This is the bible I want to share

So to the last of these six stories.

When I say the bible is fiction – it gets:But …orSo …(or lots of deafening silence).   No one has yet said:Me too – isn’t it wonderful!”  Just like “sitting-down-dancing” …

I can’t be the only one.

So is that what we need of the bible … ?

A safe-factual-faith – a cultural-religious-Christianity – a God of change-but-not-too-much?    

“The stories I want to share – VI” – 19th January 2016

“That’s a bit worrying, thought he would have known that!”

One bible open on the table, one order of service book (open at the Service of Holy Communion), and one observation from a mischievous “guest” (overlooking another absent “guest’s” reading material). The chuckles rippled warmly.

Did you know that our local churches are funding dinner, bed and breakfast for up to twenty-five “rough sleepers”? Every night. From the middle of November to the end of March 2016?

Not only that, but new showers and toilets (and an upgraded kitchen) were fitted to one church especially for these “guests” at a cost of £17k (also paid for by the same local churches)?

And did you know that a vegetarian food option is provided each night?  And did you know that a “small shop” is set-up and laid out each time – free second-hand clothes, coats, shoes and new underwear and new toiletries?  And all of that funded by these same local churches in our small bit of England.  Organised in conjunction with the local town council, who admitted it could not fund this activity.

And did you realise that when you are close-up-and-personal to the label of “rough sleeper”, the individuals who make up that “label” become very ordinary, very precious and very unique human beings – just like you and I.  And did you know that their stories are the same as mine and yours?  Just as we each make different choices in different circumstances they have too.  Our choices have not (not yet) resulted in us being “rough sleepers”.  Just like theirs didn’t – until they did.

Did you know the churches did that? I didn’t …

Read the full post here.

My bible is your bible – just not evidence of God.

My bible paints “Great Events” with written ink – a Great Flood … Great Exodus … Great Garden … Great Creation … Great Tree … Great Sin … Great God … Great Jesus … Great Living … Great Dying … Great Resurrecting …

I think we confuse the “ink bit”.  I think we make the ink rules – which makes Great Ideas into great idiots – and Great Sharing into suffocating shalt nots.

I love fiction!!

And – for me – “needing” to make the bible something it is not makes the bible “all about me” and not about God.  And as a universal role model … I am lacking in lots of areas (and I can’t be the only one).

But more than that – a “factual bible” births a lot of other stuff:  Religion obviously.  Politics and religion. Global Creeds. National Church. More ink rules. Different ink rules.  The “Christian Tradition”.  A convenience of politics and power we call religion.  A written rules reason for might is right.   A God who (more written ink rules says) needs “belief” from all who want to be called His.

>>> Please pause: we choose a God who “needs” … ?

“The bible is fiction” is a release and a homecoming.  It allows my GSHJ freedom to breathe again – no saving – no conditions – no divisions – no divides.  My fiction bible became so much more for me not needing it to be factual.

I don’t have to fight anymore.

So Jesus doesn’t need to ….  and …  and (or not) … as written … so God never … and didn’t … and isn’t … as written?  And that is a bad thing?  That is I can’t believe in God anymore.”

I wonder if making the bible “factual” suits everyone – we all like evidence:

“I believe in God” uses the same evidence as “There is no God”  uses the same evidence as “I am not a Christian I am a (fill in blank)“.  And that means we have made the bible what each needs it to be: “All about me being right!”

And not about God (at all).

As I have written these posts one thought has surfaced time after time: Wouldn’t the biggest “God joke” of all be … “Let’s see what they do with finger painting.”

What if the faith Christian’s preach is to be found only in fiction?  What if looking silly is what the bible is all about?  What if the bible is of children of God – children who really “got it” – and their finger-licking-good-or-bad “finger painting“?   

These are the stories I want to share.

This is the BIBLE I want to share.

What about you?



8 thoughts on “This is the bible I want to share

  1. “When I say the bible is fiction – it gets: “But … ” or “So … ” (or lots of deafening silence).   No one has yet said: “Me too – isn’t it wonderful!” ”

    Paul, I think the silence might be because we’re trying to figure out where you’re going with this. I’m still a bit confused myself, actually. So, are you saying that a fictional Bible is better?

    First, I don’t believe the Bible is a fictional book, and second, believing it is doesn’t free anything, or stop religion, or differences of opinion, or even atheism for that matter. The problem is with people, not the Bible. The truth is, people won’t believe the Bible if they don’t want to believe, even if we have evidence. We will always find what we’re looking for. It’s not the evidence, or lack thereof, that’s the problem. It’s people’s hearts. The Bible is pretty much spot-on in that regard.

