Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

TRUTH. All throughout the Bible we're instructed to seek the truth. The problem is, organized religion tends to ignore truths. It's almost like they're scared to death that at some point, they're going to have to admit they were wrong about some things.

Take Jesus for example. I knew when I was 5 that Jesus was a lowly wood carpenter. Later on, I realized Jesus lived in a place where everything was made from stone, and was mostly devoid of trees. The only references actually made to his profession are the 2 times he's referred to as a tekton. We assumed the translation "carpenter" from that word, but truly, it means "one who works with his hands" and was commonly used to refer to stonemasons. So was Jesus a carpenter? Probably not. Yet the church is still teaching kids every day something we now know is likely not the truth.

Why? Well, I think it has something to do with the church rejecting science and research. I've heard an elder say once that, "Science was brought to this earth by Satan to try to debunk the Bible and break your faith." Does no one stop to think that maybe we got it wrong? The translations are off? I'm bothered by the fact that I see so many people I feel are worshipping that book, and not the God behind it, Yahweh. If you want to get your head bitten off in a hurry, tell a congregation you don't think the Bible is perfect. But really, think about it, "divine inspiration" or not, everything put into the hands of man is desecrated. We screw it up every time. Look at what we did to His Son. Would we truly keep a book more sacred than we did the Son? We could overcome so many hurdles if we just stopped looking arrogant and admitted that the book is tainted. It was probably twisted to suit the desires of those in power many times over. We've lost the true origin. Maybe we were given science and research to get it back. We don't have to guess at everything anymore, He's given us a way to find the answers, and we've rejected Him.

So the church will continue to teach our children that Jesus was born in a barn in the snow (in a place where there aren't barns and it doesn't snow). They will continue to ascertain that the world is only 5,000 years old. They will grow up thinking there were 3 wisemen there when Jesus was born. Yes, definitely 3. They'll always think Adam and Eve ate an apple. They'll be certain that Noah only took two of every animal. We will reject evolution, because there's not way He could have made man look different than we do now. Those six days it took to make the earth and the day of rest were definitely seven 24-hour days. You can't argue with the Bible.

I've always heard a lot of "The Bible says, the Bible says, the Bible says....". What I don't hear is "Yahweh says..." or "Yahweh is showing us...". The Bible is a wonderful book, it's an amazing source of reference, valuable life lessons and words of wisdom. But be honest, it's already been "fixed" multiple times because we didn't get it quite right. That book is not a God, and religious tradition interferes with spiritual conviction.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bad Catering Service

One of my personal biggest issues with the way churches are run is who they are catering to. This hits close to home. You see, I married a man who wasn't blessed with being introduced to God, Jesus, or even a congregation until after we were married. I grew up in church. My granny was and still is a Bible toting baptist, and never there was a Sunday that we missed a preachin'. By the time I was 10, I knew all the books of the Bible by heart and could tell you the stories of David, Noah, Daniel, Moses, and the angels all day long. What I didn't see then is that I was incorporating so much of what I call "steeple talk" into my vocabulary. It never occurred to me that this was something out of the ordinary until many years later, looking upon the face of my husband trying to listen to a sermon, brows furrowed in sheer confusion. You could almost see it spelled out on his face. "What's all this begat, and crucify, gospels and canonical... and what in the world is a apophthegm? Don't forget communion, passover, codices, exegesis, haustafel, liturgy, semitism, and who in the world is Yahweh?" For someone new coming into a church, they ARE speaking a foreign language. 

I get it. I really do. You have a 75 year old man who has been sitting in the same pew since before he had peach fuzz, and this is what he likes and this is the way he's used to hearing sermons, and he's paid his dues to the church and you respect the elders. Can't please everyone, right? So where does a new Christian fit in? Where is the class that starts small and speaks English? Even in Sunday school, I can remember the look I saw on people's faces when he read "Gethsemane"  and it sounded like geth-see-mane. It might seem like I'm pointing fingers at a church, but the problem lies with the fact that we've been to seven churches. Finding a place for him to fit in wasn't for lack of trying. We attended the same one for over a year. When it was all said and done, he still tells me he walked away gaining absolutely nothing. 

The advice we hear most of the time is that he should take some time and read and study the Bible, and then try to hear some sermons. I know I'm using my husband as an example, but I know of many others who feel the same way he does about reading. He is a brilliant man and can engineer anything you could possibly dream of, but you hand him an instruction sheet and the words written there turn to a blur of nonsense. We've tried to read together, and navigating a page of the Bible takes a week, and those steeple talk problems are still there (even in the most modern versions), and I can see the frustration on his face build up like air in a balloon. 

Should it be so hard to want to learn about YHWH?