"Christianity is, I believe, about expanded life, heightened consciousness and achieving a new humanity. It is not about closed minds, supernatural interventions, a fallen creation, guilt, original sin or divine rescue. I am tired of seeing the Bible being used, as it has been throughout history, to legitimize slavery and segregation, to subdue women, to punish homosexuals, to justify war and to oppose family planning and birth control. That is a travesty which must be challenged and changed."
This last paragraph taken from a this article in Huff Post called, Why We Must Reclaim The Bible from Fundamentalists written by John Shelby Spong is primarily how we feel at CToBM.
There are parts of this article that make me uncomfortable, and that's okay. As a recovering fundamentalist, being uncomfortable has become a companion of mine and something I'm learning to embrace. For example, when Spong states that no modern person can still believe that a
multitude can be fed with five loaves and two fish, I cringe inside because I know from personal experience that this concept can be embraced. Has anyone out there experienced supernatural multiplication? Is Spong suggesting that we should never expect or embrace the possibility of miracles? That makes me uncomfortable. I still believe in supernatural intervention.
There are times in my life when I knew that something supernatural happened because it was impossible naturally. I won't give up on those possibilities just because biblical scholars can't justify it with physical facts.
Spong goes on to write "[t]he time separating when Moses lived (ca. 1250 BCE) from when the
stories of Moses were written in the Bible (ca. 950 BCE) is about 300
years, representing 15 generations of oral transmission. Can anyone
knowing this continue to be a literal believer? The gospels were written
40 -70 years after the crucifixion, which means that most of what we
read about Jesus in the Bible was handed down orally for two to three
generations before one word of it achieved written form. The gospels
were also first written in Greek, a language which neither Jesus nor his
disciples spoke or wrote! How can anyone claim 'inerrancy' for such
Because of men like Spong, I have learned that there are facts about the bible that were never taught to me in church. I appreciate people like Spong who are not afraid to challenge the Christian church, be labeled a heretic, and bring us to a renewed awareness. At the same time, I'm not going to throw away some of the experiences I've personally had that Spong writes off as "divine rescues". I thank God for the intervention I've received in times of trouble.
I was taught that the Holy Spirit is active and moving. Many Christians are stagnant in their views, unwilling to flow and adapt to the newness of scripture (or be open to the truth of it's inerrancy). It is possible to receive Spong's facts of scripture while still embracing things that cannot be explained.
by: Janet at CToBM