Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fundamental Truth

I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist. What this means is that I believe the Holy Bible is more than a book of fairy tales. I believe that it is God's Word for the ages, significant to all men, in all times and places. I reject the notion that He uplifted Man out of the muck and slime from the world's basement, ushering him through a slow, painstaking process of molecule to mold to wriggling worm to fish to amphibian to reptile to mammal to human. Embracing such means rejecting scripture, for it's clear that the Word teaches no such thing. Genesis tells us that God created Man in His image, that he was fashioned in this way from the beginning. You either believe that, or not. Don't tell me, however, that the Bible doesn't lead one to this conclusion; it allows no other conclusion, if one is honest with himself in his studies. The lengths some people go to in ridiculing and denying the Genesis creation story sadden and confound me. I especially find mystifying the idea that "Adam and Eve weren't real people. The Earth wasn't created in six days. God used symbolism in these passages in revealing truths to us about Himself." Really? That sounds like something a hippie might've stuttered at Woodstock, after holing up in his VW van with a bong for a few hours. If the Genesis account doesn't mean what it says, pray tell how we determine what it does mean? Should I consult a palantir, or perhaps John Travolta? Maybe Richard Dawkins can sell me a clue. The Bible is reliable because it means what it says. If it's open to individual interpretation, then it means nothing at all. We rightly consider people who utilize this tactic in discussing the Constitution of the United States as ignorant or dishonest; yet many accept the same when addressing the Bible. Genesis tells us that death is a direct result of Man's fall from grace, part of a curse on the creation. How do we harmonize this with the evolutionary insistence that Man is a product of eons of birth, propagation, and death in a vicious cycle of misery, which culminated in monkey boy gaining an intellectual edge over the other beasts of the field? You cannot believe this and accept scripture at face-value. Isn't it logically inconsistent when someone says: "I believe the Bible is God's Holy Word, except for the parts I consider unmitigated crap."? Jesus believed in Adam, Noah, and Jonah. Paul believed in Adam, as well. Jesus' geneology assumes Adam was more than a figment of some kooky desert nomad's imagination. Who are we to question our Creator and Savior? Was Jesus confused, when he spoke of them as flesh-and-blood people?

I think much of today's attitude about scripture may be attributed to the "higher criticism" movement, which began in the "Enlightenment" (there's a misnomer, if I ever saw one). This trend attempted a deconstruction and neutering of scripture, sapping it into irrelevance for some, and removing the threatening and insensitive aspects for others. The goal was--and still is--calling into question the Bible's validity, from both historical and spiritual perspectives. Our world has never recovered from it. Whole churches have sprung up in its shadow. And so now we have so-called Christians making comments such as: "I don't believe a big ol' fishy swallered a feller named Jonah. That's bunk." It's always characterized in the most asinine terms imaginable. My question is whyever not? You don't deny that God crafted the universe, shaped the Earth, and breathed life into Man--and created all of the above out of nothing--but you find His preserving a man's life in a fish's belly for three days beyond ridiculous? I wish you could hear yourselves. You don't even realize how remarkably absurd that sounds.

Scripture is our primary method of understanding God. It is our best insight into His nature. I reject that it's a convoluted mess of symbols, allegories, and nifty little stories that have no basis in reality. A God who would commission such a tome is one I have no interest in meeting. He is a God without substance, lighter than a whim, and just as phony.

I would write more, but being a good little fundamentalist, I'm off to blast someone who doesn't think in lock-step with me straight to kingdom come. Hey, I'm just doing my part in perpetuating the stereotype.

No comments: