WELL MONDAY’S BLOG punched a button.
Not the button I expected.
Monday’s blog was Why do some Christians doubt Bible history? I gave some of the reasons some Christian say they doubt the accuracy of Bible stories that others read as history.
I expected to hear from Christians who say they read the Bible literally.
There are plenty of those Christians who tag the Bible “inerrant” and insist that it’s as historically accurate as my memory of yesterday’s lunch: leftover Minsky’s Pizza. (Product-placement ad space available.)
“Bible history is accurate”—that’s the button I expected folks to punch.
Folks punched the other button.
It’s as though Christians weary of science-slamming literalists have had it up to here. (I’m holding my hand up to my nose, like I’m saluting Cyrano de Bergerac.)
Here’s what a few folks said at reddit, a social media site known for punching buttons with a pile driver. Not a site for timid souls.
- Kids thinking for themselves. “I have watched this with students. People tell them that the Bible must be entirely literal history, they hit college and bam. No more church, no more Jesus. Sigh.”
- Kids telling the pastor what to think. “I remember in middle school around Christmas the youth pastor said Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus wasn’t historically correct and wasn’t meant to be taken literally. The ruckus a bunch of teenage fundamentalists can make is unbelievable.”
- Petty. “Plenty of Christians read the Bible as a non-literal book and still accept Jesus as their savior. Why diminish the religion so greatly over such petty issues?”
- Let science explain the how. “The point of religion isn’t and shouldn’t be to explain the facts of life. Religion is supposed to explain the ‘why?’ and the ‘so what?’ of life. Why did something happen and so what are we supposed to do now? Science will explain the how. If you try and take the Bible and use it to explain the ‘how,’ you’re gonna have a bad time.
- Intellectual honesty is a good thing. “Rejecting all the evidence we have in favor of dogma [religious teachings] just isn’t an option for most people these days. If they see the Bible contradict history, science, and reliable observations, and you tell them there is no other way to read the Bible, then they are going to start tossing the Bible away. Call them fake Christians if you’d like [those who doubt Bible history]. I’ll call them humans with intellectual honesty.”
I thought those were surprisingly gracious comments, coming from reddit.
I’ll spare you the others, coming from reddit’s squirmy souls who seem desperately in need of prescription ointment.
Note to self: When reading reddit, keep in mind this Bible verse, which is not a matter of historical discrepancy as far as I know: “Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you….and do your best to live at peace with everyone,” (Romans 12:14, 18).
The trick here is to turn those Bible words into my personal history.
God help me because sometimes I want to tell people where they should put their ointment.