It's hard to be an honest Christian

A few religious thoughts for the day, concocted during a run in the rain and written while I eat lunch, and before I head off to study muscles and blood vessels.

In my experience:

Exercise and healthy food are fundamentally important for physical, spiritual and mental health. It's crazymaking to eat bad food and live a sedentary lifestyle. It's suicidal for a society to make bad food a cheaper option than good food.

At some level, it's both dishonest and dangerous that any individual and any institution would claim to be Christian. It's also fundamentally dishonest and dangerous that any individual would claim to speak for God or the Church, if the church claims to be Christian. Bibles and Holy Books are fundamentally dishonest documents where they claim to do the same. It's better to live out a religiosity where human limitations are recognized honestly and the human nature of religious claims aren't whitewashed as messages from God or The Church.

This isn't an anti-religious or anti-church thought - it's a thought about religious reform.

Tim

Comments

MaybeCakes said…
Something has been bothering me for years about The Church, and I think you just hit the nail on the head.
Byron said…
The Bible is a fundamentally dishonest document...That's a pretty sweeping statement. What exactly do you mean? Hope you're well, Tim!
B.J.
Tim Mathis said…
Really good question BJ - you're pointing out an idea that I've stated carelessly here. What I'm aiming towards, basically is that:

1) Religiously, the way we use the Bible tends to deny or underplay it's human-ness - we fail to account for, or question, the authors' limitations and intentions and treat the book as if it were something magical. The authors themselves, I'd guess, were honest in their attempts to record and interpret the things that they were experiencing, but they were also human. The demarcation of a text as "Holy" lends itself to the idea that it's something more than human, I think? That's what I'm questioning/objecting to in calling the Bible 'dishonest'.

2) I like the idea of having a way/path/book/story to follow and participate in. I'm trying to figure out how to connect that desire with my own interpretation and experience of reality in an honest, pragmatic and useful way.

Always good to hear from you, and I hope things are well in Spain, or where ever your travels have taken you! All the best,

Tim
B.J. Whitaker said…
Thanks for the explanation, Tim. Actually, I've been thinking a bit along those lines during the past year or so, reading Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted, Bauckham's Jesus & the Eyewitnesses and Witherington's The Living Word of God. It seems that a lot of conservative Christians (evangelicals or whoever, not to mention fundamentalists) have largely ignored or perhaps are even afraid to touch the humanness of the Bible. And in so doing, we use the Bible ignorantly at best and dishonestly at worst. But even with the authors' limitations, grammatical mistakes, etc., two ideas stand out to me. One, a lot of the authors present their own words or the words of others (Jesus, the evangelists, Paul on OT texts, or Peter of Paul) as though being divinely inspired, which says something of the context and intentions of the authors. Two, if God really did inspire the imperfect writers of the documents now contained in the Old and New Testaments to write them, that speaks volumes about the character of this God and His relationship with humans and how He uses them. Just some thoughts.

Hope you're well. We're doing well, still in Spain, enjoying our little 5 month old daughter. She's a little fountain of joy...and work...for us. Take care!

B.J.

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