Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

For the Bible Tells Me So

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In the height of my biblical fanaticism there wasn’t much that could deter me.  Some may call that worshiping the Bible instead of God.  Call it what you will, but I was convinced that the words in that book were the very words of God.  I never heard him audibly.  I didn’t walk with Jesus in the flesh.  But, oh, those precious words of the Bible.  So next to being able to hear him tell me exactly what I should be doing, exactly what it took to be his child, the Bible was it.  Infallible.  Inerrant.  Uncompromising.

If I had a problem the first place I turned was to prayer and the Bible*.  They went hand-in-hand. I prayed for wisdom and discernment.  Wisdom to rightly divide the words of God and discernment to know which ones to apply to my situation.  But it was more than that.  Every word, every story, every book was historically and scientifically accurate.  God created the world in six literal days.  Noah built an ark and saved the animals and humanity when it flooded. Abraham and Sarah bore Isaac even at a ripe old age.  Joshua brought down the walls of Jericho. David slayed the giant, Goliath, with a slingshot and a stone.  Every word of it truth.

Jesus was born of a virgin, turn water into wine, and walked on water.  He was the way, the truth, and the life. The only way.  He was the Great I Am, divider of sheep and goats, separating the wheat from the chaff.

So the me that I was didn’t question.  Other people did and I was always so dismissive. It was easy to be.  The Bible was truth so I didn’t have to think.

Questions people, even (gasp!)other so-called Christians, would ask:

Why are we here?

God created us to be in a relationship with him. He doesn’t need us, he want’s us.  He chose us.  The Bible says so.

How  did we get here?  Didn’t we evolve?

No.  God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into his nostrils. He made woman from the rib of the man’s side.  The Bible says so.

The global flood is just a story, right? 

Certainly there was a flood.  Forty days and forty nights.  The Bible says so.

What about Jesus?  Really, born of a virgin?

Absolutely.  The Bible says so.

And hell?  Only those who believe in Jesus are going to heaven?  Surely there are other ways to reach heaven.

Are you kidding?!?  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the father except by him.  If you don’t believe in Jesus you will go to hell.  The Bible says so.

So what of those who have grown up indoctrinated in other religions? 

If you’ve heard the gospel and rejected it you’ll go to hell. The Bible says so.

What if someone has never heard the gospel?

The Bible says man is without excuse.  His glory is all around us.

Isn’t that kind of harsh?

It may seem that way, but we’ve all had the opportunity to accept or reject God.  It’s our choice.  We choose heaven or hell.  God isn’t being harsh.  He’s explained his plan and we get to be part of it.  The Bible says so.

Isn’t God kind of mean?

God is love.  The Bible says so.

Sending people to hell is love?

He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell.  He wants everyone to choose Jesus, to choose life.  He is a God of love and a God of wrath.  He is just.  The Bible says so.

Hell is just?

If God says it is just it is just.  You may not like His justice but he created the universe and us and deals with us the way he chooses.  He is God and we are not. The Bible says so.

Jesus loves me.  For the Bible tells me so.

*Edit:  That’s not entirely true.  Prayer and the Bible were the first place I turned for everything, not just when I had a problem.  I applied prayer and the Bible to every aspect of my life.

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15 thoughts on “For the Bible Tells Me So

  1. Ditto. Pretty much the same thing here. There was no separation of the Bible and prayer from my life. It informed every aspect of it.

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    • There was never anything prayer and Bible verses didn’t apply to. Ever. And now the more progressive Christian’s argument that verses were taken out of context and stories were taken out of context, that they were meant for a certain audience at certain time turns out to be true. Now, I’m not saying that changes anything about what I believe at this point. I’m saying that while they are right about that aspect of it, I no longer believe that the Bible is divine in any way.

      Certainly things in the Bible have been taken out of the context of their original setting to be applied to modern day situations. Even in the time they were written they weren’t messages from God. They were a bunch of priests and prophets and leaders trying to make sense of the things tht were happening to them and around them.

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  2. D’ma, I absolutely relate with you and Zoe. I did, however, question. From my late teens to my late thirties when I deconverted I didn’t understand the contradictions of the Bible and Christianity. I continued in Christianity, prayer and the Bible because I thought that I was just not loving enough or spiritually deep enough to understand. All the while, I would occasionally second guess a scripture, a Church doctrine or even a leader’s actions (right to his face). Instead of people trying to help me better understand by explaining the confusion, I was met with accusations of rebellion, being unsubmissive or spiritually dead. (When I watch the movie “Matilda” I view the main character’s relationship with her parents as quite similar to my relationship with God/Jesus/Church/religion and spirituality.) Still, I thought the issues were with me and at times, those other people. After all, God was perfect and just. Heaven was real and Jesus ultimately loved me and would do me no harm.

    All I know is that my unbelief now is getting better. Instead of shying away from my questions regarding anything and everything in this world, I actually try to think, reflect, research and stand back to look at the whole picture. Though the transition has been difficult at times, it’s liberating to be cut off from such subjugation!

    I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I’m enjoying my Jesus-less Christmas. 🙂

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    • Every now and then one of those type questions would rattle me a little. But my answer was always the same; throw myself into more studies, more apologetics, and the doubts would go away. The answer always seemed to makes sense so I wouldn’t really investigate any outside sources or possibilities. When you want something to be true, to be right, to be as advertised you can perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to make it so.

