“Just Following the Bible”

I just follow the Bible. I just follow the obvious meanings of a 400 year old translation of a document written originally in languages I don’t speak, influenced heavily by cultures I don’t begin to understand, and by people who I assume looked, acted, thought and dressed just like I do.

I just follow the Bible. It’s not only a road map for life and God’s love letter to everybody who isn’t an Amalekite but it also apparently contains an uncanny number of direct statements about how much beat is acceptable in music and how one should pledge to the country’s flag — even though countries didn’t have flags when it was written.

I just follow the Bible. And the Holy Spirit. And my pastor who God sent to tell me what the Holy Spirit says the Bible means. Just last Sunday I learned that Job 31:10 is a seven-thousand year old sermon against twerking.

I just follow the Bible. And my cultural predispositions. And my inherent biases. And my economic expedients. And my filters of time, place, biology, psychology, technology, and personal experience.

I just follow the Bible. You’d better follow me too.

298 thoughts on ““Just Following the Bible””

      1. Are you saying that someone doesn’t always comment 2 seconds after the post is up? Maybe I have hope.

  1. I just follow the Bible,… and all those layers that time, tradition and culture have laid on top of it. And, I can do one of two things; I can dishonestly claim that I can see through all those layers with perfect clarity, ignoring those layers that obscure God and those that clarify our understanding alike; or, I can accept that I see through a glass darkly, and recognise that the god I think I see perfectly is partly the God of the Bible and partly my own reflection. And then, with a sigh of relief, I remember that Jesus said “follow me”, and not the book however good it may be.

    1. The original “liberal” project was just that – to remove the layers of tradition and get back to the “kernel of truth” beneath it all. Not saying it’s a totally worthless pursuit (nor am I one who uses “liberal” as a pejorative), I am rather pointing out how fundamentalism and liberalism often share the same epistemological foundations.

      Note: this observation is not unique to me, no matter how brilliant I am. It was actually brought out by John Frame (I think, although he may have been referencing someone else’s observation).

      1. My dear Doctor, couldn’t disagree with you more. Wherever that approach has taken some at the extremes of liberalism, it originated in a heartfelt desire to simply know God more deeply and engage with the world of today more honestly. As an evangelical that is an approach I wish to honour. Is that a worthless pursuit? Why yes! In the sense that any thought or discussion about one who is far beyond the capacity of our minds to comprehend is in some way pointless. The problem for most Christians, including myself is that my God is too small, small enough to fit within my brain.

        1. And then, with a sigh of relief, I remember that Jesus said “follow me”, and not the book however good it may be.

          mmmokaymaybe. But how are we to know Jesus except through “the book”?

          Is that a worthless pursuit? Why yes! In the sense that any thought or discussion about one who is far beyond the capacity of our minds to comprehend is in some way pointless. The problem for most Christians, including myself is that my God is too small, small enough to fit within my brain.

          waitforit, waitforit…Ooo, I think I just had a warm fuzzy.

          So, what then? Shall we just give up on knowing our CreatOR since any attempt to to wrap our creatED minds around Him will be inevitably incomplete?

          I’ll stick with Moses’ example: even catching a glimpse of the back side of His character from my hiding place in the rock will be glorious.

        2. Oops. Got my html tag wrong. Hope this will clarify.

          And then, with a sigh of relief, I remember that Jesus said “follow me”, and not the book however good it may be.

          mmmokaymaybe. But how are we to know Jesus except through “the book”?

          Is that a worthless pursuit? Why yes! In the sense that any thought or discussion about one who is far beyond the capacity of our minds to comprehend is in some way pointless. The problem for most Christians, including myself is that my God is too small, small enough to fit within my brain.

          waitforit, waitforit…Ooo, I think I just had a warm fuzzy.

          So, what then? Shall we just give up on knowing our CreatOR since any attempt to to wrap our creatED minds around Him will be inevitably incomplete?

          I’ll stick with Moses’ example: even catching a glimpse of the back side of His character from my hiding place in the rock will be glorious.

        3. No, no, good Lord, save us from the “warm fuzzy’s”!

          Good point about Moses which I fully accept. This is not an either/or debate. Yes, the Bible is our primary source on God, way beyond any other source available to us. The difficulty arises when we make the untenable claim that we can know God and/or the will of God perfectly through our interpretation of its pages. So my argument does not lead to “well we might as well give up then” but to the acceptance that our knowledge of God and our creed will always be imperfect this side of heaven, and that should hold us back from dogmatic belief and statements.

      1. Oops, didn’t realise I’ve already been here and made a comment like the above, below, if you get my drift. Sorry. 🙂

  2. Christianity cut adrift from the Bible, is whatever you want it to be. The Toronto Blessing was just the start – you can do anything you want – you can have a form of godliness whilst denying the authority thereof – you can heap up the teachers you want, who will tell you exactly what you want to hear. When God returns, will He find faith on the earth?

    Why do you even call yourselves Christians – after all, you can only know about Jesus Christ what you learn from the Bible – which is obviously worth nothing.

    1. Darrell never said to ignore the bible. He said that blindly assuming we can understand it without ever learning about the time periods, cultures, or original languages is foolish.

      This site is aimed at Independent Fundamental Baptists. There are pastors here who use one verse to preach that women must always wear skirts, and anything else is sinful. That all alcohol use is evil. That anybody who votes along left-leaning political lines is going straight to hell, etc., etc.

      These people aren’t teaching the bible, they are teaching their own beliefs and calling it bible, taking individual verses – sometimes taking small parts of two verses and stringing them together with an ellipsis to justify their beliefs. That’s not following the bible.

      And saying that anybody who disagrees with your views of the bible has abandoned the bible altogether and isn’t even a christian is low. So much for being known by our love.

      1. The first paragraph is I think quite clearly ridiculing people (that is, your Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord) for thinking that they can follow the Bible.

        Your statement “saying that anybody who disagrees with your views of the bible has abandoned the bible altogether … is low” is curious. Tell me, if we CAN’T follow the Bible for all the excuses (I mean reasons) listed, then how else are we going to know about the Faith? If you haven’t left the Bible altogether, then how are we to know which parts of the Bible are good and which are bad? Of course, the parts you don’t like are the bad parts, and the parts which meet with your approval are the good parts worth keeping.

        Tiara, I did not say that people who disagree with me are not Christians. But I do ask why people who don’t believe the Bible would even bother to call themselves Christians.

        Your last snipe is a good one – if I challenge you, then I lack love. Very handy – everyone has to think like you do, or at least, if we don’t we have to shut up about it, or we are guilty because we lack love. Way to win an argument!! Great trump card.

        I’m getting sick of the crap –
        • We’re victims and there’s a whole heap of stuff you’re not allowed to say to victims;
        • There’s a lot of arguments you’re not allowed to make because if you do you’re a bigot and I won’t even consider your argument;
        • The Bible (or your understanding of it) is wrong whenever it says something I don’t agree with.
        • If you try to hold me accountable or challenge my view on what God REALLY meant to say when He got it so wrong in the Bible, then you aren’t showing love so you’re wrong and I don’t have to listen to what you say.

        Well I, for one, will make my stand on the Word of God, as a believer in Jesus Christ revealed to us in the Bible. I will suffer attacks and abuse not only from those without, but also those who think they are fellow Christians yet who deny the clear teaching of the Bible and its authority.

        1. The first paragraph clearly pokes fun at the KJV only crowd, not people who follow the Bible.

          If you’re going to show your lack of reading comprehension, at least try not to be a loud jerk about it.

        2. Question for you. Does the stand you take for God’s Word include the idea of standing up for those who are abused and hurting. Which is easier to say? “I am standing for God’s Word and will weather the attacks and abuse of those who disagree.” Or “I choose to protect and stand up for those who have been abused because of my belief in God’s Word.” Darryl has chosen the latter, and I respect that.

        3. “The first paragraph is I think quite clearly ridiculing people” … the fact you think that really is a reading comprehension issue.

          My kingdom for a hermeneut!

        1. You display so much christian character and love you must follow the Bible… can I follow you? hmmmm? I mean certainly you must be a superior Christian with enlarged phylacteries given your ability to judge other’s experiences with such compassionate acumen.

          You are my new IFB apologist hero.

      2. I love, respect, and trust the Bible. I do not, however, assume that my understanding of it is always correct nor do I assume that every issue is covered in the Bible.

        Tiarali explained the point well.

        I have heard fundies condemn another believer and then say, “You just need to read your Bible,” assuming that 1) the person HADN’T been reading the Bible and 2) if they person were to read it, he’d come to the same conclusions as the fundie. Which is absurb and unfair.

        “We have Biblical standards,” they say, meaning that they have Sunday night church services, have an altar call after every sermon, wear formal clothes to church, eschew music with a beat, refuse to raise hands in worship, and condemn anyone who goes to a movie theater or drinks alcoholic beverages. They somehow entirely miss the point that the Bible actually doesn’t say what they think it says on ANY of those points, yet they call their own position “Biblical”, meaning anyone who doesn’t share their position is “un-Biblical.”

        1. I have never been a member of an IFB church, and have only visited them on two or three occasions. However, I have to think you are misleading me here. I doubt very much that when they say they have biblical standards, they are referring to things that the Bible does actually speak to.

          I’m sure that they don’t think that Sunday night church services are biblical, but the church’s meeting together regularly is, and in their case, Sunday night suits. I doubt that they think alter calls are biblical, but think that they are a useful way to identify those who want to respond, for prayer and discipleship.

          Ok you might be right about the wearing of formal clothes to church; to them, they see it as a mark of respect to God. Has it ruined your life that they wanted you to wear formal clothes? Again, raising hands in worship is a matter of culture – in some churches its right to do it, in others, wrong. Big deal, you can live with that. The Bible does have something to say about worldly amusements and alcohol use. In all these matters, if you come to think differently to the church leadership, practice what you believe with a clear conscience, without stumbling others, or move on to a church with a culture closer to your own. I don’t think any of these matters warrant the existence of this web site or the abandonment of the Bible that this site appears to promote.

        2. sorry, edit:

          ” I doubt very much that when they say they have biblical standards, they are referring to things that the Bible does *not* actually speak to.”

        3. “I have never been a member of an IFB church, and have only visited them on two or three occasions.”

          And yet you feel compelled to tell those of us who have been members and went to them three times a WEEK that we are wrong and misleading you. OK got it.

        4. Three times a week to IFB church, five times a week to IFB school and at least twice a week to IFB visitation — normal Thursday night visitation and Saturday bus visitation.

          Those people are not following the Bible. I can say that with absolute certainty. Why? Because I’ve read it.

        5. Hermit, trust me. They will find reasons to say Sunday night services are Biblical, and if you don’t go you’re sinning. “Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together!” I have heard so many sermons completely skewing that passage. And that’s just one.

          There are several IFB churches I am personally acquainted with (and many more that I’ve read about), that treat the Bible as something they can twist to fit their own standards (that came from the 50s and Jack Hyles/Bob Jones/etc etc). They yank verses completely out of context, never look at it in its historical context. and ignore any cultural or time-sensitive passages. Very ethnocentric.

          “I just follow the Bible. And my cultural predispositions. And my inherent biases. And my economic expedients. And my filters of time, place, biology, psychology, technology, and personal experience.”
          That is the key, I think. Yes, the Bible and Christianity is relevant today. But many things were specific to a certain culture and shouldn’t be applied willy-nilly to back up whatever the pastor’s pet peeve is at the moment. And definitely shouldn’t use those pet peeves and verses out-of-context to accuse other people of not being Christian.

          It’s one of those things where you have to experience it to believe it, because it just doesn’t make sense.

        6. @Hermit – you said, ” I doubt very much that when they say they have biblical standards, they are referring to things that the Bible does *not* actually speak to.”

          The Bible never says anything about clothing standards, except that we should dress modestly. (FYI, modest isn’t a synonym for covered; it meant not behaving/dressing in such a way as to cause undue attention to yourself.) My Christian school drummed into us (or the females, at least) that “biblical modesty” mean skirts & culottes below the knee (pants were “immodest”) & that blouses must have sleeves and a neckline no more than three fingers down from the collarbone to be “biblically modest.”

          It’s not so much that the IFB have standards on things the Bible doesn’t speak to *at all;* it’s that they take a topic that is mentioned & then apply their own retroactive definition to apply.

        7. Every church, has its own culture. Every group have their own understanding of how scriptures should be interpreted and practiced.

          Do you really think we can’t understand the biblical requirement for modesty because we have a “400 year old translation of a written originally in languages I don’t speak, influenced heavily by cultures I don’t begin to understand, and by people who I mistakenly assume looked, acted, thought and dressed just like I do.”?

          And really, is that so hard to live with?

          No, it’s the outright denial of important things clearly taught in the scriptures that offends bible-believing Christians. It is handling the word of God untruthfully to make it say what interest-groups want it to say, or to make it say nothing at all, that we cannot accept.

        8. Hermit, you will have a hard time convincing folks that Pastor’s Wife is misleading. It doesn’t take one long, after following her posts, to realize that she is thoughtful and honest in her statements.

        9. Hermit,
          So you mean, we should filter our discernment of Biblical modesty through the lens of Victorian moralism… right?

