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Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Bible

This lovely piece is from Wikipeebia and can be found here; 

http://wikipeebia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=525

There are possibly many right purposes for which we can use the Bible, and a few very wrong ones. 

The Bible is a collection of books that have stood the test of time: they have been found by long experience to have the power to inspire faith, to console, to guide, to ennoble, to uplift the spirit, to fire our aspirations and passions, to raise questions that are sometimes challenging, sometimes comforting, sometimes awe-inspiring, and to give the searching soul glimpses of things that transcend the merely physical, material world that we live in. 

I think several of these books are masterpieces of literature unmatched by any other ancient works. They are based on the spiritual experience of many authors and they pass on to us what they have learned, and their insights into the human condition. They have inspired great works, great deeds and great lives; some passages in them have great power to convict and to change our lives for the better. They contain some literal history, a great deal of wisdom, and some of the principles and values that underpin our civilization. 

We all know that the Bible has also been used in some quite disgusting ways. Enjoyment of the Bible has been spoiled for many Christians by the way it has been used as a weapon of control. So many verses in it conjure up unhappy memories of control-freaks ramming their own ideas down our throats and pretending their ideas have divine accreditation because they have found some scripture that seems to support them. 

That misuse of the Bible depends on fundamentalist principles. That is one reason why I encourage people to base their faith on a sounder, more rational, less superstitious foundation. Fundamentalism of the sort associated with closed minds is not just an offence against reason: it is a threat to peace, love, justice, sanity, health, prosperity and human happiness.

In some ways it is easier for an irreligious person to appreciate the Bible than it is for an ex-EB member. Some ex-EB are so Bibled-up that they never want to look at a Bible again in their lives, whereas agnostics or atheists like Eileen or Richard Dawkins can read it, value it and enjoy it. If you can approach the Bible without these unsavoury memories of emotional pressure, you can find in it a wealth of fascinating history, experience, wisdom, insight, brilliant literature, inspirational poetry and beautiful precepts. When you have put out of your mind the way the Brethren have used the Bible as an instrument of oppression, you will find it is better suited to exactly the opposite purpose.

8 comments:

  1. "When you have put out of your mind the way the Brethren have used the Bible as an instrument of oppression, you will find it is better suited to exactly the opposite purpose."

    If exclusive brethren are the only group to have used the bible as an instrument of oppression.Then that wouldn't help explain the far wider distaste of the bible,that exist today.

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  2. The Questioner30 May 2014 at 10:12

    There is no doubt that many abuse the bible but Anonymous @8.04 should not offload his own distaste one everyone.

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    1. Seems that Questioner would rather Laurie's blog was also run more like the exclusive brethren blog is.Creating another religious echo chamber.

      Questioner may also question how and why the bible could have ever become misused in the widespread manner that it obviously has done.And back in Aberdeen, the Questioner may have felt quite at home.Peaceful in the knowledge that nobody there, ever dared offload their distaste of anything

      Ian's comment had not seemed to also mention that most groups have used the bible as an instrument of oppression.I suggest this came about, mainly because people have prescribed it to have a supernatural foundation

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  3. If I might say, it's not so much the Bible being a problem it's the way it's used by controlling groups/cults/etc. The abuse noted on these pages of random parts of the Bible ripped out of context and thrown into a discussion as though that would prove authoritative has been appalling. It betrays a thorough lack of Biblical understanding, with a thorough lack of understanding of the Father heart of God to liberate people rather than constrict and control them. But hey, that's what cults do ...

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    1. But it was never going to be very easy,for people to decipher a mishmash of books.I agree that the bible had no need to have become a problem,so long as it was noted as being masterpieces of literature.

      You said "It betrays a thorough lack of Biblical understanding"

      Well then, this will tend to suggest, very many people right throughout history, are thus somewhat guilty as charged

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  4. The Questioner31 May 2014 at 08:14

    Anonymous 31 May is simply wrong. He knows nothing abut the Questioner or his view of Aberdeen and much else.

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  5. Follow the link for a signed copy:

    https://twitter.com/James_v_S/status/343693381559545856

    Maybe this is the 'authentic' variety as used by the Exclusive Brethren?

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