The Bible is not a rule book. It says very little about lots of issues which affect us today. If we look hard we may find ‘proof texts’ to support a particular moral stance but they might be reliant on the Old Testament and maybe contradicted elsewhere. Even Jesus contradicted or brought new light on an old saying. (For example ‘eye for an eye’ in Matthew 5.) Here are some examples of current issues in a somewhat random order.
- Slavery – in it’s institutionalised and modern forms
- The death penalty or capital punishment
- Global warming or looking after the earth
… and …
Continue reading “Is the Bible God’s final word?”
As we live in an imperfect society we need some rules and laws to combat the worst forms of evil. Religion has its own sets of rules, but Jesus showed us that if we follow his way, love transcends rules. He was born into a Jewish society which had built up a complex set of rules to moderate and control how people lived their everyday lives. We will see in this article how Jesus broke many of the rules and traditions that religion imposed. Continue reading “Jesus breaks religious rules”
When I was a child I attended Christian churches, which, although they preached the good news of the Gospel, nevertheless taught that we had to strive all of our lives to please God and conform to certain rules. So I was taught not to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, visit the cinema or to dance. We had turned Jesus into a religion.
Now we can drink as long as we don’t get drunk, and we can even dance in church. However there is still a risk of encouraging religion by expecting people to conform to our standards and rules.
For two thousand years, we have turned the good news into a religion. The process started with the early church when some were told they needed to be circumcised to really be saved. Others were told that they mustn’t eat meat which had been used as an offering to other religions. Others were side-lined into worshipping angels. Some tried to reconcile the Old Testament law with their new-found faith. Continue reading “What is wrong with Religion?”