So I wanted to talk a little about the Bible. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh come on Cole, the Bible is boring. It’s just a lame old book full of rules - “
I’m gonna stop you right there. (And yes I did just interrupt you in a hypothetical, set-up comment. Deal with it.) The belief that the Bible is a rulebook has been one of the most dangerous thoughts throughout all of history. People have used it as a measuring tool to test the righteousness of other people and then punish them when they don’t fulfill the user’s expectations.
But any intelligent person who has actually READ the Bible will know it’s not that.
The Bible is more of a story. And I know what you’re thinking, “Pfft Cole you just said you believe in something that is just a fictitious piece of work used for entertainment.” No, I didn’t say that. Stop it with the ignorant hypotheticals, Mr. Reader.
It’s a story, but it’s history. Whoa. HIS story, history (there’s another Christian cliché you can use). But seriously. It’s a story about God’s interactions with humans throughout history. More importantly though, it’s about one interaction where God came to earth as Jesus. Of course, I know that you’ve heard that a hundred thousand times whether you’re Christian or not, but it has some pretty serious implications if it’s true.
I think that’s one of the biggest problems with people who may not agree with Christianity, or the Bible. It’s because they’ve never read the Bible. “But Cole, I went to Sunday school when I was 6 years old so I know exactly what’s in the Bible. There’s Goliath, a giant fish, and a bunch of flannel graphs.” And when I was 6 years old, I was pretty sure eating what came from my nose was a good idea, but I had to revisit that belief once I got older. So maybe try and revisit yours.
Not knowing what the Bible is (or says) is a problem because it allows a person to misrepresent the idea in their head. Even worse than that, in this case, people decide what Christianity is based on Christians. Please please PLEASE! Don’t do that! That’s basically the worst possible idea ever. Especially if you’re using me. Figure it out for yourself.
So when you’re thinking that Christianity is just a bunch of people who listen to a bunch of rules that were written down a couple thousand years ago, please pull your finger out of your nose and try again. That’s honestly the direct opposite of what Christianity is. I say that because the guy who the belief system is based off of (i.e. Jesus) was constantly fighting with the people who were following, and administering, the rules.
But, of course, you wouldn’t know that if you’ve never actually read the Bible.
Once somebody has the idea in their head that the Bible is just a bunch of rules, the second that person sees “slavery” in the Bible, they immediately jump to the conclusion that “Christianity endorses slavery! Rah Rah, look at these terrible hypocrites!” Similarly, that’s why I think there’s such a ridiculous tension between Christianity and the secular world on the topic of homosexuality. Most people on BOTH sides don’t really know what the Bible says, so they fight this ridiculous, waste-of-time battle that will literally get us nowhere. But that’s a topic for another day.
To be totally honest, I think the issue lies in the fact that nobody really realizes the importance of the fact that there MAY VERY WELL BE A GOD. And if you go through your life refusing to deal with that issue and REALLY figure it out for yourself, I can’t say it’s an intelligent decision. People are just okay with basing their “facts” of a set of beliefs on a person who is supposed to be representing them, rather than the actual source of the beliefs. That’s like deciding post-secondary education is a bad idea because somebody dropped out (or at least did a horrendous job while they were there). “Ahh well, I’ll just figure out another way to become a doctor.” No, if post-secondary education is what you want/need but you throw it away because of some weirdo who marches around picketing soldiers’ funerals (ahem, oops, sorry I think I’m mixing up analogies), I don’t really feel that bad for you.
This isn’t an issue of some opinionated “Christian” trying to tell all of his Facebook friends that they need to become Christians too. This is a challenge being extended to everyone to strive for a wider perspective. Don’t let yourself get caught up in your bubble. It happens to all of us because it’s comfortable, but it’s not what’s going to take us to a place of peace. Unless you can say verbatim what another person believes - and they can agree with what you’ve said - then you really don’t understand the issue at hand at all.