        10. Hermit, I know you have been answered, but I wanted to add my experience. When I was considering joining a different Baptist church that was not IFB, I was told I needed to decide if I was going to follow the Bible. It was clear he meant that becoming non-IFB was not following the Bible. And that church was on the less extreme end of the IFB spectrum.

        11. Yeah, but Hermit used the word “whilst” and it actually kind of fits his whole tenor. He’s gotta get some sort of prize for that. I don’t think I could pull that off.

          However, if he’s truly never heard of IFBers insisting that churches without Sunday pm services were unbiblical slackers, or IFBers insisting that churches that don’t have altar calls after every sermon are unbiblical slackers, &c., (yet feels qualified to deny that they do) then his moniker is apropos.

    2. If I can only know about Jesus through what I read in the Bible, then I guess he was just another man..

    3. Sorry Hermit, you obviously misunderstood the post. You’re quite right, Christianity cut adrift from the Bible will struggle, though countless Christians under oppressive regimes down the centuries have shown that your statement goes too far. I guess God can override the rule book if He wants to – one of the privileges of being God I guess. I have two main, and related, problems with fundamentalism; firstly, id deifies the Bible and not the one the Bible is intended to lead us to; and, secondly, it castrates God, turning the omnipotent and omnipresent God of creation, the God who laughs and imagines, the God who can smite and yet does not, but instead set aside the privilege of kingship to kneel in the mess with you and me… It turns that God into a rule bound, creativity and expression denying meanie who demands we feel every ounce of our own condemnation and not a tittle of His grace and fatherly smile. That’s my problem Hermit.

        1. Who on earth is we? You have a whole team of commenters? You should be less adamant when you are incorrect & didn’t understand the post.

        2. No, it’s just clear to someone who’s read more than a few blog entries and understands where the blogger’s coming from that indeed you did miss not only the point of this post but also the truth of the damage that fundamentalism does, not just to Christians, but to those who are still searching for faith.

        3. Hermit, I kind of thought like you do about this site when I first came to it. I read it occasionally to find out what the HAC crowd was up to and to laugh at them. Most of the time, I wondered what they were talking about because my experience with churches that were not part of any denomination (Independent), Fundamental, and Baptist has been so completely different than those who regularly comment. I imagined they were overblowing a lot of things, and maybe they do from time to time. THEN I started listening to Schaap, Tony Hutson, Johnny Pope, et alia. Those folks absolutely do think Sunday evening services are mandated, pants on women is rebellious (thus kin to witchcraft) and education is suspicious at the very least. They absolutely do insert their cultural and traditional preferences into Scripture. The problem is that they are drawing second conclusions (applications) from Scripture and then exalting those applications to the same level as Scripture. They look at a verse that mandates modesty. Then they define modesty however they think it should be – like skirts being a certain length. Then they teach that their definition of modesty is the [only]biblical one when the Bible never mentioned anything about below the kneecaps or two inches down from the collarbone. THAT is what this post is about.

        4. Rob M – the “we” referred to the people behind this blog.

          I wrote in response to the writer who suggests a large number of reasons why we can’t just “follow the Bible”. I wrote because I believe that Christianity based not on the Bible is not Christianity at all.

        5. That still doesn’t make any sense as a use of we. You aren’t including yourself in the “we”, and if you pay any attention at all, you’ll see the posts signed Darrell with a very few guest post exceptions here & there.

        6. Also is a great reminder to all people everywhere that God has not chosen to elect those self confident enough to name themselves arbiters of who is & isn’t Christian, to actually be arbiters of anything.

        7. Hermit, he is not giving excuses for not following the Bible. It’s…satire, I guess you could say? Irony? Sarcasm?

          You CAN understand and follow the Bible. But many of the people this site is about “follow” the Bible while ignoring the context, both historically and in context with the Bible as a whole. Picking and choosing verses to back up personal preferences.

          Christianity and the Bible go hand in hand, no one is denying that.

    4. Dear Hermit:

      ‘Christianity cut adrift from the Bible, is whatever you want it to be … – you can have a form of godliness whilst denying the authority thereof – you can heap up the teachers you want, who will tell you exactly what you want to hear.’

      This is equally applicable to those without and within fundamentalism. Isn’t it, Hermit. And SFL participants have often indicated where fundamentalism is generally indictable on both counts. One recently discussed example is the Biblical requirement of a plurality of elders. CAN fundamentalism adhere to Biblically faithful ecclesial polity? Why not share with us why fundamentalism refuses to follow this Biblical teaching, and [correspondingly] how it expects to ‘know’ about the Faith?

      ‘I do ask why people who don’t believe the Bible would even bother to call themselves Christians … ‘Why do you even call yourselves Christians …’

      Many of us are unabashedly Christian. It is fundamentalists themselves who assert the contrary. Your words to Tiarali are a case in point. What I find off is that you also reference ‘your Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord.’ So, are we your brothers and sisters in Christ or not? You can’t have it both ways. So which is it, Hermit?

      ‘Tiara, I did not say that people who disagree with me are not Christians.’

      Tiara did not say that anyone who disagrees with ‘me [i.e. Hermit]’ but anyone who ‘disagrees with your views of the Bible.’ The difference concerns whether we are discussing the claim that you [Hermit] OR views of the Bible’ commonly held in fundamentalism are the standard of faith and practice for God’s people.’ You [Hermit] don’t claim to the standard of faith and practice for God’s people. But then, NEITHER does Tiara. Disagreeing with your views of the Bible is not necessarily equivalent to disagreeing with the authority of Jesus’ royal rule. It could also mean that we disagree with your understanding of the Bible because we believe that it is humanistic [man-centered], secularized [Americanist], anti-incarnational [Gnostic], and denies the new birth [syncretistic], is materialistic [millennialism], etc., etc., etc. Perhaps I’ve been away too long, but the Fundamentalism I remember was always loath to face the charge that people disagree with fundamentalism believing that fundamentalism narrative is thoroughly Manichean and therefore sub-Christian.

      Your closing points recall realities many experience in fundamentalism. It has been noted [for example] that whereas fundamentalists hold those without accountable and indictable, that fundamentalists themselves [especially ‘preachers’] are answerable solely to God.

      Lastly, what Christian doesn’t stand by God’s word? Perhaps you should see the ‘attacks and abuse’ you ‘suffer’ as corrective, disciplinary actions aimed at the backside of the egotistical, self-centered, screaming brat of Christianity called ‘fundamentalism.’ Hebrews 12:3-15 seems to be in order.


      Christian Socialist

    5. I think it’s interesting how we theorize that, apart from the Bible, people can’t come to a saving knowledge of Christ, or that we can just make things up as we go. Interestingly, this very claim is not supported by the bible. I love that we have the Bible, but we have to stop giving the Bible more credit and responsibility than God did, and learn to rely on the Spirit to do what Jesus said He would do; convict the world of sin, live inside of us, lead us, and teach us. No mention of a book that would be assembled for this purpose.

      1. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Paul was talking about “the report of the Gospel,” perhaps not the finalized Bible (since it did not exist in his day. But he is making clear that faith in God comes by means of the Gospel being proclaimed, and by no other way.

        1. Romans 1 & 2 Paul explicitly states that those without specific revelation have general revelation to reveal God’s wrath, and yet are capable of obtaining eternal life “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality”.

    6. Hermit, all that is being said is that reading the Bible without any regard for its context is a nonsense.

      Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a number of satirical operettas in the 19th century. Now, you can listen to them today and say, “Oh, that’s nice music” or “That’s a quaint story”. But if you bother to investigate the political scene of Victorian Britain, you will begin to understand the satire – and you may even laugh at the jokes!

      The Bible is no different. If we are to understand what it’s actually saying, we need to learn something about its original context and the context of the individual books.

  3. I take offense at this post. I believe that the writers of the Bible were white Baptists who wore bonnets and cowboy hats as they gathered around the old upright piano for a session of shape-note singing. To say otherwise is sacrilege.

    1. Bonnets? Are you suggesting that women were allowed to contribute to writing the bible? Or that male writers wore bonnets?? 😯 😆

    2. And that piano was anything but white, but they did run a bus route, and had gigantic altar calls multiple times a week!

        1. I need to thank you and everyone else in this thread for a much needed laugh amidst the headache that Hermit is causing. Much appreciated. This is a satire site, after all! 😆

    3. Or, here’s a thought, maybe the were people who were inspired by God to write the very words that they did, which have been very faithfully been translated in multiple English language versions. Maybe, when it speaks literally, it is meant to be understood literally. Maybe, God, knowing that it would be His Word to the whole world, wrote it so that it is understandable across centuries and cultures. Maybe He actually meant the words that we now read.

      Maybe you are more corrupt and depraved than most of the fundamentalists you seem to despise.

      1. Less of a thought, more of an obnoxious troll willfully misunderstanding with no small amount of passive aggression & malice.

        1. Another way of dealing with an argument – call the writer an obnoxious troll blah blah blah.

          The people on this site are very good at coming up with reasons why they don’t have to listen to those who disagree with them and have the temerity to say so.

        2. If you had a message to debunk, that’d be more effective, but you’ve been incorrect in all of your comments and obnoxiously trolling in your attitude about how incorrect you are.

        1. Hermit, Surely you don’t neglect the role of context in perfecting our understanding the Bible? The Bible is the Word of God and we are meant to seek knowledge and comprehension through diligent study and prayer. Paul was highly educated in the culture, history, and the etymology of the Word of God as were all who followed the Pharisee lifestyle. His studies were a vehicle for the Holy Spirit to inform his heart of spiritual truths. Are you truly promoting the kind of ignorant Christianity that would risk misguiding others through an incomplete understanding of the Scripture? Is it not written that it would be better to be fitted for a millstone necktie and go swimming in the ocean than to teach others to go astray?

      2. Meant to be understood literally?

        Ok, do you have a priest come bless your house if it gets mold? Do you avoid pork and shrimp? Do you offer animal sacrifices? Do you stone your child when he mouths off?

        No? Then you’re not taking it literally. Not everything in the Bible is applicable to us today. The New Testament isn’t a rulebook, telling us how we should live every detail of our lives like the OT does. It does talk a lot about loving each other, being a light to the world, not putting up with sin, etc etc. And you can’t get specific rules about music or clothes from those things.

        Rob is calling you a troll because you admit you have never been to an IFB church, yet come on and misinterpret what everyone is saying. Don’t argue about something you don’t know.

      3. Because having a different understanding of scripture is so much worse than covering up child molestation and marital rape in the name of God.

      4. Ok, fine, but explain the 1500 years of Christianity that existed before the Reformation. You know, the part about eating the flesh and blood of Jesus? From at least AD 100 onward, that as “obvious” to virtually all Christians until sometime in the 1400s people started questioning it openly.

        I’ve come around to cutting Fundies slack on some of their interpretations because I’ve realized that every sect in history has their own subjective views.

        I do think the Bible is very direct and clear on certain pet issues like, say, homosexuality, but in general… it’s not nearly as clear as most want it to be.

      5. Hermit, Please give me a fundamentalist KJV-only minister that agrees with your views of different English versions. Do not feel badly if you cannot find one, because…frankly, they don’t exist. One of my friends stated (and I quote), “that’s why I believe in only using the KJV, that way God’s word is not corrupted”. You may disagree all you like, but everyone from a fundy culture will tell you that what she is communicating is that using the KJV will ensure that everyone wears skirts or ties. This is not cultural…this is a necessary element of their faith. Fundy culture insists NIV and KNJV users are bound for hell, or if they are lucky and God makes a mistake, they will live in the stubble section of heaven. So it kinda surprises me that you would agree with the fundamentalists (who are KJV-only), enough to come after people who found Jesus when they began using other versions…and then you indicate that people won’t loose their rewards in heaven when they *gasp* use other versions (which, in spirit, agrees with Darrel’s post on the “400 year old document”). Are you sure you know who’s side you’re on? Forgive me, but I hate nothing more when an unsuspecting evangelical defends people who despise them and preach against them from pulpits…and right now, you are attacking ones who would give you the right to use other versions without fear of your salvation being called into question. But what would I know, right? Maybe it is attacking the Bible to say that the KJV might not be the best version. If you feel the urge to tell Jesus that the fundamentalists were the only ones who knew what they were talking about, and then wonder why they are all telling him not to let you in heaven…don’t look my way, because I will say “I told you so!”

      6. “Maybe you are more corrupt and depraved than most of the fundamentalists you seem to despise.”

        That’s easy to judge: consider which group houses the most depraved sins of the most scarlet shamefulness, and refuses to repent of those sins and even defends them. I mean, THAT’S depravity. And that would be the Fundamentalists.

  4. “Christianity cut adrift from the Bible, is whatever you want it to be.” Precisely. This is the reason that Christian Fundamentalism is such a hotbed of heresies and scandals, with multiple little church empires waging war over nonsense and harming the innocent. In trying to reduce the Bible to a 20th century English language document, not anchored to the historical context or language idiosyncrasies of its origins, the Fundies have gotten the Bible to say whatever they want it to say. And that is exactly why Christian Fundamentalism is so horribly corrupt and depraved.

