An Introduction Part One: Who I Am

An Introduction Part One: Who I Am

I once happened to find myself wandering through a New York City bookstore one afternoon when I stumbled across a section called “Christian Fiction.” Imagine my surprise when I found no trace of a Bible! Is not the term “Christian Fiction” something of a redundancy, an oxymoronic play of words? For is not all of Christianity, and thereby the Bible, just fiction, fantastical stories from the minds of over-imaginative primates struggling to grasp the answers to their surroundings, the very keys to the universe they are a part of, bottled and sold still by a corrupt ad hypocritical regime of the “Holier-Than-Thous” and bought and consumed still by those so afraid to think for themselves, those individuals for whom logic and reason is so easily overridden by the briberies of a paradise after this life in exchange for servitude and a “pick and choose” application of archaic, sometimes contradictory, and often oppressive, laws and edicts?

Were it that I were still able to curl up in my mother’s arms and believe her tales of Santa Claus with visions of sugarplums still dancing in my head, to be childlike and impressionable and susceptible to every early indoctrination, then, and only then, would I know truly what it is to be called “Christian,” for did not Jesus himself allegedly say that, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Not at all those who call themselves “Christians,” however, are ignorant and hypocritical. Quite the contrary, while they may be misguided, there are a great many who accept the differences in others while simultaneously understanding that the Scripture on which their faith is based upon is something allegorical and figurative, rather than a literal and historical account of what has been, is, and ever shall be. I have been invited here to present a series of dissertations against those we shall the “Literalists.” These are the men and women of the Christian faith (which sect, pick one!) who claim the Bible is perfectly true, historically accurate, and “straight from God’s brain to [their] hands,” to quote one Bartholomew J. Simpson.

Throughout the course of what I hope will be several weeks, I shall be providing various commentaries and arguments on topics ranging from how religion in general, and Christianity in specific, is inherently divisive, to the incompatibility of an omniscient God with a truly free will, from how the Virgin Mary was likely anything but to the historical and even blatant textual inaccuracies in the whole of the Bible, particularly, for the sake of this website, in the New Testament, from “Tastes great!” to “Less filling!” Be forewarned: I will ramble at times. I will draw examples from sports, from history, from television shows, from hypothetical situations to argue my points. I will be sarcastic at times, yet serious, firm, and yet fair. I will draw upon such sources as the Bible itself, Gnostic texts, alternative texts such as those by Timothy Freke, scholarly texts such as those by Shelby Spong, and philosophical texts such as those by David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Aristotle, and Martin Smith. For the other side of the argument, I will address those with stronger arguments such as C.S. Lewis and Father William O’Malley, the latter of which was a mentor of mine in high school and college, and those with weaker but more forceful arguments such as Jerry Falwell and Lee Strobel, the latter of which uses his “journalistic skills” and takes the notion that since no one ever recovered Jesus’ body, that is proof of the Resurrection. That’s some fine detective work there, Mr. Strobel. Perhaps Jesus is hanging out with Hoffa sipping lattes somewhere in the Southwest then?

My purpose here is not to prove that Christianity is wrong per se, but rather that it simply is not correct. There is a difference. Christianity, the spirit of it, the core of it all, is something I find to be very real. There is a certain beauty and comfort in the belief that after all of the hardships of life, there is a better place for us all. Where Christianity crosses the line is where it begins to dictate who gets that better place and how they get there. Despite the messages of inclusiveness, once you define yourself and your fellow believers as possessing criteria A, B, and C, you automatically by extension create an “Other,” those who possess criteria D through Z, i.e. those who do not belong. This divisiveness is at the heart of every religion, no matter what benignity it clothes itself in disguise. This is an attack, for lack of a less militaristic word, on the Literalists to, quite simply, show them the errancy of inerrancy. So, hang on tight and bear with me as I lose my “blogging virginity” here and I promise to do my best to create an open dialogue with those from both sides of the fence, and everywhere in between. All comments, questions, challenges, love and hate mail are always welcome. Now kindly read on to Part Two, which can be read here..

10 comments: