I have come to accept much of the Old Testament is fiction. That Genesis is not literal. That timelines are not literal. That OT genocide is not literal. That the OT served a purpose – but Jesus kept referring to it – and some of the key Christian beliefs remain in it – and so “the bible” is stuck with it.
And so are Christians.
Because the bible is the Word of God and no Christian cuts the knees from under God. Even superstition of “bad things happen” (if you cross God) has a religious framing to be of God – it’s called “blasphemy”.
Which makes it different to normal superstition of (normal) “bad things happening”. And that “religious superstition” is now my greatest obstacle to an evolving relationship with God Soft Hands Jesus.
A relationship often dismissed as “my imaginary friend” … my “evidence” dismissed as “chemicals doing what they are intended to do” … chemicals that I choose to make “mystical” … And that trait I am told (by those who believe differently) is the reason we all suffer so much.
“Believers” tell me I have no choice.
That I was born infected – and unless cauterised of this infection I will spend an eternity separated from the unconditional and eternal love of God (once I choose the conditions of being saved). A “saving” which cauterises and heals me and any subsequent “infection” (so long as I fulfill certain conditions).
And “disbelievers” also tell me I have no choice.
That simply believing (what they say I believe) means I am infecting innocent people with this cancer of “belief” … that my “belief” commands me to infect others with the same cancer … That this cancer kills innocents AND accelerates the demise of this planet AND has nothing good to be said of it (or me).
What am I to think … ? If I believe “properly” I can cure ills and heal sufferers. And if I believe “properly” I am Enemy Number One. One side wishes to save me – the other side wishes to save me. And all I have to do is to believe what one side (or the other) tells me to believe. Let me tell you … the imagery is the same – and being freed from both … ?
Is being freed from any addiction.
I smoked for decades. Always told myself I could quit. Heard and saw the science from one side – heard and saw the science from the other – and happily ignored it all. I just cherry-picked whatever I needed. I cherry-picked fiction AND fact.
I have that gene.
And I look around and see that “gene” in evidence more and more.
I see it applying to animals and WE are animals. I accept we were not created overnight – not descended “literally” from the biblical imagery we now fight over. I think evolution is a brilliant piece of work. I see “free will” as the only thing that makes sense when discussing unconditional love (NO CONDITIONS necessary). And I am content that this planet is what it is because of reasons I will never know … a timeline as distant – AND therefore using imagery – no different to biblical Creation.
We ALL rely on imagery to fill-in the gaps because none of us will ever “know”.
All of us mix and match fact and fiction. It is how we survive – and why we fight – and why we can kill each other over an opinion … dressed up as belief … dressed up as an indisputable fact.
I mix fact and fiction to get by. We all do – we are all creators of reality fact-fiction. Why?
Because we are ALL born without the ability to know everything about everything ever.
So to survive I make things up to fill in the gaps. I make things up based on what I am told and what I see … what I experience and what I am taught … what I fear and what makes me safe … To live I must be safe more than in fear.
And today we humans call that “living in balance with nature” … “finding myself” …
Which is as much mumbo-jumbo as either “God” or “science” and as valid as both.
It is the same blurring fact-fiction – because we will never know everything about everything ever – but still have to find our own personal safety anyway.
Is to choose to accept what we have in common. Choose to come together and accept differences. Because anything else that “knows” the answer … ?
That’s just fact-fiction at work again.