    1. well said. And it is so sad that they cannot see how divorcing the Bible from the cultural and language context they are distorting the message. Nor can they see by taking each word literally and ripping words and verses from their context within Scripture, they are distorting the message of Scripture. They have truly become the “cults” they set out to keep from taking over Christianity.

    2. Dear Bassenco:

      ‘…reduce the Bible to a 20th century English language document.’

      So much for the word being ‘living’ and ‘active.’

      I suggest that many people are frightened by the ‘living’ and ‘active’ word; such a word cannot be contained. This means that God cannot be contained. That’s a problem. The problem is that sooner or later, fundamentalism is going to have to deal with God.

      Christian Socialist

      1. And that my friend is the heresy of the KJVO movement. It equates the written/revealed word of Scripture with the Living word, Jesus Christ.

        It gives the written revelation the same properties as the one whom it reveals. Thus, the King Jimmy translation becomes the defacto 4th member of the trinity, and is worshiped accordingly.

        1. Ooh! I like that analogy, I may have to use it. I’ve been trying to find a way to explain some of this stuff to my dad in a way he will actually hear, and he’s big on the trinity. That may actually work.

        2. Tell me about it…I am probably banging my head against a wall again, but every time I swear I am done trying, I give up, somehow I end up trying again. 🙁 If only I was a son instead of a daughter I think I might have a better chance…he sometimes listens to my little brother now that he’s old enough to have a family of his own, because he’s a man now. 😥

        3. Hope it helps Kagi.
          I don’t know of any other way to put it. Of course the KJVO folks vehemently deny that they worship the King Jimmy translation but their actions and attitudes show them to be liars. The hold the KJV in higher esteem and elevate it to not only equal with the one it is written about, but often above Christ when they quote:

          Psalms 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” -kjv

          This is the verse they use for the deification of the King James Bible. This is the source for the KJVO doctrine. (a better translation says: I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. -esv)

          Of course the Fundie eisegesis of that verse actually destroys the sovereignty of God as it specifically declares that God has something that he places above himself. If that is so then he is no longer God, because there is something above God that is to be worshiped.
          But… they don’t see it that way because I don’t believe they have a right view of God to begin with. But a posting about Fundie anti-intellectualism and their disdain for Theology is for another day.

        4. Well, I should clarify, my dad is not IFB, but he is IFsomething – we were non-denominational, and not KJVO; my dad’s preferred translation is the NASB, but he definitely has the legalism and the worshiping the Bible as the Word, to the point where it’s idolised at or above the level of the person of Jesus Christ.

          I think he would describe himself as a charismatic, but if so, then he’s a charismatic fundamentalist. I recognize an awful lot of the same stuff, if not always to the same degree, that gets discussed here from my growing up years. And since we were homeschoolers, we were huge into the Abeka/BJU/Gothard stuff, and meant to go to one of the Christian colleges, either PCC or BJU, if we went at all. I’m the only one who really wanted to go – a couple of the others went through apprenticeships or vocational schools, but I wanted a degree in linguistics. And I wanted to go to Notre Dame. Luckily for my parents, ND does not offer a linguistics degree, or didn’t at the time, so I only took some underclasses at the local municipal college, which ended up not transferring much of anywhere, and then we couldn’t afford anything else so they were able to keep me from going away anywhere they didn’t approve of and I never got my degree. :/ I left fundamentalism anyway, left faith altogether for awhile. You can’t control your childrens lives forever, and if you try, the ones like me are going to break out or break themselves trying, or both.

        5. Dear Kagi (@soracia):

          Some people start with the Bible. and then ‘prove’ God from that. For others, God is the starting point for their theological work.

          Many have believed God without the 66 books that we call ‘the Bible,’ including the father of all who believe [Ro 4:16].

          I find God very believable. After all, God isn’t exactly without a witness [Job 5:10; Ps 4:7; 8:1-3; 19:1; 65:9; 103:22; 145:9-16; 147:8; Eccl 3:11; Je 10:12; 14:22; Mt 5:45; Ac 14:17, 27; Ro 1:19-20]. Of course what I believe about God is far clearer and surer to me BECAUSE we have the Bible. My faith is greatly confirmed by the book.

          For myself, I just ‘say NO’ to a paper pope. I believe God. I confess the Bible as God’s self-disclosure of what I believe concerning God. But I begin with God.

          Christian Socialist

          PS: When you begin with a book, the great question becomes ‘what does it say.’ The answer sounds like this: ‘law, law, law, duty, duty, duty, works, works, works!’ When you begin with a person [more aptly, three persons], the question changes. Now we’re asking, ‘who is God, what is God like, how can I know him.’ Much of what has gone wrong in the derailed religion known as Fundamentalism arises from the fact that it begins with a book and not with God.

        6. Kagi, are you a fellow Hoosier? I recommend not ND but UND at Grand Forks for linguistics (run by SIL).

        7. I am! Or I was, lol…I’m stuck in Kansas now. If and when college somehow becomes affordable again, I’ll probably go with KU – I’d prefer Kstate, but again, they don’t offer it. I will check out UND though, thanks for the rec!

        8. CS,

          When you begin with a book, the great question becomes ‘what does it say.’ The answer sounds like this: ‘law, law, law, duty, duty, duty, works, works, works!’

          When I begin with “the book” I get that law, duty and works don’t cut it but thankfully there’s mercy and grace.

          I get “The LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in hesed and faithfulness, keeping hesed for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

          I get “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” “Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.” “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

          I get “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.”

          And that’s from the 😯 OT 😯 !

          I say beginning with “the book” isn’t all that bad, though to find the good stuff, to comprehend the good and gracious God (yes Jezz1966, as much as is humanly possible), I believe we need the Spirit who initiates, so it’s not really even we who begin whether it is general or specific revelation through which He initially piques our interest.

          Remember, there are plenty of people not regenerated who stare blankly at God’s witness in His Creation and His “Let me spell it out for you” witness in His written word and blindly mistake Him for something completely different.

    3. THIS is what popped into my mind the instant I read the beginning of Hermit’s post–except that you said it much better than I ever could.

  5. Yeesh, they’re all coming out of the woodwork lately. I truly wonder what fundies have to gain by coming here.

    1. Lately though they claim they are not fundies.

      *waves hand*
      These are not the fundies you are looking for

      1. These are not the fundies I’m looking for. O_O

        (Trolls too, forgot to mention them in my post. =p)

    2. I came because a member of my family continually throws this stuff at us. I will go a certain way, but I believe we are coming to a cross-roads, where Christians who stand on the Bible are going to be ridiculed and persecuted for their faith. There is a huge movement away from the authority of the Scriptures, and I am quite saddened by it, and saddened that it has found a place within our family.

      1. Perhaps this public forum isn’t really an appropriate place to try to sort our your family issues.

        I will say that if you don’t listen to your family members any better than you listen to people who are trying to talk to you on this blog then you are likely not going to get very far. People are trying to keep you from making a fool of yourself by explaining that what you *think* is being said here isn’t the actual meaning of the post.

        If you insist, however, on hallucinating points and then responding to those figments of your imagination instead of the actual points being made then I’m not sure anybody here can really help you.

      2. sad you cannot even see that people who disagree with you stand on the bible just in a different way.
        You don’t have the corner on trying to “be biblical”. In fact I would say your literal interpretation of this blog and of following the bible really means you are far from your goal. You are not understanding the Bible in its context.

      3. Your family must be thrilled with your passive aggressive saddening at their reading material. Care to share more of your manipulative behavior within your family?

        1. Buddy, I will say (and have said) what I have to say to family members to them personally. Here, I have responded to the blog article as any reader can.

        2. Please read your own comment where you passive aggressively through your family under the sad bus.

      4. “I believe we are coming to a crossroads, where Christians who stand on the Bible are going to be ridiculed and persecuted for their faith”

        We are already there, friend!

        1. And you love every minute of it. You roll around in any perceived persecution like a horse in clover. And yet you sleep in a soft bed, not a jail cell, and drive to the polls instead of walking a dangerous path, and freely walk into any church in the country on any Sunday. Persecution, my aunt Fannie.

        2. Persecution? Persecution…. hmmmmmmm

          Hebrews 12:4
          In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

          mmmm, persecution in America is what… maybe someone disagreeing with your sacred cow at most. (so far)

          And we really can’t equate false teaching (ie Health, wealth and prosperity moralism) with persecution either.

        3. When was the last time your were put in jail for proclaiming the good news?

          When was your back beaten bloody for declaring the love of Christ?

        4. I think greg’s idea of persecution is sharing the internet with calvinists and liberals. 😉

        5. Dude shows up to passive aggressively torment/troll his own family with very poor information, and greg signs right up for an endorsement.

        6. PS, I feel pretty certain that greg is 100% capable of “proclaiming the good news” in a multitude of ways that would get a person locked up for a period of time.

        7. Fred Clark at the Slacktivist website has made the point on several occasions that until Fred Phelps and the Westboro horrors are locked up, then no Christian American needs to be concerned about being persecuted. While they are walking the streets spewing their hatred, you’re all quite safe.

        8. You definitely are safe from prosecution by spewing filthy hatred of other human beings. As our friend the socialist eloquently pointed out, you are not so safe from arrest, etc if you protest immoral profiteering on Wall Street, even if you do so peacefully. I wouldn’t necessarily call that persecution, but it isn’t really safe either.

        9. The Westboro Haters are standing on the bible? Wow, didn’t realize that!

          Lot of group think going on in this thread, quite Orwellian!

          One thing for sure can be said, you can take the person away from the fundies, but you can’t take the fundy out of the person, they just switch teams!

        10. While you and I know that Westboro’s message does not accurately represent the Gospel, they themselves would say that they are proclaiming the Bible’s message.

          I think the idea stated above was that if ANY believers were going to be arrested because general society considered their beliefs repugnant, the Westboro folks would be arrested first.

          I actually don’t really agree with that. I think repercussions will be more subtle than that, and I think the first signs will not be Christians being arrested but instead getting fired from jobs or getting their businesses closed down.

      5. Dear Hermit:

        Darrell’s point re: the propriety of hosting family discussions on an internet forum is both orderly and wise. Moreover, not knowing what ‘stuff’ is continually foisted at you, I’m in no position to reply. But with all the love that I can muster, I beg you, Hermit, to consider [by which I mean ‘examine’] your next assertion.

        I believe we are coming to a cross-roads, where Christians who stand on the Bible are going to be ridiculed and persecuted for their faith

        Hermit, there has never been a time when this is not so. Never. The early church understood that to be baptized was about as good as a death sentence. Yet God’s people were so convinced of Jesus’ resurrection [and of their resurrection in Jesus] that they baptized not only themselves, but even their children – knowing that they were as much as consigning their own children to death.

        While it is a prophecy and an apocalypse, the Revelation is also an epistle, a circular letter written to churches which were already [in the apostolic period] experiencing persecution. Persecution less concerns the ‘times’ than it does faithfulness. I repeat: we live in a world where all who live godly lives will be persecuted. You have to accept that. This may not be what you want; but if you are baptized, you signed on for it.

        Much of Christianity [and fundamentalism no less than the rest] has numerous alliances with the powers of this age. Those alliances are regarded as sacred. Consider the ‘Christian’ nation premise: our prosperity surely shows God’s blessing on us. Our soldiers fight on the ‘right’ [just] side, whereas our enemies are ‘against’ God. By supporting our nation [NATIONALISM], our economy [WEALTH], our wars [MILITARISM] and other idols in the United States pantheon of gods, we find shelter from the wrath of the powers of this age [the world]. But this comes at the terrible price of dishonoring Jesus. Yet we know that to break those sacral alliances – by speaking truth to power, by challenging the gods [powers] of our age – Nationalism, Wealth, Militarism, Power, etc. – is to incur their wrath resulting in persecution and [potentially] our and our children’s death.

        The ‘Christian’ nation premise allows us to pacify the demonic powers of this age, while mollifying our collective conscience wounded by our faithless denial of Christ and persistent alignment with the world. When anything remotely challenges or questions the ‘Christian nation’ premise, this is regarded as a massive shift away from our historic religious moorings. Why? As you yourself note, that means ‘persecution.’

        But so what?

        The gospel is the defiance of all of the powers of this age [including America] as demonic entities which are under the wrath and curse of God. The gospel is the message that we don’t have to live under the domination of those powers. Why? God promises his Spirit, forgiveness and unending life in Jesus Christ. God gave final proof of that by raising Jesus from the dead. What difference does it make if we are persecuted or if we are slain for our faith in Jesus Christ? We believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

        Moreover, the blood of the saints is the seed of the church.

        Nevertheless, suffering IS real. And we ARE weak. We need the support of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord. But that support will not come from faith communities which give lip service to grace while wading in eclectic beliefs arranged into a legalistic, works-based system. We need a theology which, persecuted as we may be, still affirms that grace and goodness of God in the world all around us.

        I can’t rule on whether or not someone in your family is challenging Biblical faith. I can say that many who are sound of mind and mature in spirit hold all the Scriptures as Spirit breathed; yet in the spirit of Ga 2:5, they refuse to be subject to fundamentalism for one hour so that the truth of the Gospel may stand. It is possible also that your loved one is being God’s messenger, calling you [possibly imperfectly] to a relationship with God based on trust and love.