    I may have misread you, but it seems you’re lumping in organized religion with believing the Bible. Religion is man’s response to God (good or bad), and no indication that the Bible is the problem. Again, we’re the ones with the problem in that regard. How we have organized religion proves or disproves nothing about the Bible’s authority or veracity. The Bible, while not meant to be a science or history book (by 21st century standards), is inspired by the Holy Spirit for its own reasons. Our opinions and evidences don’t change that.

    God is not playing a joke on us. He gave us Scripture, fully exposing human nature, warts and all, to guide us to the truth about Himself and about ourselves (with His Spirit interpreting). While the Bible is not more important than our relationship with God, the Scripture testifies of Jesus, which makes trusting it vitally important. Otherwise, we’re left stuck in our own heads about what we think God should be or shouldn’t be. And that doesn’t make anyone free.


    • Hi Mel, and thank you.

      I am seeing the consequence of a bible that is taught as historically reliable.
      One consequence is that you almost always use bible references to support your own comments.
      Another is that to teach the bible in church I had to comply with the parameters of belief of that denomination.
      Another is that bits of the bible are okay to call “not historically accurate” but others aren’t. And those that are not seem as devoid of evidence as those that are.
      Another is that if I am born in India I am likely to believe not in the bible, but a different divine being and sacred text. Which means I believe in the wrong text and entity.
      But the biggest consequence for me is having to suppress my common sense and integrity to defend the bible.

      God creates one woman and one man. From which the billions of humans since are descended. Historically accurate. Except for those who say it is imagery. And apart from …
      God drowns every living thing apart from one family and a selection of wilfdlife locally available. From which further billions are descended again. Historically accurate.
      Jesus dies and rises. Historically accurate. Not agreed imagery. No religious agenda. No reason to doubt.
      Jesus is the fulfilment of what was foretold in the Old Testament which must make all that subject to a religious agenda.
      Paul and the early church. Historically accurate. Definitely factual. Therefore is evidence of Jesus as written. Except for the agenda. Again.

      Mel, I have huge respect for the bible. But let me ask you this.

      Why is the OT okay to doubt as all historically accurate, but the NT Gospels as not? Why do the letters to the churches seem to stand as evidence of the former and not more agenda? Why is all that and endlessly unpicking fact from fiction or glossing over the tricky bits better than simply saying I don’t need to tie myself up with all that. How does that bring me closer to GSHJ? Beyond all reasonable doubt is not to be found, for me, in the bible. Not unless I tie myself up …

      So if I choose to not have to weave my way through all of that … choosing to see something greater than evidence … choosing not to need evidence of the religiously acceptable kind … choosing to be a biblical pacifist and say fiction not fight …

      How does that take me further from GSHJ rather than closer? Because GSHJ is not proven or defined in the bible for me. GSHJ morphs and becomes ever bigger, ever subtler, ever more personal. But because GSHJ has the words God and Jesus in it seems to make it an acceptable Christian statement of faith. GSHJ is fiction. I cannot prove GSHJ to anyone.

      And this is not intended to be a defence or attack. I was surprised to find myself in a similar place with atheists. Calling the bible fiction required me to not to believe in any divine being. Now calling the bible fiction here seems to mean any divine being must be as written in the bible. You make statements of belief written as fact. They are not the same.

      The bible writers were creative. All of them. Why does the church that I see seem to fear the same creativity today? And how is that freedom?


  2. Paul, just got back and had a chance to read your last response (see other thread). First, I want to say that tying the Bible’s historical (or scientific) authenticity to its reliability is really the wrong argument. It was never written that way, so for skeptics to point to historical inaccuracies to discredit is irrelevant in my view. This is where the Jesus Myth people, like Ehrman, totally miss it.

    Jesus said that His words were spirit and life (John 6:63). They are not archeological evidence or historical facts; they reveal a much higher reality. But that doesn’t make it fiction or the people fiction, like in pagan mythology. The whole notion of the “Jesus myth” is a myth, created by people with their own agenda. The better way to understand the Bible narrative is anthropologically. It is a testimony of man’s relationship to God. It ultimately testifies of Jesus Christ. But it’s also epistemological and ontological, giving the meaning of existence and purpose for life, with the bigger picture of Jesus Christ summing all things unto Himself. He is the “logos” (the reason for everything). Everything is held together and finds its existence in Him. But this “fact” is an issue of faith in the unseen (which is about 99.999% of reality). Even in quantum science, we now know that most of “reality” is outside of time and space.

