I HAVE BEEN HOUNDED IN MY HEAD FOR A MONTH.
It’s about a question someone begged me to answer.
“I’m begging to have questions [answered] about some of Paul’s attitudes.”
Others beg to know why the God of the Old Testament would order Israelites to commit genocide on the people living there—as if the God who never changes would do the same today.
Some Christians say they don’t believe God did any such thing. And they say Paul got a few things wrong:
- His diminished role of women.
- Acceptance of slavery.
- Ban on homosexuality.
My point, in one sentence
I’m going to release a video this Thursday morning that has one main purpose:
“I want to say something to those Christians who are beginning to doubt their faith because they don’t think the Bible they hold in their hands is entirely accurate.”
YouTube will premiere the video Thursday at 11 a.m. Central Time: When the Bible doesn’t seem reliable anymore. I’ll release it on ad-free Vimeo shortly afterward
This isn’t a debate
I’m not going to talk about how to interpret the Bible…as in “it’s never wrong” or “the guy who wrote Numbers needed an abacus.”
I’m not taking a position on whether there are mistakes in the Bible that have been there all along, with occasional bad advice, and some fictional history.
But I am going to presume there are Christians who think so—and who are struggling to find a place to drop anchor for their faith.
Old-school Christians welcome?
I’m tempted to think that old-school Christians should skip the video. It would save me having to answer some hostile comments, I suspect.
Yet on second thought, I believe some veteran Christians might be inclined to start thinking about why some intelligent Christians read the Bible so differently.
The two groups have something to learn from each other, I suspect. If they can stand to listen to each other.
There’s not a lot of that going around now. We’ve been vaccinated against other points of view.
Yet, who knows?
The question has been asked, and begged for.
This video is part of the answer, at least for me. It’s one piece of the puzzle, as I see it. The rest of you can add your pieces to the puzzle…your answers to the question.
I’m really looking forward to this, Steve!
Like you, I believe the Bible is an invaluable tool for Christian believers. But I also think it’s purpose is often misinterpreted and misused.
I’ll be interested to see how you articulate this.
Stephen M. Miller
i tried to be as honest and truthful as I could be. So, this may rattle some folks. But i don’t think it’s possible to answer the question directly without causing a stir.
Ministers I’ve heard addressing this use vague terms that seem intent on masking what they really believe.
For example, one pastor in dismissing Paul’s teaching against homosexuality said Paul was talking about homosexuality in idol worship rituals. Well, it certainly wasn’t limited to that. Paul was addressing it in the same way his Bible did, in Leviticus. Which is: don’t be doing that thing. “If you’re a man, don’t have sex with another man. It’s disgusting” (Leviticus 18:22).
I talked with a pastor about that Sunday and essentially said, “You’re trying to make this palatable for tradition-minded people.”
It’s a case of “I’m not ready to tell you what I really think. And you’re not ready to hear it.”
Well, I’m not going to tell people what I think, either. But I’m going to say that directly. But I’m going to tell them in plain English why some Christians doubt some statements in the Bible.
Interpretations will vary. And I’ll report on some of the differences.
But there’s one important point that I never hear anyone talk about when it comes to what we’re to make of the Bible and it’s hard-to-swallow quotes and stories. So I’m using this video to say it out loud.
Take care, Steve.
I’m looking forward to this. I think Paul’s observation about Christian Liberty he tackles in 1 Corinthians about food sacrificed to idols has a parallel about attitudes concerning the COVID vaccine and Christians who put their welfare above themselves instead of thinking of their fellow believers. When I hear the bile coming from conservative social media and some fundamentalist churches — maybe they should see the parallel.
Stephen M. Miller
It’s hard for people to find wisdom and truth if they’re not looking for it.
Hopefully, somewhere along they journey some of the will trip over some of it and say, “Oh, my!”
I just had a lady say that she now questions after we have been studying the origin of the New and Old testament in a history of the Bible. Billy Graham struggled with the question of believing the Bible. He finally went up to a conference center in California and finally told God he would believe it was divinely inspired. Right after that, he preached in a tent in Los Angeles and hundreds of people came to know the Lord. That is why he always said, “The Bible says… We may not understand all that is written, but there is the part we do understand and can follow.
Stephen M. Miller
Way to go, Billy. There are a lot of hard questions in the Bible. And I imagine God doesn’t like some of the Bible quotes attributed to him. But I believe the Spirit of God inside of us (thanks to Jesus) can help us recognize God.