        Some of us spent a lifetime trying to raise up a new generation of preachers who will frame the gospel as a challenge [Co 2:15] to the many ‘isms’ [demonic powers of this age] of our time and place. As this message is heard [and it will be], the powers around us [especially the state] will see believers through an increasingly jaundiced eye. Get used to it the idea now; that is a more faithful church. Start connecting with God’s people around you. Learn a better narrative, and share what you know with others. Start taking stands not on stupid things, but on what truly matters for God’s kingdom.

        Christian Socialist

  6. There is a direct correlation between those who say “follow the Bible” and those who have a lack of knowledge about how the Bible was produced. I don’t believe it is possible to study the formation of the Bible from its beginnings as oral traditions which were copied into scrolls (hundreds of years after the time periods they describe) and then were altered and manipulated for centuries before ultimately being edited and translated into a book and conclude that the Bible has any claim to the title “the word of God.”

    1. and thus, you are not a believer. I believe that every word of the Bible was given by inspiration from God Himself, and that we have remarkably accurate English texts today. And this was the almost universal view until “scholars” decided to “study” (reinterpret) the Bible, starting with the assumption that it is not true, it is not inspired or preserved by God, that much of it has been lost through unreliable transmission, and so on. I’m sorry, but those people do not know the Scriptures or the God who gave them to us.

      1. Wow, both heresy & false summarizing of the post & commenters in a another quick drive by trolling. You’re brain cells must be so proud.

        1. And it should probably be blasphemy not heresy. Assuming you have the capability to declare another person a Christian or not is a blasphemous self-deification.

          My bad on poor word choice there.

        2. Try understanding my comment within its context. I said that the previous writer having so many problems with the Bible’s transmission, that he/she was not a Bible-believer. He/she says that he/she doesn’t believe the ‘Bible has any claim to the title “the word of God.”’.

          What I then wrote was not my summarizing of what he/she said, but my statement of my own position.

        3. hahaha they preach at me about context, then read me without considering context. Neither blasphemy, heresy, or false summarizing. lol

      2. You’re right. It’s so much better not to study the Bible for what it is. We should just take it literally, no matter the context or literary device the original authors may have intended.

        I’m so relieved! Using Greek & Hebrew translation & study aids in order to gain a clearer understanding of Scripture is sooo time-consuming. 🙄

        1. Of course I seek to understand the historical and cultural settings of the text; of course I view texts within their contexts, of course I try to understand the Greek and Hebrew words, of course I understand them within their dispensational context as well.

          But some people think that with enough of that examination white can be said to be black. These things can add to our understanding, but they can’t change the commandments from yea to nay.

        2. If you’ve grown up being taught that the Bible is only black & white (& sometimes even that white is black & vice versa), it can appear to others that you’re rejecting “the Bible” when you’re really rejecting the things layered over God’s intent.

        3. Hermit you said,
          “Of course I seek to understand the historical and cultural settings of the text; of course I view texts within their contexts, of course I try to understand the Greek and Hebrew words, of course I understand them within their dispensational context as well.
          But some people think that with enough of that examination white can be said to be black. These things can add to our understanding, but they can’t change the commandments from yea to nay.”
          I’m not sure what your problem is here. The original post is not advocating changing Biblical commands from yea to nay. You may disagree with some on this board, I do from time to time, but there are those who do NOT “seek to understand the historical and cultural settings etc… “. Do you just not believe that they exist? I’m not understanding what your problem is with the original post.

      3. Reading literally, Christ Himself said he was not inclined to judge so let’s not get into telling everyone who is or is not Christian based on our personal theology. Looks like a literal reading of the below verses would leave judgement completely in the realm of God, not for me and not for you. Please come back from the spiritual ledge of sitting in God’s judgement seat like a human being belongs there. Only the words Christ spoke can judge whether we are his children or not.There again we have to understand that when God came to us as the wholly divine and wholly human Christ, God stepped into a fixed place in time, culture, and history and we must understand that context to understand the message. John 12:47 And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
        John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.

        1. I didn’t, see my words within their context. I was talking about those who believe the Bible is the Word of God, and those who don’t.

          I don’t have a problem with people understanding the scriptures within their contexts etc., I do have a problem with people who think we can ignore the Scriptures because they don’t like what they say.

        2. And again Hermit you completely missed the point made by LoveMeansLove. We are not to judge. You are judging people based on their thoughts and beliefs of the Bible. They don’t line up with your beliefs so, BAM! They’re unqualified to be in your heaven.

        3. Scorpio, the Bible clearly tells us to beware of false teachers who will come into our churches. We are also told that we are to judge. I am not wrongly judging, I am holding to the Scriptures.

      4. Hermit, I don’t think you are a troll, and I will be surprised if you turn out to be a Poe. In some ways I agree with with you. I just think you are fighting the right battle in the wrong place. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. Others on this board don’t. This board, however, is a place to explore the extreme views if the IFB. Views that, in my opinion, hurt people. You, admittedly, know very little about that topic. I think you are confusing defense of the Scripture with defending the use of Scripture to spiritually abuse others.

        1. I agree. I believe that God gave us the Scriptures. Sometimes the sarcasm or irony here is so close to the heretical positions that it is hard to tell the difference; I’ve missed some point of sarcasm. This post does sound like someone mocking anyone who says that they follow the Bible. Having been reading posts here for a long time, I know that there is more behind it.

          I’ve been in IFB meetings where the so-called “preacher” blasted other preachers for not having their Sunday Night service at a particular time. How pathetic and silly.

          Some IFB churches are incredibly controlling (I was in one) and these are the focus of this web site. I am uncomfortable with assertions that some people have made here that every IFB church is a cult (or that every IFB church is run by a lucre-loving, power-hungry, dictator bent on abusing all the women and children he can)

        2. Voila GuiltRidden, I believe that is the main point us ‘Trolls'(to quote RobM’s favorite cliche) have a problem with this site in a nutshell. That the general consensus here seems to be “that some people have made here that every IFB church is a cult (or that every IFB church is run by a lucre-loving, power-hungry, dictator bent on abusing all the women and children he can)”

        3. That’s the general consensus here? Well, I guess you’ll see what you want to see. Most of us see a rather diverse community, united by our experiences in the IFB but in no way homogeneous in our present beliefs.

        4. Pastor’s Wife, I can’t name one of you who hasn’t claimed this. Maybe one or two, you and Semp, but that is why I said the general consensus. I agree that there are many wrongs within the movement, as there are in all churches, but the whole movement is not guilty in my opinion.

        5. I’m probably the most vocal among us when it comes to being anti-IFB and that the IFB has many classic cult-like traits.

          The IFB system is, in fact, a Cult.

          That does not mean every IFB church is a cult but the potential for the cult of personality in the pulpit to take over is in any church where a one man ruler administration is in place.

          So yeah, I’ll own that accusation you make, and I’ll stand by it as well. While not all churches that call themselves IFB are cult compounds, the IFB system is a Cult incubator that enables cultist, man-centered worship and practices its own special brand of religious legalism.

      5. My uncle is a Biblical scholar – he has read the Bible in far closer to “original text” than most people on the planet – he says that there are numerous cases where it has been mistranslated (sometimes probably intentionally).

    1. Says Matthew Poole:

      Ver. 10. Let my wife grind unto another; either,

      1. Let her be taken captive, and made a slave to grind in other men’s mills; which was a sore and vile servitude, #Ex 11:5 Jud 16:21 Isa 47:2 Mt 24:41. Or rather,

      2. Let her be defiled by another man, as the next words expound it, and as the Hebrews understand it, and as this very phrase is used by very ancient, both Greek and Latin, authors [of which see my Latin Synopsis on this place]. And this is to be cautiously understood, not as if Job desired or would permit a requital in the same kind, but only, that if in that case God should give up his wife to such a wickedness, he should acknowledge his justice in it, and (though with abhorrency of the sin) accept of that punishment of it.

      Let others bow down upon her; another modest expression of a filthy action; whereby the Holy Ghost gives us a pattern and a precept to avoid not only unclean actions, but also all immodest expressions.

  7. What made me question the Bible-onlyism and the deification of the Bible was that I was taught to treat Shakespeare and Mark Twain’s work with more care and respect than fundamentalists were teaching to treat the bible.
    I would have to research the era and culture Shakespeare and Twain and others wrote in to understand the imagery. I would have to find out what the meaning of the words they used meant in their time. I would have to understand the main theme of the book and then look at the details of how the subplots and characters support the overall theme.
    But the Bible doesn’t need that–just take the English literally.
    I refuse to treat the Bible with any less respect than I would treat any other literary work. I believe God was active in the history of humanity and stepped into particular cultures and talked to people in the language they would understand. So I cannot follow the Bible in the same way fundies tell us to. I respect the Word too much to do that.

    1. I told the the pastor and deacons that they were not showing the Bible respect during a discussion of willful distortion of the Bible. The next Sunday, the congregation had to stand while the Bible was read. Some people will never get it.

      1. Really? I mean I love the liturgical standing for the reading of the Gospel. It has its roots in Scripture when the people stood to hear the reading of the Law. It is tradition. But to so narrowly define respecting scripture to standing when it is read is absurd. Talk about missing the point.

  8. Time to put on my heretic label. The bible is a wonderful book that helps us study cultures. The bible gives us some history. The bible is a work of art; and like art, it is open to personal interpretation. As inspired as it was by God; it was written by men. Men make errors. Men leave books out. We have to look at it in its proper context, and that context doesn’t always fit the 21st century. Wars have been fought, scientist have been put to death, and people have been enslaved using the bible. When I was in Christian school, we had track meets against an IFB school. Their girl wore coulottes to run the 100 meter hurdles. She never came in anything but last. She always tripped over hurdles. One time, she had a serious injury and didn’t finish at all. That pretty much says it all right there. That culture, for lack of a better word, retards people. It says that you don’t check things out for yourself. You never question your man o Gawd. You look at any education as wrong. When the pastor rapes you as a child its your fault. I know so many people that refused to go to college after high school, because Jesus was going to come in a few years. That was 1988. A pastor had given that from the pulpit; from his bible. Biblically speaking he should have been stoned. If you just go on the bible and the man o gawds interpretation you are in dangerous territory. Jim Jones territory.

    1. I don’t have a man of God to follow. I am told that IFB pastors have done wicked things in the past, and I am sorry about that. However, it doesn’t reflect on my view that we should read and understand the Scriptures, and not try to explain away the bits that don’t fit with us. God Himself doesn’t change. It is the making excuses to cast doubt on the Bible, and then making pronouncements that things God has very clearly condemned, he is actually hunky-dory thrilled with. That’s what I have been trying to address.

      1. “and not try to explain away the bits that don’t fit with us”

        I presume then, that you have sold all you own, and given it to the poor?

        Or are you about to “explain that away”?

        1. That was said during Christ’s incarnation on earth. He lived during the dispensation of Law. And it can clearly be seen that he taught the Law on many occasions, rather than the Gospel of faith apart from works.

          On several occasions God can be seen holding people to an impossibly high standard of law-keeping, in line with the Law’s purpose, to bring us to Christ, realizing that we cannot earn salvation by keeping the Law (works).

          I follow the teaching on Giving taught to the New Testament Church.

        2. Hermit, you said “I follow the teaching on Giving taught to the New Testament Church.”

          I am so glad that you understand that the Power of the Holy Spirit compels the Christian to give… Not the law. Aren’t you thankful that this Law (Ministry of Death) has NO glory because of the glory that surpasses it?

          See 2 Corinthians 3. I believe it is in the N.T.

        3. NT teaching on giving is much closer to all 100% charitably like Jezz said.

          Prob just an oversight by Hermit.

        4. I’ve often heard all of Jesus’ teachings dismissed as being the Law and thus not applicable to us. Obviously the New Testament is clear that we are no longer under the Law. We are free in Christ.

          But I don’t think we can so easily dismiss what Jesus said. After He died and rose again, He told His followers, “Go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20, NIV). Jesus never said, “Oh, all that stuff I told you before? You can ignore it now.” Nor do I believe that this command was only good for a few days until Pentecost.

          So although all my life, I grew up with people pretty much saying we didn’t have to follow what Jesus said, in the last few years I’ve decided that I DO need to heed what Jesus said.

          (I’ll admit I do find many of His commands impossible, showing me my desperate need of His grace, because on my own I can never live up to those expectations! I’m so grateful that He said He rewards even a cup of cold water given in His Name!)

        5. I’m probably going to get in trouble here but am I right in understanding that you maintain that someone is not a Christian if they don’t conform to a particular reading of a BOOK but you are a Christian even if you ignore CHRIST’S instructions because that was way back then?
          Shouldn’t you be calling yourself a Bibleist or something? Christ doesn’t’ seem to enter into it very much where you are concerned. I mean the actual guy, not some blue eyed white guy with a simpering smile who we can all pretend to follow.

