This was published on my previous blog, Paradox Sisters, on 5/16/2015.
At least that’s what Beth Green tells me…
In an article for Huffington Post, Beth Green wrote about how wrong we are in interpreting the Bible and other sacred texts (Read the article HERE).
First, let me give you some background on the lady: “Beth is working tirelessly to help wake us up to reality through her teachings”. This is from her website. The description goes on, “Beth believes that we need spirituality more than ever, but spirituality is not a set of dogmas and beliefs, scriptures and prejudices.”
Let that speak for itself… Now, bear with me.
To a certain extent, I give it to her: We are experts in misinterpreting sacred texts. That’s why we have so many branches of religions today.
But I find her reasons for reanalyzing our look at sacred texts (what she called “comments about religious texts”) a bit unsettling.
1. “Even if you believe that God is the author of the ‘holy’ books, that doesn’t mean that the channels through which God spoke had perfect powers of reception.” True statement. I actually have no problem with this. The ten commandments were written by God’s own hands, but as far as I know, everything else in the Bible was written through God’s servants – those who were inspired by Him.
As a Christian myself, I do believe that the Bible was written with God’s words. But that’s not the point here… So I’ll leave it up to you to dwell on her statement.
But do keep reading!
2. “If there is a God, he/she is not necessarily unchanging and immutable.” BIG WHOA. If God is not unchanging, then do we really know who He is? This is the entire basis of Christianity (and I believe any other belief system): that God was, is, and always will be that same guidance that we seek in religion.
Christianity teaches that God loves you. Now, if God was “mutable,” how sure are you of His love? How sure are you that He still cares about this Earth? If God was changeable, I don’t think He would put up with our race for thousands of years… Seriously, we go to war over which part of the square we can call ours. We’re like toddlers.
Beth, your audience here is the population that still believes in sacred texts. You are calling them to re-evaluate their interpretations. If they believe in sacred texts, they believe in God. Your second comment here goes right over the top of their heads. God is not changeable. If He was, He would be one of us. And if He was one of us, He wouldn’t be God.
3. “Even if God doesn’t change fundamentally, can’t God change his/her mind?” No. That would also make Him like us. And it would also make any sacred scriptures invalid because – well, God changed His mind about that law! I guess you can forget “love thy neighbor”! Just love the neighbor that you like most. That’ll do. God’s become a minimalist too, because that’s the new trend. (Sorry, I can’t help my sarcasm…)
“On top of books and documents, we can use tradition, public opinion, majority rule, ‘everybody knows’ and collective perpetuated prejudice to legitimize beliefs and behaviors, no matter how negative the consequences of these beliefs and behaviors. Yet we know, all these change in time as well.”
Yes, trends, morals, and society change. Just take a look at history! That’s exactly why we should not allow popular belief to shape our principles. That’s what a belief system is: a set of principles that should apply to any point in time for the good of the people.
At the same time, I understand she’s expressing the idea that traditions shape our beliefs and that sometimes we just believe what we believe because we’ve been brought up that way, or because society has taught us to look at it this way. I think this is dangerous as well.
On this point, we are on the same page. If you don’t understand why you’ve acquired those beliefs, then you should search for an answer.
So, Beth, I agree with you. We should read our sacred texts and analyze them according to time period and how it should apply to our lives. Not everything is literal. There are chapters and chapters in the Bible that are symbolic! There is no way we can understand God and His laws/principles/advices if we don’t analyze it for ourselves.
But no, Beth, God doesn’t change and neither does He change His mind – and you’re lucky about that. For that reason you still have a chance to see heaven.
Thanks for bearing with me. Let me know what you think of mine and Green’s ideas! I’d love to get different views on this.