected with people via the internet I may never have known otherwise. Case in point, the very talented husband of a dear high school friend whose response to a message of mine is pictured above. Both are intelligent, budding musicians of the Christian persuasion with their fingers in the pie of the internet. And so, like the small town that Tumblr is, it was just a matter of time before something ruffled my feathers.

Now, I must say before I begin dissecting things that I bear no ill will here. I intend to attack statements, not people, for my own personal clarification. And so, if any ill will is festered by this post, let angered parties understand: this is not about you. Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty!

The original post simply stated, “we can be sincere and wrong at the same time, our subjective experience must yield to the objective authority of scripture”. Like a puzzled pup, my head was cocked. Instead of reblogging and picking that complicated little sentence apart, I sought clarification and received it. Too many times I’ve come across Christians who were unable to coherently explain their beliefs or had no concrete idea what their beliefs actually were and, lemme tell you, it breaks my little Christian heart. :) Thankfully, this was not one of those times.

And now, for careful dissection from start to finish. First, “being inwardly sinful beings we must look outside ourselves to find ultimate truth”. I do not believe we are inwardly sinful. Every man has his own moral compass. It leads him naturally to act poorly though he thinks well & act well though he may be wicked. Perhaps this natural moral progression is what we like to call “sin” but it is only the moral evolution of a man. If a man does not feel he can learn from himself because he has been made to believe he is an awful teacher, he will look elsewhere for lessons. A man left alone with his thoughts sans outside influence, if he is inclined to look for it, will find ultimate truth within himself but he has to look for it. If he does not believe it is there he may never think to check and therefore overlook it entirely.

Secondly, my answerer states that ultimate truth “is the word of God” and that’s just poppycock. A bunch of inwardly sinful men wrote the collection of works we call the Bible whether or not their messages were dictated or inspired by a spiritual being. An even larger group of inwardly sinful men assembled these works from different places, translated, re-translated, misinterpreted, misused, and translated again. Now, I do not deny that there is truth to be had within the pages of the Bible. Galatians 5:22-23 (from a letter written by Paul to early Roman Christians) states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” While here I believe Paul is identifying “Spirit” with the Holy Spirit (a member of the Godhead along with Jesus and God), I think our interpretation of this is too small. Christianity teaches that the Holy Spirit dwells in all of us. And it does. But I would argue that the Holy Spirit is us, and the proper implementation and examination of our humanity will cause us to both reap and sow these essential characteristics. I have born more ripe fruit in my disbelief than ever I could have during my belief though my belief was pure and true. The “word of God” being the Bible, I can attest that unless you are able to disregard 85% of the word, you will not find ultimate truth within its pages.

"The truth of Gods word is unaffected by emotion, culture and any other influence that affects the human perspective." Essentially, I see where my answerer is going with this. The essential truth of the Bible can be applied anywhere, anytime though it is not exclusive to the Christian Bible. But where is this essential truth biblically? Here I think we may differ. I do not believe that the truths of the Bible ly in whether or not a man was swallowed by a whale or taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire nor in that a man died for my transgressions and rose from the dead three days later. These truths are much simpler and easier to swallow. They capture the essence of humanity—our love for one another, our struggle to keep our heads up in the face of our enemies and that of the world—our need for a purpose and a light at the end of the tunnel. The Bible teaches us many things but it cannot be the extent of our learning nor the focus of our teaching.

"In other words, what I "feel" and what I "think" must be conformed to scripture…" I wouldn’t think "conformed" would be the right word here, but I get where he’s going with this. Essentially, we must check ourselves to scripture to make sure we’re doing it right. But what if scripture does it wrong? My ultimate truth resides within me. What I "think" and "feel" is conformed to the base line of my ultimate truth. If I think or feel incorrectly, I examine and correct it. There is no middle-man within me. There is power to be had in taking personal responsibility for both the weakness & the strength. I fill my own cup and it runneth over.

In the end, there is no such thing as objective authority. All authority has its own agenda, God’s agenda being the worship and reverence of himself, secondary to the love of his children. It is difficult for me to be instructed by an authority whose personal philosophy contradicts that which he commands his students. The general philosophy of scripture is not wrong, it is simply lost in a sea of absolutes when there are no absolutes, absolutely.

  1. gussieup reblogged this from imaginenogods and added:
    Finally updated the good ‘ol religion blog. Click through to read the rest!
  2. imaginenogods posted this