      2. Hermit, you are hanging yourself!!!! If you want to support the Fundamentalists, you can at least support their pastors! What are you thinking? What’s wrong with you!? You have completely disrespected the IFB scriptures after the pastor’s clearly told you that the KJV was the word of God and following it ensures that people don’t mistake what God wants. You have disrespected the Holy Spirit by calling the real men of God into question, there are plenty of pastors who aren’t involved in scandals that told you to follow the KJV. If you are going to tell us that the fundamentalist pastors are wrong, and they are using the Bible to back up their every command, then you are attacking their scriptures, much in the same way the ex-fundies do. You are a disgrace! 👿 The views in this comment may or may not be those held by the commenter.

      3. Dear Hermit:

        phil_style wrote: ‘I presume then, that you have sold all you own, and given it to the poor? Or are you about to “explain that away?”’

        You replied: ’That was said during Christ’s incarnation on earth. He lived during the dispensation of Law.’

        I observe: The [effect of the] question was, ‘how is it an improvement that passages as regarded as inoperative on the basis of ‘dispensations?’

        Remember, Hermit, YHWH’s law is perfect, converting the soul [Ps 19:7]. And while this doesn’t establish a theology of works/righteousness such as many attest they learned in IFB churches, this should give pause for concern by those who would cite dispensations/peoples etc as a basis for regarding certain passages as theologically inoperative.

        I would also point out that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law [Mt 5:18], the prophets [Jo 1:45], our Sabbath [Mk 2:28], the Temple of God [Jo 2:19-21], our Passover and sacrifice [1Co 5:7], our circumcision [Co 2:11], the only true son of Israel [Gal 3:16], the promise of God [Ac 13:23], our peace with God [Ep 2:14], our land of rest and inheritance [He 4:1-9], and more. What came before were shadows; but the substance [Co 2:16] and efficacy [1Co 10:1-4] belongs to Christ alone.

        While other analogies exist, these are sufficient to show that Jesus is himself is the interpretation of Scripture. As the interpretation of the Scriptures, the risen Jesus is a Biblical hermeneutic superior to Fundamentalism’s self-pious platitudes such as ‘literal unless nonsense’ or ‘Israel is Israel’ and ‘church is church.’ That Jesus is the interpretation of Scripture frames a cogent and coherent response to Fundamentalism’s woefully insufficient view of the unity of Scripture and of God’s eternal, historic, redemptive purposes of grace across short time. Those who read such analogies discerningly cannot fail to see the brashness of regarding inoperative passages on that basis that they are tied to other ‘dispensations.’

        For many who DO hold an high view of Scripture AND take the circumcision/baptism analogy seriously [Co 2:11-13], dispensationalism won’t be given the time of day. That herky eschatology may make sense to you; but it is really, really difficult for others to see HOW that thing can be reconciled to Scripture. It is especially difficult for older, more consistent forms of dispensationalism to say HOW the cross [and therefore, SALVATION] could happen if Israel ‘accepted’ the very thing that Jesus came to offer.

        Remember that from God’s standpoint, Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world [Re 13:8]. You’ll be explaining many, difficult things before some of us adopt dispensationalism’s ‘Plan A/Plan B.’ All this is to say that you need to return to the question of how you justify an hermeneutic which regards great swathes of Scripture as theologically inoperative on the basis of ‘dispensations.’ However much Fundamentalism protests that it does believe the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Trinity, it is not at all evident to some of us that the movement has any comprehension of what the churchly doctrine of the Blessed Trinity actually looks like.


        Christian Socialist

        1. YES! He very much has not thought through his understanding of dispensationalism. There’s no systematic way of classifying the teachings & commands of Jesus as part of the Mosaic/Levitical Law of which I’m aware.

          It would seem from his ramblings, that he would line up with Universalists when it comes to Law age of grace that it does not apply to anyone anywhere, and all are under Grace. I don’t believe he thinks that, but from his poor communication of dispensationalism, it would be hard to conclude something else.

        2. Wow. Let me shake your hand, because that was the best, clearest concise general smackdown (can I use that word?) of the problems with dispensationalism I have ever seen. Well done, man.

      4. If you really believed that we need to read and understand the Scripture, you would not be defending Fundamentalism, which distorts the Scripture and leaves out the parts that don’t fit the Fundamentalist worldview, which is, overall, very materialistic.

  9. Hermit,

    I assume that, because you claim to “follow the Bible”, you always carry a feces paddle with you (as required by Deuteronomy 23:13). If you don’t, than you are obviously a hypocrite.

    What is that you say? Those laws are not applicable to us today? Chapter & verse please. Hint – it is impossible to find a NT passage that only repeals part of the Mosaic law…therefore YOU are interpreting scripture for yourself if you think only part of the law has been repealed.

    I’m waiting…

    1. I do follow the Bible. All Scripture is given to us by God, and is profitable … If I were an Israelite under the Law, I would indeed carry a feces paddle. As I am a Christian in the day of Grace, I am not required to keep the Law. Therefore, I don’t. But reading the Law helps me to understand how God has dealt with people and nations, and I find much there than enhances my understanding of what God requires of me in this dispensation.

      1. You didn’t answer Bro Bluto’s question:

        What is that you say? Those laws are not applicable to us today? Chapter & verse please.

        1. Hermit,

          Again your failed to answer my initial question: Quote chapter & verse that repeal PARTS of the Mosaic Law. If you are “not under the Law”, I assume that means that NONE of OT laws apply, correct?

          With that in mind, what are your thoughts about tithing? :mrgreen: Maybe it would be best for you to write a treatise and let us all know what OT laws we need to follow (the Ten Commandments?) and which ones are no longer in effect…just so we’re all clear.

        2. No need, Bruto. I can recommend to you several books which give good teaching on the dispensations.

          I do not believe or practice tithing, I believe in regular free-will giving as taught in the New Testament churches.

          I think it is interesting to consider various teachings about dispensationalism. I couldn’t be bothered arguing it here. (It’s now after midnight here.) However, this is quite off-topic.

          What I can say is that if you read the Scriptures, and decide that there are so many problems with the text that you can’t know whether God wants you to wear clothes or not, (and its not God’s word anyway), and so you decide that you will not wear clothes and you will teach others not to wear clothes at this site, then I think you are handling the Scriptures dishonestly, which brings us back to the point of this discussion.

        3. Funny, I thought that the point of your earlier posts was that you knew how to properly interpret EVERYTHING in the scriptures (because everything is crystal clear) and people who have questions as to the meaning/applicability of certain passages were reprobates for essentially denying the Bible. At least that is the way you came off.

          FYI, I am probably as much or more conservative theologically than yourself…but I also believe in individual soul liberty. And I am happy to let the Almighty determine who is right and who is wrong…not my job.

      2. Hermit, you do realize that observant Jews don’t carry a feces paddle, right? Because time & culture no longer necessitates its use.

        Granted, they could still carry them around so as to fulfill the letter of the law, but that would be as silly as a Christian trying to apply texts from an ancient culture to a modern society in a literal manner. Oh, wait…

        1. I understand dispensationalism, and so I understand that I am not required to, and that present day Jews probably don’t, as well, though I don’t care if they want to. After all, I do carry something of that nature when I walk my dog (we have to, its the law here).

      3. I don’t find the term “dispensation” in the Scriptures…in fact, I do not even find it taught in the Scriptures. The fact that you do indicates that you are following your INTERPRETATION of Scriptures (as advanced by John Nelson Darby).

        Is that necessarily wrong? No. But you are being duplicitous when you accuse others of interpreting for themselves what the Bible says/means when you are doing EXACTLY the same thing.

        The fact that you are a Darbian explains a lot… (And I know that you are going to say that you follow the Bible and not a man’s teaching…so then how is it that no one held these views until the late 1800s? Where there no orthodox Christians – like yourself – before then?)

        1. Then you haven’t looked hard enough. The dispensations are there.

          For example, do you walk around your front garden in the nude? No? Why not? That’s what God had for Adam and Eve before the fall. The reason we don’t today is because we recognise that we live in a different dispensation to Adam and Eve before the fall.

          Of course we have to interprete the Scriptures in the light of our own culture. BUT, we cannot ignore it; we cannot say that white is black, and black white. We cannot say that evil is good, and good is evil. If God clearly forbids a thing, especially in the New Testament after the cross, then we have to accept that it is forbidden. To call the Scriptures unreliable and therefore of no consequence is just WRONG, and it is THAT that I have expressed opposition for.

        2. So “the dispensations are there” in the Bible. Therefore they must be so clearly taught that there are no arguments about them, especially among despensationalists, right? *Let me bait the hook* So, how many (dispensations) are there? 3, 4, 7, 8 or some other number? How does every dispensationalist not agree if it is so clear? Maybe you identify the heretics in your own camp.

          FYI, Covenant Theology and New Covenant Theology (as opposed to just dispensationalsim) would also explain why we wear clothes after the fall.

      4. So, you follow the Bible?

        Too bad. We aren’t commanded to follow the Bible. We are commanded to follow Christ. Your “following the Bible” puts the written words on par with the Savior. That’s heresy and blasphemy. 🙁

      5. If I were an Israelite under the Law

        Is it your position that only Israelites are (or were) under the Law?

    2. Bro. Bluto, I feel you’re on the edge of a tremendous Fundy marketing niche. Please let me know if you intend to move forward with this project & need investors.

      We can call it the “Holy Sh!t Shovel.”

      1. That sounds like a plan. I think that these things would sell like crazy on QVC. I think we could move millions of units with a decent time slot. Maybe we should go the infomercial route. Do you think we could get the Sham-Wow guy to pimp our Holy Sh!t Shovel?

        1. Oh, Vince Offer (Mr. Sham-Wow) is way too worldly to hawk our holy product! (Please pray for him – I heard he likes the races & has a coke addiction…not the soda, IYKWIM.)*

          Ron Popeil is a much better candidate.

          *I have no idea if any of this is true. :mrgreen:

        2. Keep in mind Mr. Sham-WOW is also Mr. Slap-Chop. The Slap-Chop has the infamous commercial where, as he is chopping nuts, he says “you’re going to love my nuts”.

          He is the perfect pitchman for the Holy Sh*t-Shovel.

  10. Dear Darrell:

    This sounds a little like, ‘I believe and do whatever I want.’ This could be followed with ‘I interpret the Scriptures however I want;’ this is literal … this is allegorical … this is Older Testament/Ysra’el …’

    Thank God for a Bible that, far from interfering with any of the things that really matter for us, actually encourages us in our predispositions.

    Christian Socialist

  11. I need a better word than amen for this post. Round of fucking applause, man. As a linguist and sometime cultural anthro person this blockheaded attitude infuriates me, and you nailed it.

    1. Yep, its infuriating that I think the Bible was given by God, and we have very good translations of it, and it means what it says – sin is sin, even if you like it.

      1. Hermit, you do realize that every post is not about you, right? Being upset that there are people who misuse Scripture has absolutely nothing….nothing to do with you and the points you are trying to make.

      2. Once again a) that is not what the post is saying and b) you are making assumptions about what other people think and believe and judging them for it.

        Is it ‘sin’ that I like to wear jeans and hate dresses? No. But that is what I was taught growing up, along with many other more harmful things. We are talking about people using the Bible – no, weaponising the Bible, for the sole purpose of beating down other Christians in order to elevate those few in power who are allowed to say what the Bible ‘means’ – who lay down the law about what ‘literal’ is. Because it’s not literal. That’s what they call it, but that’s not what it is, and a literal interpretation of the Bible is not possible because there is context and translation issues that need to be taken into account when studying it, which you have already admitted. If you are doing any studying of the original languages or the cultural context in which it was written, then you are already NOT interpreting it ‘literally’, or literally either.

        In conclusion, this post is not about you, and it is not saying what you think it says. And if you can’t find a scrap of intellectual honesty to actually debate or discuss with, then buzz off.

      3. The KJV was a translation of translations, with some of the work of others thrown in. The Vulgate (Latin), the Septuagint (Greek translation of the first seven books in Hebrew OT), the Textus Receptus (Greek to Latin New Testament), and the work of William Tyndale (strangled and burned at the stake as a heretic for daring to translate the Bible into English). Plenty of room for error there.

  12. Hermit, oh how I hope you’re a Poe, though I fear you’re not.
    You are the epitome of the type of person who poisoned Christianity for me: Closed ears, closed hearts, closed fists, wide open mouths.

    And you have no clue whatsoever as to what the word “literal” means….literally.

  13. Dispensationalism is one of the Pillars of Isl… I mean Fundamentalism.

    I mean who doesn’t love Larkin’s artwork?
    And CI was a devoted sales… I mean disciple of Dispensationalism.

    Mmmmm, I mean dontcha just love being able to pidgeon hole a god’s plans and draw a comfortable box around such a god? It just empowers one’s imagination doesn’t it?

    Dispensationalism makes it so much easier to follow the word of God with literal precision. It really does dove-tail with Victorian Moralism and temperance movement doctrine.

    You know works sanctification is so much easier to follow than grace. It allows one to inflate their own righteousness and give them power to judge the spiritual lives of others. Put it in a pulpit and it has the absolute power to rule over the lives of others in a totalitarian system envied by dictators worldwide.

    1. Simply reading the Bible cured me of Dispensationalism, but reading Ryrie helped convince me even further, and then the history of Dispensationalism was the final nail in its own coffin for me.

      But I still love to page through Larkin’s beautiful drawings! 😀

  14. Normally, reading the comments is as much or more fun than the actual posts. Today, it’s just making my head hurt. Thanks for being here, Hermit, to set everyone straight. We all appreciate it, and I’m sure you’re gaining many crowns in Heaven for your efforts. 🙄

  15. I’m glad you used this passage from the AV1611. Of course the KJVonlies use this verse to support their “KJVonly stand” however the passage says nothing about a 17th century English/Anglican translation. But note the margin, for v-7 “thou shalt keep them, O Lord” The translators add this note beside them “him, every one of them” So the passage isn’t referring to “words” its actually referring to the people of v-5, I believe!

  16. Hermit,
    Your insisting that we have a very good translation of the Bible shows a lack of understanding of language and the art of translating. As long as the English language is a living language and our words in English change their meanings and our English speaking cultures change over time, there will always be a need to re-visit the translating process. As long as we continue to find more and older manuscripts and copies from the early church, there will always be a need to revisit the translating process. And as long as we are learning more about the cultures in which the Scriptures were written with every archaeological find, we will need to revisit the translating process.
    You stated that those who have translated the Bible after we had a good enough version did so starting from a position that it was untrue is a huge error in your theory. What facts do you have to back that up? In truth, many of the scholars (and yes I do know personally some who have translated the NLT) have taken up the translating the Bible because they do believe the Bible to be true. They believe like Luther and Wycliffe that the truth of the Bible needs to be in the language the people are now actively using rather than some culture’s language which is gone into the past.
    You say you believe in taking the Bible in context and yet you refuse to see the benefits of multiple translations. No one translation captures all the idioms and meanings of the Greek and Hebrew culture.
    You say you believe in taking the Bible in context and yet you choose to use one of the most horrendous hermeneutical theologies–Dispensationalism. The Grace of God is just as evident in the “era of the Law” as it is in the New Testament and Christ’s life. Dispensationalism tears apart the fabric of God’s story into these piece meal dispensations which take the message out of context.
    No one here is saying to not take the Bible serious or change the message to be what we want to hear. Instead the call is to handle the Bible with a lot more reverence and honesty than a literal rendition of the English KJV gives.

      1. I was genuinely surprised in seminary to learn that of all the young men who claimed a ministry of teaching the word that so very few had actually studied language, semantics, syntax, morphology. I once used the word “intension” in a paper and my prof. marked it a spelling error. *facepalm*

        1. I really believe part of the issue is that anti-intellectual attitude that so many have – the idea that you don’t need to study anything ‘secular’ such as language in general or anything outside the Bible and subjects related directly to it. They may study the meanings of Greek and Hebrew words, but they tend to do it piecemeal and by taking words out of context instead of whole verses. That was how I was taught when I began studying them, anyway, and it was only because I had a passion for language and linguistics in general that I moved beyond it and went for more education than people around me thought was necessary. There is a real strong suspicion of educated people, and a real pride in not having one or being self-taught.

        2. I feel for ya, Dr. F. In high school, I used the word “taxonomy” and my teacher corrected it to “taxidermy.”

        3. Kagi,
          That is the Acts 4:13a Doctrine of Fundie Intellectualism. IFB pastors are more revered if they are Acts 4:13a qualified. Ignorance and unlearned is held as higher in value than the last part of that verse.

    1. Dear Leanne:

      For the worde of god is quycke and myghty in operacion and sharper then eny two edged swearde: and entreth through even vnto the dividynge asonder of the soule and the sprete and of the ioyntes and the mary: and iudgeth the thoughtes and the intentes of the herte: [Heb 4:12]

      The interim between Tyndale’s translation [above] and the KJ Bible was easily encompassed within one lifetime. Were there no contemporary translations, one suspects that the KJ translators would say that a new translation is long overdue.

      Christian Socialist

      1. Thank you that is a wonderful point. But I suppose the fundamentalists would still argue with that point saying that the KJ Bible was the inspired perfect English version. And that is the oddness of their logic. I am not sure what their reasoning or need to have one English version other than their deification of the Bible.

        1. Sometimes I think they’ve just painted themselves into a corner & just won’t admit it. So they stand in their little corner and scream at the rest of us that they’re okay – it’s everyone else who’s trapped.

        2. Yes, Daylilly. They insist that it’s the rest of us who are trapped outside of that corner.

  17. We should take the Bible seriously enough to not take it literally, unless we are 10 year olds.

  18. “That was said during Christ’s incarnation on earth. He lived during the dispensation of Law. And it can clearly be seen that he taught the Law on many occasions, rather than the Gospel of faith apart from works.”

    Hilarious. So, what you do is, you EXPLAIN IT AWAY!

    Why don’t you allow others to do the same? Hypocrite.

    1. Right, phil_style, except that the quote from Hermit is inaccurate.
      Jesus did not live and minister under the law. As I posted further down the line, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).

  19. How can we take the following stories literally when they are clearly allegorical:

    1. The Tower of Babel
    2. The sun stopping in the sky (which, if it was inspired by God, why didn’t he tell the writer to say that it was a stopping of the earth’s turning) during a battle.
    3. The story of the “sons of God” coming down and having sex with earth women and giving birth to a race of giants.
    4. The Biblical Flood.
    5. The creation myth.
    6. People living 900+ years.
    7. Etc, etc, etc.

    1. For some, the answer to your question is, by faith. Although, #3 takes something more than faith to swallow!

    2. Hermit is likely a direct descendant of the union described in number 3. This gives him greater insight, wisdom, and perspective than the rest of us. I, for one, am grateful that Hermit stopped by to share his pearls of wisdom and knowledge. I hope he visits us every day. He reminds me why I left fundamentalism.

    3. Not necessarily allegorical. I think some are the result of thinking theologically about (then) commonly accepted historical events and others are myth, which, Hermit, is not the same as allegory and not the same as “not true.”

      The Tower of Babel passage gained new resonance for me when I did a week of Sumerian history with my girls in homeschool and then read the passage again. It now seems like an explanation by then-nomadic herders of why empires fall. The Flood was an accepted part of history as it was then understood, but the Jewish explanation of why it happened was new. That kind of thing.

    4. Dear Friendgill:

      1.)The tower “whose top may reach unto heaven” may refer to a tower that was being constructed for astronomical/astrological observations and for religious purposes.The confounding of the languages is of course a miracle, but then so is the resurrection.

      2.)”And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Luke 23:42 KJV

      If Jesus had allowed the repentant thief to go to hell and had simply thought about him from time to time after He had returned to heaven, or if He had simply decided to remember that thief during His coming kingdom, He could have literally answered the prayer. Fortunately Messiah Jesus understood the cry of the thief’s heart and answered the need.
      It’s possible that Joshua may not have known that the earth travels around the sun instead of the other way around, but then God knew how to answer the request.

      It has also been pointed out that we can comment on the beauty of the “sunrise” or the “sunset” without being thought to be completely ignorant of astronomy.

      3.)It may be that the sons of God were the descendants of Seth and the daughters of men were the descendants of Cain. That would tie in with
      2 Corinthians 6:14 which commands us, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
      To be honest, the idea that the nephilim were the progeny of human women and fallen angels has always struck me as a weird interpetation.

      4.) Literal/historical

      5.) No direct creation, no Adam and Eve. No Adam and Eve, no fall of man. No fall of man, no need for a Savior. No need for a Savior, no vicarious death or resurrection. The premise is theologically problematic.

      6.) Literal

      7.) Can’t even guess

      For what it’s worth,the fact that you have old friends who stuck with you, and that it actually brings them to tears that you no longer believe the Bible is pretty impressive. They show vastly more compassion than far too many Fundamentalists.

      With good will.

      1. I too believe that the creation story, the flood, the long lives of the earliest humans, and the Tower of Babel, as well as the miracles and the resurrection, are all literal.

        1. I don’t think “literal” is a good word. “Literary” is probably better. Not merely because of the structure of the texts, but because all written language is embedded in culturally normal forms and require tribal knowledge to bring the proper intension to the necessarily limited extension. For example, I might say “I had a crappy day.” Which is essentially literal, but I didn’t “literally” have feces in my day. Easy to understand, fairly straightforward, but like pretty much all communication outside of rigorous scientific treatises, not “literal”.

        2. I understand metaphor, synechdoche, hyperbole, and other literary devices. For example, when Jesus said, “I am the Door,” I know He’s not a literal door. When David writes that he flooded his bed with weeping and drenched his couch with tears, that’s obviously poetic exaggeration.

          I just happen to believe that those things did really happen as the Bible describes, that they are not poetic but historic.

        3. Hmm. I must not have communicated clearly. No poetry required (although, to be fair, Genesis one does have the textual hallmarks of being Hebrew poetry, or at least exalted prose narrative). My point is that there is no such thing as “literal” writing outside of a specific style that still only really sees the light of day in academic circles. This has to do with the limits imposed by language, speaker, and audience. This conversation being a good example.

        4. I should have said “figurative language” instead of poetry because of course prose can include figurative language.

          We just disagree about interpreting certain passages in the Bible.

      2. “5.) No direct creation, no Adam and Eve. No Adam and Eve, no fall of man. No fall of man, no need for a Savior. No need for a Savior, no vicarious death or resurrection. The premise is theologically problematic.”

        This oft used formula is not necessary. St. Paul’s use of the one-man, one-man analogy in Romans 5 does not need to be employed as a prescription of historical necsssities.

        1. Haven’t yet heard a satisfactory explanation for a work-around that necessitates the incarnation, the vicarious atonement, and the resurrection, but still manages to bypass Romans 5:12. If you think you have one, it would be interesting to hear what it is.

      3. “5.) No direct creation, no Adam and Eve. No Adam and Eve, no fall of man. No fall of man, no need for a Savior. No need for a Savior, no vicarious death or resurrection. The premise is theologically problematic.”

        This is a logical fallacy in which you insist that one thing has to follow another. But they don’t.

        “No Adam and Eve, no fall of man.” Really? Adam and Eve have to be literal for sin to be readily apparent?

        Paul made the assertion, “I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.”

        He also asserted, “as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; so death passed to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

        He did not say death passed to all men because Adam sinned. Death passed to me because I sinned. Death passed to Paul because Paul sinned.

        Adam and Eve opened their own doors to sin. I opened mine. I don’t need to blame Adam for what was my own doing. Ezekiel has God asserting that the son will not bear the iniquity of the father, but that each person will bear their own iniquity.

        So, are you going to tell me that if I don’t believe in Adam and Eve as literal, I don’t believe I am a sinner? That doesn’t follow. Or if I don’t believe in a six-day creation then I cannot be saved?

        Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, by which you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.

        For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

        You know, I Corinthians 15 says nothing about believing in Adam and Eve. It says nothing about believing a six-day creation. It says nothing about voting Republican. It says nothing about rejecting science.

        Christ died for my sins. And Paul laid a curse on anyone who would add to the Gospel of Christ.

        Okay, so some of you believe in a literal six-day creation. I don’t. I don’t believe in a literal whole-world flood of Noah topping the mountains. I am a mathematician and a scientist. God doesn’t command me to leave my brains at the door. I see evidence in God’s world for a long, long period of time the world has been here. Evidence for evolution is all around you and me.

        If you don’t want to believe anything in science, fine. Go ahead. Use your computers in ignorance and faith. But if you have trusted in Christ, you are saved, right?

        What about me? Do I have to follow all the dictates of your other beliefs to be saved?

        I am sick of people lying about how others have to think because the uber-spiritual, the ones who Know It All and have a Direct Line to God have decided they are the arbiters of faith.

        Maybe you can’t understand how I can still trust Christ as my Savior but believe in evolution. That is because you have been brainwashed by a whole host of con-men, the writers of the Creationist literature you consume.

        And worse, when you add to the gospel your hang-on requirements, you turn away from the Lord people who would trust Him if it weren’t for your insistence of a whole theological package or nothing.

        Christ accepted little children, whose faith has no theology, whose acceptance has no Scripture, and who only understand love reciprocated. Would you condemn them to hell as well?

        If I sound bitter, I am. I am not bitter at Christ, but those people of His who would tell me I can’t come to Him.

        If you use this argument on anyone, you well deserve a millstone around your neck. It is a horrible one. It belies grace.

        Rant over. To those whom I have offended, I offer my apologies. The frustration in my heart overflows because of the creationist lies and crap.

        1. By the way, Ben, I am not ranting at you. I have just heard this mess for so long it sickens me. You said the quote was theologically problematic. It is far worse than problematic. It is awful.

          Have you heard of Kids for Truth? It is an IFB program that has as the core of its theology the premise that if you don’t believe in a literal six-day creation, then you can’t be saved.

        2. You speak for me. I am so, so tired of people telling me I can’t be a Christian if I don’t believe this or that detail of their entire theological construct, when they are things that are nowhere in scripture given as necessary for salvation.

          And even if they think it IS, we are none of us the judge of who is saved or isn’t. That’s God’s problem. I am so tired of the arrogance it takes to do his job for him. Who the hell do you think you are? (Collective general you, not anyone here specifically.)

