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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Project Complete - What's There I Wish Wasn't

The title of this post is a problem for many, and I recognize that. For good or ill, it is how I feel. There are some things in the Bible that I wish were not. Elsewhere I have discussed ways to handle these difficult passages. But here, I just want to come clean about some troubling themes.

Do not tolerate other religions. With the major exception of the ministry of Jesus, the Bible is full of hatred for other religions. Embracing other religions is the reason for the exile. True Christians are not only to reject other religions, but other version of the faith. And, violence is authorized. To be fair, it is usually violence that comes from YHWH.

Women and men are not equal. There are more exceptions here. Not just the ministry of Jesus, e.g., Deborah, Priscilla & Aquilla. Nonetheless, women are treated very poorly by the Bible. Mistreatment of women may be the single greatest injustice our world faces today and it sucks the Bible has so much that supports it.

Support cultural norms. The writers of the Bible, naturally enough I suppose, have trouble distinguishing what is their response to God in their lives from what is just a cultural norm. The result is that loving your neighbor, obeying your master, and not wearing clothes with mixed fibers are all in there. This is troubling because some of the norms that come in, but also because it makes it difficult to avoid just throwing out everything you don't like.

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