The more I read the bible the more I read of a conversation between those who believe there is a God.
I am guessing that there were those outside this conversation. To whom this was all just more rhetoric and noise. Who were busy elsewhere. I guess we don’t hear too much about them because they were elsewhere. So more and more I see the bible as a conversation between those who believe in “god” (of one kind or another).
And more and more I see today arguments about whether God is “real”.
About whether the bible is “proof” of God. About how these words said in such and such a place in the bible did (or not) happen. About whether this miracle in the bible is supported by historical evidence. Whether this resurrection or that in the bible can be found in documents of the time. And why these ancient killings in the bible were of a “loving” God (if they ever happened), and why there is rarely any evidence of those either.
I find my writing can be critical.
I have questions to which the answers are just more questions. None of my writing – or very little – is factual. None of my writing can be proven. Other than I am a person. I live and breathe. I have possessions and a job that would allow you to track me down. I am digitally visible.
But put me back two thousand years without any tools to communicate other than my voice.
Would you write down my words on expensive parchment and ink? Would you hear my words precisely and in context with all the nuances of verbal interaction? And would your memory suffice to record the actual rather than the perceived?
Now come forward two thousand years. We know that witnesses to the same thing will give differing accounts. That if two people give exactly the same account of anything the likelihood is of collaboration and fabrication.
Now back thousands of years again. Add an “agenda” of a Chosen People. A people who did not feel so much chosen as ignored. And now forwards again. And church is still talking to the Chosen. Still guiding the straying. Still dealing with discontent and division. Still with an agenda.
I wonder if that is why I am now in a place where I see (believe) the bible as irrelevant at times.
Those times with those who do not believe the bible is anything to be believed. Who see simply a text we believe and expect all to believe as we believe. Because we believe in this God. We believe this God is the God and that all other Gods are a threat (or just rubbish). And others don’t (believe).
What if this “Christian tradition” (belief) is like the belief in a flat earth? Because I often see those who believe that God is “so much bigger than we can ever comprehend” set about proving why “you” should believe in a God (we believe we can all comprehend). An argument of proof flawed even before it begins (I believe).
What if we are arguing about God like we argued about whether the earth is flat? And what if we argue over a “flat earth bible” that makes no sense to someone of different beliefs (someone of “disbelief in my belief”)? Just how are they going to be convinced (believe) by “the science” (belief) in a “flat earth bible”?
And why are we?
Which is why I can now accept (believe) the imagery of a “flat earth bible”. Imagery that draws me closer and closer (belief) to my “God” who I am sensing (believe) is bigger than faith (belief), belief (ditto) and religion (also ditto). And a God (ditto again) with whom I am learning to keep my eyes and ears (belief) on this:
“You have seen it written, but I say …”
Because just what does all the noise and debate and rhetoric tell me?
We all believe in belief.
And that, for me, is the best reason to be kind to be kind. We are no different.
But get this … What about if I am kind. To me, to you.
And you and you and you …
Just where might that lead?