  20. As a linguist and former foreign language teacher, I can’t begin to express how difficult it is to translate text accurately, even when you have a living contemporary form of that language. When it comes to ancient, dead languages, and the numerous rewrites by men who were anything but scholars in the first three centuries CE, and the less than holy motives that many of them had, and the deceit and murder conducted by those who would decide which texts were to make up the holy writ, it becomes increasingly untenable to make claims of inerrancy and literalism of the Bible.

    1. exactly. I am more and more convinced that the need for inerrancy of Scripture and especially in the English translation is idolatry. Those who would hold to this view have placed the Scripture in the place of God and given all the attributes of God to the Scriptures. And so they have to suspend the logic and art of translation and language in order to keep up their idolatry.

      1. This. This exactly. WHY does Scripture have to have all the attributes of God? They take this as a given. I’m not sure most of the people I grow up with would be able to comprehend that question. There is no sense of distinction between God and Scripture – they are taken as one and the same, in so many ways.

        1. He(Jesus)is The Word speaking from God to us, and to God for us. John the Baptist was ‘the voice’, but Christ The Word; being The Word, he is The Truth, the Amen, the Faithful Witness of the mind of God.–Matthew Henry

          “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father..” John 14:9

          “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30

    2. Dear Friendgill:

      Since linguistic scholars themselves admit how infuriatingly enigmatic that pesky hapax legomenon can be, you’ll surely agree that this is all the more reason why we need the KJV.

      Christian Socialist

      PS: DON’T HIT ME! [Ducks in anticipation of incoming projectiles …].

  21. I’m in total agreement with the hover text….”almost heaven, West Virginia”, Country Roads, John Denver. Haymen! 🙂

  22. Disclaimer – my personal opinion: When it comes down to translations and versions, we can be swept away in the flood of debate without remembering that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. But inspired by what/who? Is not the inspiration the actual Word of God given life, Jesus Christ (John 1)? Christians believe that Christ rose from the dead and is in fact a living, guiding presence among us today. Are we losing sight of Christ because we are too busy debating the mirror that we see Christ refelcted in? We should be aware that our understanding of God’s Word is something we gained when the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost. It wasn’t due to the works and insight of another human as in need of grace as ourselves. More important than any version/ translation is an open relationship with Christ. I personally feel my relationship with Christ guides my understanding and perspective on spiritual doctrine. Study and prayer deepens that understanding and mitigates the biases filtering what I take in.

    1. Well said, LML. We can debate till the cows come home over issues such as this, but what did Christ himself say were the two most important things? Love God and love people.

  23. Dear Mr. or Ms. Hermit,

    Is it possible to be a Christian and not believe in inerrancy?

    Respectfully, BJG

    1. Obviously, people who believe in inerrancy would say “No.” But there are millions who do not believe it that would call themselves Christians.

  24. I was raised and lived most of my adult life until I was about 40 as a fundy who believed in inerrancy, so I get it. Now that I don’t and I tell all of my old friends who still are that I don’t want to be that judgmental bastard that I used to be, they say, “But, you are still being judgmental at us (Fundies). I tell them that the only difference is that I am great with them being where they are at, because I was once there, too. They, however, are not fine with where I find myself. They have many words to describe me, some posted in this thread, like Apostate, heretic, blasphemer, and my favorite, reprobate (doesn’t get worse than this other than to blaspheme against the Holy Ghost). They tell me, sometimes tearfully, that they fear for my soul and that they long for me to believe as they do, so God won’t consign me to his eternal torture chamber, a place I think God neither needs nor wants for any creature created in his image.

    I’m not sure why I am sharing all this.

    1. Nobody has a right to say whether someone is condemned or not. I’m making an extreme example to put perspective on the imagined sins some are willing to level at you Friendgill; if Jesus wasn’t willing to cast a stone at the adulteress caught in the act so why then should we feel it is appropriate to condemn someone? For me, it is more vital to work on having an open daily walk with Christ than to have 7,000 scholars teach me their opinion (bear in mind that study is edifying). After all, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us and Christ made Himself known to us when we were not even looking for Christ. Why would he stop perfecting us after we openly accept Him into our lives?

      1. “Whomever is without sin, cast the first stone.”

        By far my favorite story.

        One problem: It is NOT in the oldest manuscripts.

        It was added three to five hundred years after the fact.

        Do I want this story expunged from the Bible? Lord no! But, simply do not call it inerrant.

        1. Ricardo,

          As far as we know, the original manuscripts penned by Isaiah, John, Paul, et. al. no longer exist. What we have are copies of copies of copies. Have you considered that your favorite Bible story actually was in the original text and that the reason we have an older copy that does not contain this story is because that older copy was not used and therefore didn’t wear out?

    2. I am also glad you did. I have very similar thoughts. Though I got out younger than you, it took me ten years to come back to faith at all. Now, I just wish more people could agree to disagree. Live and let live, everyone is just doing the best they can with what they know.

    3. But if His eternal torture chamber doesn’t exist, the fundies won’t have anything to scare the heathen into saying the sinners prayer™. 😉

    4. Dear Friendgill:

      You shared what you shared because you needed to share.

      And God bless you for it, my friend.

      Christian Socialist

      PS: Had your old friends any valid arguments against your faith, they would use them.

  25. The point of my question to Mr. or Ms. Hermit is this:

    Is faith in Christ + belief in inerrancy the way to become a Christian?

    1. That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is…jk, it depends on what the definition of faith is. That is, by faith in Christ do you mean saying a prayer with a specific formula including certain criteria, do you mean simply a belief that Jesus was the son of God, do you mean having abstract faith that Christ is able to save you, or specifically that he died for your sins, or… :p The list is endless, and how sad is it that faith has become one of our weasel words.

  26. Hermit wrote, “I have never been a member of an IFB church, and have only visited them on two or three occasions. However, I have to think you are misleading me here.”


    Can you imagine someone going on a blog for ex-Catholics and saying, “I’ve never been a Catholic and only been to a mass a couple of times, but you’re wrong when you describe the Catholic church that you actually attended all your life”?

        1. I’m a woman, so I can’t amen you, but I’d wave a hanky if I had one.

          I am wearing pants though, so does that change anything?

    1. PW, I have been questioning Hermit’s logic since I read his first post. It appears to be getting worse as he goes.

      J. Knox

    2. In my time, I’ve heard all of the following:

      Sermons about Catholicism by people who had never been to a Catholic mass or read any books by Catholics about Catholic beliefs.

      Sermons on Judaism by people who didn’t know any Jews and had never visited a Synagogue.

      Sermons about Islam by people who had never visited a Mosque and knew next to nothing about what Muslims believe and do.

      Commentaries on liberals by people who had only the faintest ideas what liberals actually think (and the same for socialists, communists, and other political philosophies).

      Talk about Christianity by people whose knowledge of the subject was based on TV faith healers.

  27. Hermit,

    I’ve been reading your inane ramblings throughout this thread, and seen your equally baffling responses from those who are trying to correct you. And believe me, you are far in the wrong here.

    For one thing, you are completely ignoring the point of the main post. Anyone who has been reading Darrell’s posts for any length of time know that he is far from anti-Biblical.

    The whole point of Stuff Fundies Like is to highlight the leaders and people who have taken the Bible and twisted it to control others in a pattern of legalism. The main offender in this category is the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, which is the church Darrell grew up in and thus the focus of this blog. I, myself, spent most of my formative years under this church system and can vouch as to the accuracy of his criticisms. I have been personally, emotionally, and financially hurt and ruined due to the actions of dictatorial IFB pastors, and am using this website as a safe haven to vent and mock the evildoers while finding my own healing. For my part, I am still a Christian, I believe in the Bible, and am in a much healthier church situation which focuses on service and growth in a real way that doesn’t major on minor preferences.

    I do not believe it is wrong to use satire and poke fun at false teachers. Jesus himself did it to the Pharisees while they were both practicing Judaism. Jesus didn’t merely have cultural and philosophical differences with the Pharisees, he called them out for creating an oppressive and controlling religious culture with their rules that no already-sinful man could hope to attain, but were conveniently close to their personal preferences. Jesus didn’t pull punches in talking with these men. He called them hypocrites, whitened tombs, and snakes among other things. Darrell and others on this blog do the same. Granted, some have moved on past Christianity, but not all. They have the freedom to state their mind the same as anyone else. When leaving an oppressive environment, it is refreshing to be able to speak your mind and live your own journey no matter which road it takes. I don’t agree with everyone here, and believe me not everyone here agrees with me. But unlike the system that squashed our personalities to create clones, we coexist with each other due to a shared experience. And we are generally good at doing so peacefully without being threatened by an opposing viewpoint. You know, like in normal society.

    So, getting back to your ham-fisted attempt at discourse. You may have had something useful to bring to the table, except for one thing. YOU BLOODY MISSED THE POINT. The entire post that Darrell wrote is written from a satirical point of view from the Fundamentalist perspective with the intention of highlighting how stupid it is that Fundamentalists, who are largely KJV-Only, are able to twist the words of a Bible they barely understand to say things that it doesn’t even address. (A good example of this exact thing happening is here: http://www.recoveringgrace.org/2013/10/rocky-arguments-and-the-double-standard/#more) The opening paragraph to this piece highlights the folly of using a 400-year-old translation of the Bible, namely the KJV, to argue such precious fundamentalist positions as limiting choices in musical genres, avoiding women wearing pants, and adhering to strict cultural norms of a bygone era in the interest of “abstaining from the appearance of evil.” Those of us who have grown up in this system remember being shamed from going to the movie theaters, watching girls trip along fields in full dresses trying to play sports in the name of modesty, and burning our “worldly” music simply because it was popular know immediately what Darrell is referencing. Maybe you’re unaware of this culture, seeing as how you openly admit to never actually attending an IFB church regularly. Even if you were, have you no sense of satire? Are you twelve, sir? Have you never read anything more complex than a child’s storybook? Have you ever read the great satirical works or parodies that highlighted social injustice? Do you know of the nuances of Animal Farm, A Modest Proposal, and the like? Are you so blind and stupid that you cannot see what is being presented here? Or are you just like every other knee-jerk fundamentalist and resist the message by how it is presented? Do you honestly see this clear satire as an attack on the Bible, and not the ones who misuse it? Would you have argued that Jesus’ irreverant characterizations of the Pharisees was an attack on the Mosaic Law?

    That’s not even my main issue with you, though. Bear with me.

    More egregious than anything is your blatant attack on those who have been hurt by this man-centered cult of fundamentalism. You have mocked real and actual victims’ pain when you said:

    “Oh, I forgot one:
    • we’re victims, so we can say whatever we like, because we’re hurting so much.”

    You egregious ass.

    Just because you don’t see the hurt and the pain that many here have gone through gives you NO RIGHT to belittle it and characterize it in this way. I know many on this site. Many have gone through loss of family, health, money, and friendship through either the IFB church or the leaving process. Some have even suffered abuse of a physical and sexual nature and been told to keep it quiet in the interest of further fattening the pigs that hold their congregations ransom for money and power. If you actually got to know any of these people here, you’d understand exactly what being hurt by false teaching means. If you could get down off your egotistical throne long enough to have empathy with your fellow man, you’d hear the voices of those who are hurt. If you could listen to that family member you referenced earlier and truly value him/her above your own self-righteous delusions, you’d understand that the pain these people have experienced is no mocking matter. Have you no shame?

    Take away the fact that these are victims for a moment. Do they have the right to say whatever they want? Of course they do! As human beings, we have the inherent right to our speech, opinions, and values. We have to use that right responsibly, to be sure, but expressing our beliefs is something that we should take full ownership and responsibility for. In fact, I will go so far as to say that you have the right to your small-minded, ill-informed, childish opinions as well. You had better accept the responsibility to own them when you are called on your inaccuracy, however. Otherwise, kindly sit down and listen while adults are talking. If you deign to instruct those who have been hurt by a system that, by your OWN admission, you know little about, be prepared to be made to look like the fool you are.

    In summary, your conduct here has been irrational, your conclusion of this piece is biased and ill-informed, and your treatment of those who are hurt is inexcusable. Do not expect to find a welcome here while you continue to act in these ways.

    Or, actually sit down and try to understand our voice for once. We’ve all heard the voice of fundamentalism for too long. Now, it’s our turn. You may actually learn something.

    1. Dovahkin,
      Well written! Not only do I agree with what you say, but I also deeply admire the way you said it. Beautifully done.

    2. A summation worthy of Atticus. Thank you.
      And Hermit, remember… “The devile, that prowde spirit cannot endure to be mocked”. (St. Thomas Moore) so… Stop killing the mockingbirds.

  28. Ok, I know that formal logic and classic rhetoric are not common studies these days, but I just wanted to point out a logic error to those in this group who enjoy thinking. To say “Christianity unmoored from the Bible lets Christianity become whatever we want” is a classic logic fallacy. Although the premise may be true (and I happen to think that it is), it does not follow that Christianity moored to the Bible won’t let Christianity become whatever it wants (as church history so vividly colors for us). Logic is your friend. 😎

    1. There are in the United States alone 25000 denominations, sects, splinters, IFs and others all claiming to follow the Bible, all believing that *they* have “THE TRUTH” and nearly all believing that believers who are not “them” have it wrong and might be on the way to hell.

      Some of them even rejoice in the idea that others are going to hell!

