The Bible Is Not the Source of Truth

Three Dimensional Sidewalk Art

Perception is not reality.  (Street Art by Julian Beever) Photo Credit:  Manh Hung Hoang

Truth is reality.  When our perception differs from reality, we are in error.  Sometimes we perceive a portion of reality which we extrapolate to describe the entirety of reality.  This is also an error.  See the story of the blind men and the elephant for an illustration.

One of the greatest errors of Western Christianity, is that it views the bible as The Source of truth.  This is the underlying error that props up the Christian religion.  (By Christian religion, I mean the man-powered enterprise—business if you will—of trying to appease God.  Participating in the religious enterprise is distinctly different from being a follower of Christ, and the distinction is vast and glaring.  In fact, the two endeavors are diametrically opposed to each other.  Many people endeavor to do both, but their religious efforts severely retard their spiritual development.  Please understand that this is not a commentary on religious people but on the religious system.)

You see, the bible is not the source of truth.  God is the source of truth, which the biblical authors did their best to reflect, albeit, imperfectly.  This is not hair splitting over nuances.  This is a distinction between concepts that make or break the foundation of an accurate understanding of God.

Perception is Not Reality

Photo Credit:  Stacy Clinton

The faulty line of reasoning runs as follows:

The Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God.  We know this because the Bible frequently refers to “the word of God.”  Because God cannot lie (we know this because the Bible tells us so) the Bible is 100% accurate in every detail.  If the Bible contained even one error, then we wouldn’t be able to trust any of it.  The Bible reveals Jesus to us.  If the Bible were untrustworthy, then the reason for our faith in Jesus is null and void and there would be no basis for the Christian faith.

This line of reasoning is assumptive, circular, and patently illogical.  It does however, when left unchallenged, present a formidable, guilt-based foundation for the religious enterprise with its revenue generating machinery, political influence, and artificial hierarchy.  God intended humanity to be a bride and body for His Son.  Yet Christians have traded a relationship for a religion that holds the bible in higher regard than it does Jesus.

Christians will deny that they revere the Bible more highly than they do Jesus, but their words and actions reveal otherwise.  Recently a prominent Protestant cleric put out a video in which he pontificated to the masses that we need to use the Bible to understand God, and we need to understand God, so that we can understand Jesus.  Never once did he mention that God is most clearly revealed in His Son.  Ironically, his backward reasoning is completely antithetical to what Jesus himself taught, and what God spoke from heaven—twice, once when Jesus was baptized and once when Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah on the mountain.

“Aha,” some will gloat.  “But you read those stories in the Bible.”  This is true.  But Western Christians almost universally view the story of Jesus through the lens of their assumptions rather than through an evidentiary lens.  Meaning they blindly accept the bible as an authoritative, divine message rather than as an evidential record that should be carefully evaluated.  The result is that they regard the words and example of Jesus the same as the words of any other biblical author.  They revere the written record, but view Jesus primarily as a concept—a historical figure that can only be known by a few written accounts.  They don’t preach or exemplify the living Jesus.  This isn’t for lack of trying.  I believe that most Christians are sincere and well-intentioned.  But Jesus isn’t primarily expressed by individuals, and he certainly isn’t expressed by institutions.  He is most clearly expressed by the collective assembly of believers who allow his Spirit to live through them.  And to be clear, “collective assembly” does not apply to a bunch of people who gather to sit passively with their backs to each other once a week.

The story and message of Jesus isn’t true because the Bible says so.  It is true because it is Reality.  He lived, and he still lives today.  Reality is reality, whether or not it is written in the bible.  Our agreement or disagreement about the factual correctness of the entire bible (Is the earth flat or not?  Does God condone genocide or not?) is entirely irrelevant to reality.  Jesus is alive in his followers.  I don’t mean this metaphorically, as in “the spirit and intent of Jesus’ teaching is alive in people that think he was a pretty cool guy.”  I mean that He is alive in his followers.  He is expressed collectively through his followers when they allow his Spirit to live through them.

The reality is that God is the ultimate source of truth.  He is the one who is.  He is the origin of reality.  Any truth we discover, regardless of the medium by which we discover it, is merely a reflection of the ultimate source.  Until we acknowledge the source of truth, and view the bible as a reflection of that truth, then Jesus will be to us nothing more than a mere historical narrative used to prop up another failed religion.

5 thoughts on “The Bible Is Not the Source of Truth

  1. I just discovered your site yesterday through Done With Religion site. I couldn’t stop reading. It is fantastic. Love the way you think and write. Really delighted to be connected to this website.

    Like

  2. Pingback: What is Truth? | The Wild Frontier

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