    So, you can’t put it under a microscope or dig it up from the ground, or find it using historical methods. It’s not proven or disproven by science or historical criticism who, again, have their own agenda, as well as an anti-spiritual bias. They will never understand the Bible for this very reason. The idea that we can observe something from a disinterested, unbiased viewpoint, and not affect the data, is a bankrupt notion. We know there’s no such thing now.

    You said, “Why is the OT okay to doubt as all historically accurate, but the NT Gospels as not? Why do the letters to the churches seem to stand as evidence of the former and not more agenda?”
    We can because of the Bible’s own internal evidence. The prophets themselves questioned the motives of the kings and priests. We can believe Jesus, not by historical evidence, but by the eye-witness testimony. There’s a good book on this by a former atheist and L.A. Homicide Detective, J. Warner Wallace. He is a cold case forensic detective and wrote a book about how using these methods on the Bible led Him to Christ (“Cold Case Christianity”).

    Finally, you asked about other faiths, people in India, etc. First, we can find truth in just about everything written, sacred texts from other world religions, even including books by Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins! 🙂 Paul connected to his audience this way, like with the Athenian philosophers in Acts 17, but then he told them to repent (change their mind) because God made Christ Lord of all. If any road is not leading to Jesus Christ, they are not leading to God. You can’t have it both ways. That doesn’t mean they have to be a “Christian,” as the term is traditionally understood. In fact, there are tens of thousands of people in India and other nations where Jesus is revealing Himself to them in some supernatural way. No Bible, no preacher. But my point is, they are finding Jesus, not some other god. There are tens of millions of followers of Christ in these nations.

    When the apostles went all over the known world (Thomas went to India and there is still a large following from his evangelistic journeys there), they didn’t say that everybody’s religion leads to the same god. While they might relate what those nations did know about God, they preached Christ and Him crucified, who God made Lord of all by raising Him from the dead. In this way, Jesus Christ makes ALL religions obsolete. This is pretty central to the Christian faith.


    • Thanks Mel. I have sat on a response to let any words settle. You have a very long way of saying: “you are wrong”. 🙂

      Which brings it back to wrong and right (theologically speaking). And that requires the bible to be judged as right or wrong. And that brings us full circle again. Irrespective of the criteria for right and wrong – it is always a belief. And that has some value – but less in the current age of “global answers” at one’s fingertips.

      I see greater value in asking the question “what if … ?”

      You talk about many Christians of all nations. But there are many more who are default Christians: who still believe in the “tooth fairy” or “Father Christmas” kind of God. And for me, your approach is one way of challenging that – but still plays to the bible being “the bible” and aloof from any serious questioning.

      The value I find in “fiction” is simply this – it frees me from having to defend any view as right or wrong. And I find that brings me nearer to the “God” within.

      Does it have be “The God” as described in the bible – “The Jesus” as written with eye-witness testimony – “The Letters” now devoid of any agenda (and evidence(!) of what went before … ?

      I am beginning to think that is pretty arrogant.

      Because it seems – once again – that we prefer a God we can keep safe in our care. It all seems very “neat and tidy” – and requires conformity and membership of something worldly and tidy. And – for me – we come full circle from that direction as well.

      I have no idea whether i am right or wrong. But I begin to sense the bible speaks of that as well in this debate, speaks of division, judging, all that stuff Christians apply to being with others – but less to the bible and usually not to God. I am finding that demands allegiance – and that smacks of needing to be right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You said: “The value I find in “fiction” is simply this – it frees me from having to defend any view as right or wrong. And I find that brings me nearer to the “God” within.”

        That makes sense, Paul. What I think you’re saying is that “even if” the Bible is fiction it doesn’t change your relationship with Jesus, So, arguing over proving it is making it harder than it needs to be. In a lot of ways, I would agree with you. And I would say the same. My relationship with Jesus doesn’t depend on the Bible’s accuracy.

        I guess my point (to those who need to know) is that we don’t determine whether the Bible is fiction or not by historical criticism or archeology, etc. The value of the Bible is spiritual and anthropological, ontological, etc. It won’t ever be understood by people’s whose hearts aren’t open, no matter how much proof they have.

        I personally use the Bible extensively because I believe it’s most brilliant book ever written, so I find a vast storehouse of wisdom in it. But none of that value comes from trying to prove its historical accuracy. That’s irrelevant, as far as I’m concerned.

        Anyway, great discussion. As you know, I’m not afraid to explore these things with people. And I don’t base my friendships on having to agree either. 🙂


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