      Now then, if God has made His Word so open and easily understood, then how come? How can good men, at one time rejoicing in the Lord together, find themselves at odds on interpretation of a passage, break fellowship and later consign each other to the pit? And it has happened and it still happens.

      It seems, then, that “just following the Bible” doesn’t cut it. In the end, those who “just follow the Bible” usually end up using the Bible to justify their own sins, prejudices, and ignorance.

  29. I vividly remember, that was my dad’s mantra. As if no other religion claimed to follow the Bible. As if the Fundies are unique in their claim to have found the truthTM. He just looked at me like I was jumping off a life boat “But we follow the Bible!”

  30. Is the Bible the inerrant word of God without mistake? Or is it a collection of stories, myths, allegory, history, poetry, and laws from another time?
    Can it’s beauty draw us in and change us? Yes, if we understand that it is not word for word inerrant.
    This is a book that had many human hands as the author. Many of the books are written from unique perspectives.
    Just a simple look at the two creation accounts as well as the “sun stopping in the sky” so that more Amelkites could be killed in battle are points that can not be refuted. The people of this age viewed the world as flat, and in their model-the world was covered with a dome. The dome was heaven. Under the world were the waters of the deep.
    Obviously, these things are not true.
    We can however realize that these people were trying to understand God. We can continue to try to understand God.
    I threw out Biblical inerrancy some time ago, but still revere the words and many parts of it give me great comfort. The Bible contains God’s message to us, as understood by human hands and minds…

    1. To which I would only add that values of “true” or “not true” presume an empirical-rational epistemology which, it is fairly certain, was not at all how ANE people’s thought. In fact, I have read studies demonstrating almost the exact opposite. They had what we today might call an “eastern” view of the world, where what we see and experience are illusions that mask, rather than reveal, the truth.

  31. I have enjoyed reading all the posts on this one!
    I am commenting on my cell phone, and I haven’t figured out how to comment on individual comments, so I’m just commenting in general.

    Several on here have started that some of Jesus’ teachings were not binding because He lived during the “age of the law” or whatever. May I remind you all that, though Jesus was born under the law, He did not start preaching until after John the forerunner (Baptist, baptizer, etc…) came on the scene. Jesus Himself said, “The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God (or heaven) is packed and every man presseth into it.” Jesus words were intended for His followers to practice not some narrow group of people that have never existed and will not exist except during the Millennial Reign….
    Jesus’ teachings demonstrated the hypocrisy of the pharisees attempts to attain righteousness through the letter of the law. All they could do was create an outward type of purity that completely fell short of true holiness. They conveniently ignored the parts if the law that condemned them and gloried in the parts that they were experts at performing. When Jesus came along and said, sure you shouldn’t have physical sexual relationships with anyone other than your spouse, but doing it in the privacy of your mind is also a sin (committing adultery in your heart), He enraged them, because they were surely footy of the sins of the heart. When He said, sure it’s wrong to murder that Roman citizen who made you carry his load for a mile, but it’s just as wrong to hate him…and as a matter of fact you MUST love him and even offer to carry his load an extra mile, the pharisees were ready to kill Him. He had exposed them for what they were before He even called them “whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones!”
    I an nearing 30

    1. Well, yeah. But there aren’t many serious theologians who would ever presume that Jesus’ teachings are not both relevant and binding on our current age. I don’t really take comments like that seriously.

      1. My point exactly. I grew up hearing a few ultra dispensationalists (usually ruckmanites), who would divide the scriptures up into things that applied and things that did not apply. I had a Scofield Bible, too. Many of these types also divided up history into dispensations that were different ways of salvation! I never could swallow that whole line, because the way of salvation has always been by grace through faith. A careful, open minded reading of Romans and Galatians teaches us that. The problem with Abraham’s children (after the flesh) was that they sought righteousness through the law instead of faith. There has only ever been one way of salvation… the Lamb of God slain BEFORE the foundation of the earth… God’s Son, Jesus Christ!

  32. I am nearing 40 and have been in all sorts if Baptist churches since birth (ifb, bbfi, aba (Texarkana), plain old unaffiliated independent Baptist, sbc, and I even pastored an independent Baptist sovereign grace (aka hyper calvinist) church).
    As a young Christian, I identified with the ifb movement (if the 70’s & 80’s). When I graduated from my ifb/bbf Christian school, I went headlong into a life of sin. A well-known ifb evangelist was a good samaritan to me, and God used him to help deliver me from my bondage. After traveling with him and singing for a short time, I settled in a local church to help with the youth and attend its “Bible Institute”. All I had was my guitar, some clothes, a mattress and box springs, and my Bible. With loads of free time on my hands, I began reading the scriptures my interest became so overwhelming that I couldn’t get enough … I would stay up until 2 in the morning because I couldn’t put the Bible down!
    As I read and read and read, I began realizing that some if what I had been told was in God’s word, in fact, wasn’t. I also discovered tons of things that had been conveniently sidestepped to build ifb practices.
    I will shorten it to say this…I have remained on the fringes (hopefully more balanced) if ifbdom, hoping to be a balancing influence in the lives if ifb preachers (especially when the light clicks on for them…helping then not to abandon faith entirely).
    I have never subscribed to the hac mentality; I have always despised pcc (my brother was shipped the week before finals in 1992); an deeply disturbed by fairhaven; i have never trusted bju; etc…, but I have known and befriended scores if graduates from all the fundamental Baptist colleges, and tried to show them a better way.
    I hate what ifb legalism has done to the glorious gospel of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Thanks, Darrell, for this website. I appreciate and use sarcasm, satire, and irony every chance I get. I love it!

  33. Looks like I missed the party.

    In fairness to Hermit, it’s possible that someone who merely looked at the picture above the post and read only the first paragraph could come to the conclusion that the writer’s intention was to minimize the importance of the Bible. Maybe it’s also possible that he read the following paragraphs but somehow missed the obvious satire. He also made at least one good point about the impossibility of obtaining a knowledge of Christ apart from His word. Even the childrens’ song is correct when it says, “Jesus loves me this I know, For the Bible tells me so…”

    What he seemed to fail to understand; however, is that many on this site who believe the scriptures are authoritative and inspired are nevertheless horrified when preachers exalt American church culture, tradition, and their own personal opinions to the level of, “Thus saith the LORD!” He also seems to miss the fact (that should be obvious even to someone visiting SFL for the first time)that the folks here are a very diverse crowd. There are people who know and love the Lord, and those who don’t even claim to be Christian. The one constant for most of us here is that we have been harmed to one degree or another, not by Christianity, but by what all too often was a toxic counterfeit.

    In responding to his bewilderment as to why such a site as this exists, there’s something to be said about being able to relate our personal experiences without being called bitter or told that we “shouldn’t tell stories like that [because] it makes ‘Christianity’ look bad.” There’s also something liberating in being able to communicate with people who can to some degree understand where we’re coming from. On a final note, and to borrow from the book of Jeremiah, this site is not intended for Hermit (or those like him) because, by his own admission, he has never sat where we sat.

  34. Those who are familiar with the satirical “newspaper” “The Onion” may recall a study in which it was scientifically proven that, “No! it’s not okay to just walk up to people you don’t know and start talking to them!” This is probably a bad idea in the electronic realm as well.
    With that said and in spite of the questionable wisdom of doing so, I’ll wrap up the comments I started on the “Fundy U” page.

    There was a week in the military, when after subtracting the time it took us to eat and get to and from our jobs, we may have worked as much as about 128 hours. When I was in my late forties,a situation developed that forced me to be awake for maybe 55 hours straight. I have also worked (shore-based) in the Alaskan fishing industry.

    The reason for mentioning these things is that I have never been as tired as I was while a student at Hyles-Anderson College. There was a time I had the the window open and was literally slapping myself to stay awake- while driving a bus with passengers. On another occasion, while working on a loading dock, it took conscious effort to say a single one syllable word. To be honest I’m not sure how much of the fatigue was due to emotional stress.

    The sad thing is that it was possible for students (particularly male students– who were supposed to be Baptist supermen)to pound their bodies while getting a very sub-standard academic education.
    The following is my biased and rather sarcastic view of priorities in the HAC culture:

    1.) ministry/work/church/religious stuff/etc.
    2.) dating/”courting”
    5.)book learnin’

    Anyway, in addition to the search and rescue possibilities that might be afforded while working at a fire department, the medical aspect e.g. working as a paramedic, was very appealing. In fact there was a time at HAC when I considered leaving in order to try to prepare myself to get into medical school. Ultimately, I was afraid that if I left I might fail to reach at least one person with the gospel who might otherwise have been saved and would thus be undirectly responsible for someone spending a Christless eternity. It never occured to me at the time that maybe I could have been of greater use to God, my fellow man, and also myself by leaving. And so I stayed at an institution of which I had never been proud and continued training for a job I never wanted.

    Thus concludes this navel gazing personal story.

    1. I’ve often wondered how much we’re supposed to work, either at our jobs, or at church. My main thought is that God designed us to need sleep, rest and time away. I had a teacher tell me once that her husband only got like five hours of sleep tonight. She seemed proud of it. I’d be a mess if that was all I slept.

      1. Them idol-worshippin’ Cathlicks assigned eight hours for sleep to monks who were also expected to work and pray constantly. But for eight hours, they slept.

        1. What would be funny if it weren’t so serious is how the extreme fundamentalists will preach against and mock “them idol-worshippin’ Cathlicks” while themselves mimicking the very worst aspects of Catholicism.

  35. I know! Why do people hold up the “I only need 5 hours of sleep” thing like it’s some sort of thing to be proud of? I too would be a mess. Brain would not work properly. My brain doesn’t always work right on 8 hours of sleep lol!

    You are so right, Robot Gypsy, we need rest.

    1. Dear Bean:

      You may have something here. Perhaps too many of Fundamentalism’s best and brightest act stupid because they are tired from staying up all night devising new ways to be stupid.

      Christian Socialist

  36. Hermit, you are a true believer among many who have lost their way. Reading your comments has refreshed my spirit, brother, as you tirelessly and boldly type sentences for Christ. Thank you for being willing to suffer reading responses to your comments that disagree with your comments. Jesus sees that suffering and will not only pile the blessings on you one glorious day, but will also take it out of these malcontents.

  37. People who quote the bible to me usually just make me wonder where they learned so much hatred. I have read the bible, both old and new testaments, numerous times, usually with different church groups. Each group interpreted the words with their own meanings to enforce their own ideas and ideals. I have come to my own conclusions. When “Christians” try to quote old testament scripture I just shake my head. They are using Judaic doctrine to try and enforce a Christian doctrine. It just doesn’t work. Christianity should be based solely on the New testament.

    1. Marcion thought this too, 1900 years ago. But it’s a problematic approach. After all, the New Testament itself seems pretty keen to employ O.T. texts…

      Fortunately, since Marcion, we’ve realised that there is much to treasure in ancient judaic (pre-christian, if you will) religious texts.

    2. “They are using Judaic doctrine to try and enforce a Christian doctrine. It just doesn’t work.”

      Yea, Christ fulfilled the law, all of it. It no longer applies and should not be used as proof texting for legalism in a New Testament age.

      The law of Christ applies and looks nothing like Judaism.

  38. Ummmn, just a thought, th bible sez He will write His teachings upon our hearts…That we will be given a heart of flesh instead of stone…The bible is about Wisdom. Wisdom is the Way…jesus never walked the Way anyone ever wanted Him too…He actually, only condemned the religious leaders of His day…Jesus was a Jew, therefore, the Way to Him was the teachings of Wisdom. One of His names is wisdom. The word became flesh…and dwelled among us…the vey point of wisdom is inclusiveness, not division…Love one another as I have loved U. do unto others as U would have them do unto U…We are all in this Life together…all1 jesus never said anything about how people should dress, what they should eat, although, he was a practicing Jew, so no pork…:) He did say something about divorce though, “neither do I judge U, for adultery…He never stoned anyone, the called Him a drunk and a glutton, and, women, women were His companions…Most of his disciples ditched Him…So, judge not unless U want to be judged by the very same things U are judging others…It is all so simple, why do we make it all so complicated?

  39. Why did god make Shakespeare a better writer then himself? Even in my bible believing days I found large chunks of the bible to be boring. They so called heroes of the Old Testament were war criminals and despots. Jesus was a racist and Paul was a mass murder who hijacked the religion of his victims.
    When I read the bible through for the first time, I found whole passages that were never mentioned in church (the women who liked men with the naughty bits like a horse)
    It seems that many Christians view the Bible as a paper god and a talisman. After the Haitian earthquake, there were Christians who first instinct was to send Bibles, instead of tents or food, as if the Bible were printed Prozac.
    I long for the day with people will stop quoting their man made holy books.

  40. Hermit can offer no reasonable nor even relatively consistent metaphysical distinction between the bible and God. Which means that man must need to somehow conform his fallible existence to the absolute and perfect and infinite Bible. Which is by definition impossible. Which makes the bible as far as man is concerned nothing more than a tool to bludgeon people to death with. If the bible is absolute truth, man can only offer a perpetual affront to its purity.

    Start buying stock in stakes and lighter fluid! Hermit’s a-coming with a “truth” that will set ya free!!!

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