Sunday, 26 February 2012

Conversations with a Fundamentalist Christian - Six

You said: I’m sorry, but I simply and honestly cannot see how you can say the things you do and square it with Jesus’ words. In John 14:6, Jesus says “No one comes to the Father but through Me.”

The message is flavoured by the patriarchal language. The same comment can be found in the Goddess religion - just mum, not dad. In symbolic or metaphorical terms this says that the way to truth or the source is through the teachings as represented by the saviour/redeemer whether Jesus, Mithras, Osiris or any other. Jesus represents certain principles, or even archetypal energies and is in essence saying - no-one comes to God (which patriarchy has changed to Father) but through these principles, expressed by Me - the latest in a long line of saviour/redeemers or Light workers.

You said:  In Acts 4:12, we are told “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Reading the Bible one needs to bear in mind the level of propaganda at work in it and errors made purposefully and unconsciously by translations.  Symbolically, ignoring the patriarchal tone it simply means that the only way to 'salvation' is through one's spiritual nature. In other words, to be 'saved' from a purely material existence, one needs to follow one's spiritual truth.

You said:  In 1 Timothy 2:5, the Bible says “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” Then, in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are told “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” So the Bible says we are NOT saved by doing good things, but by God’s grace, through faith. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

But this interpretation is because you believe words in The Bible are absolute, without fault and meant to be interpreted literally and I don't. I could easily, and do, interpret the writings in metaphorical and symbolic terms but you would not accept that. I can see the literal interpretation which you use as well but it does not make sense to me - hence thinking outside the square.

You said: I simply do not understand how anyone can take these verses seriously and come to the conclusion that the Bible teaches there is more than one way to God, or that God is all of us. We simply cannot pour our own meaning into someone else’s words and still have meaningful conversation. The only way I know that you can hold your position is that you disagree with what the Bible is saying. The Bible simply does not teach your beliefs.

That is because you are fixed on a literal interpretation and I am not and you believe, as Jews, Muslims and Hindus believe about their sacred books that the writing is without fault. I believe none of this. What I hear or read must make sense to me. Much in the Bible simply does not make sense if read literally - more to the point it is mean-spirited, cruel, racist, sexist, misogynistic, primitive, lacking in compassion and unenlightened. So it seemed to me that what was wrong was not necessarily the Bible but how it was read and how it was interpreted.

When I read Bible teachings, any spiritual and religious teachings actually, metaphorically and symbolically they make much more sense and the God they display actually looks, sounds and feels like God should - not like some neurotic, vindictive, narrow-minded and intolerant parent.

You said: I realize you feel that your position is correct, and that is your right. But it is not fair, nor logical, to say the Bible teaches what you are saying. Whatever you believe, you did not get this belief from the Bible.

Much of what I believe does not come from the Bible but that is only because I access all religious and spiritual writings and draw upon all of them. What I would say though is that what I believe can be found in the Bible - given that it pretty much says the same things, or offers the same spiritual teachings as all other religious writings.

And that is the difference, I don't read spiritual and religious texts to get what I believe - I read them to add to everything else I read so I can make up my mind how I think this world works and what my role in it might be. At the end of the day, I believe, these texts are merely sources of interest - the true path to God is within and beyond words, books or teachings.

NB: I do think the process has become circular and there comes a point where the differences in approach are so great that communication is limited. Enough said I think.

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