      See, those apologetics and studies really didn’t answer those questions. They were a lot of slight of hand, and shell games. But when God is God and you are not answers to majority of the questions and you want it all to be true then you can make it make sense.

      I mean, what the hell kind of answer is this :

      Hell is just?

      If God says it is just it is just. You may not like His justice but he created the universe and us and deals with us the way he chooses. He is God and we are not. The Bible says so.

      How did that ever comfort me?!?

      Good lord!

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    • Remember how intelligent Matilda was?

      I had a senior pastor with a doctorate in theology say to me: “No wonder the men in your church don’t like you, you are an intelligent woman and you know your Bible.”

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      • @Zoe,

        You just boosted my ego, I didn’t even think about Matilda’s intellegence when I made that comment.

        When you study the Bible fervently as a woman and really see what you see, not what you’re told to see, the misogyny is so over the top!

        I am not one to believe in taking away a man’s authentic self, at the same time too, I am tired of men trying to belittle or quiet my authentic self.

        A happy secular Christmas to you, D’ma and anyone else who happens to read this. 🙂

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  3. Your words take me back to my childhood. The way out started for me when as a teenager I began to question things that really bothered me – for example, if the Bible is God’s Word, how could there be so many different ways of interpreting it (the various sects and denominations)? The problem of all the other religious traditions also weighed on me. The miracle stories also bothered me because the world just didn’t seem to work that way in my experience, and blaming it on the modern’s lack of faith no longer satisfied me. It seemed an evasion. Personal grief finally put the last nail in the coffin of my childhood belief system. It has taken me many years to separate the wheat from the chaff in my own outlook. In fact, I’m still winnowing.

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    • The miracle stories also bothered me because the world just didn’t seem to work that way in my experience, and blaming it on the modern’s lack of faith no longer satisfied me. It seemed an evasion.

      Looking back on it the fact that God no longer intervenes in the world in any tangible way should give anyone pause. But again, slight of hand, and an abracadabra and alakazam and voila! Tada! See, doesn’t that make sense now? 😉

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  4. Pretty well sums things up. I am often asked, surely you questioned or doubted? Nope. The Bible was God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible, perfect word. It could never be wrong and if I thought it was wrong it was me who lacked understanding. I knew that some passages didn’t make sense or God seemed to be quite harsh, but I blamed myself for not understanding things correctly.

    I had an old classic book titled, I think, The alleged Contradictions of the Bible. The book answered every contradiction. I thought some of the explanations were lame but this still did not cause me to doubt.

    It was when I concluded the KJV had errors that I started to realize that every translation was flawed. But, I just moved the inerrancy line from the translations to the Greek/Hebrew manuscripts. It was Bart Ehrman that brought my Bible house down. From there…deconversion was inevitable.

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    • That’s exactly right, Bruce! The Bible is the word of God and is perfect. If it doesn’t make sense or you don’t understand it, it is somehow a failing on your part. Lack of faith, lack of discernment, lack of wisdom. Pray, pray for more. Still don’t understand it? Oh, you must have some hidden sin in your life. No sin? Just be patient it will all make sense in time. Maybe that’s something you can ask him when you see him. If it doesn’t make sense to you now, no matter, he is God.

      I gotta say some parts of the Bible make more sense to me now, read as fiction, than they did as reality.

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      • I always wondered what the hell “hidden” sin meant when I was a Christian……. “Is it because I’m a virgin pushing 30 and I want to get married to have sex?” ” Is it gossiping?” ” I try not to lie, kill, cheat or humilate anyone.” “Oh, crap! God must be punsihing me for generational curses in my family. I thought I had confessed all of them, I must have forgotten one!” “Maybe it’s that friendship I just struck up with a co-worker. She’s either not a Christian or a ‘lukewarm’ one.”

        YUCK!

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  5. I was raised to be Christian. It was one of the more liberal traditions, sure, but still: The sky was blue, water was wet, and Jesus was my lord and savior.

    So for me, personally, the starting point was the Doctrine of the Trinity. We worship one God, and shall have no other Gods before him. But we also worship Jesus, and give thanks to the Holy Spirit… But that’s okay, because they’re both really God, too.

    And really, I was okay with that. I mean, if you’re omnipotent, you can be three distinct entities with one being, all at the same time. Until I got to the bit with Jesus crying out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” If Jesus and God are different aspects of a single consciousness, then it makes absolutely no sense for him to ask that. After that… the longer I looked, the less sense the whole thing made to me.

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    • That was always answered in this way for us Southern Baptists:

      Jesus took on our sins on the cross. He literally became sin. God cannot look on sin, so for that time, Jesus was literally sent to hell to take our punishment. God didn’t forsake him, really. Jesus willingly suffered on our behalf.

      Does that really answer how they were all still one consciousness and, yet, Jesus seemed to have no knowledge that this was going to happen to him? And in other places he says he doesn’t even know the day or the hour of the “second coming”. Only the father knows this. Yeah, okay, three distinct entities, but don’t you ever have meetings? Don’t you have lunch together every now and then?

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  6. Glad to lend a boost CHope. 🙂

    You can be around the stuff only for so long and it is inevitable that at some point we are gong to think the problem is us. We are worn down and forget their is a Matilda in all of us. (((hugs)))

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