It is more logical to suggest we can’t always be certain what an invisible, inaudibly God thinks. But, don’t so many different churches exist despite the shared message of love because they are certain about their beliefs in opposition to others? One reason for claims of certainty about God is because an infallible Book often leads down the slippery slope as if interpretations are infallible. But, the Bible or any Book can’t be a definitive guide of what God is like because even those who respect as an authoritative guide disagree what it says.
An infallible Book often leads to unloving actions.
When one is certain what God thinks according to the Bible, perhaps out of fear or respect for a Supreme Being, this can lead to threatening or forcing supposed certainty on others. But, those who accept Scriptures as authoritative don’t agree the Bible condemns gays or that women can’t serve as priests or pastors. Besides, there must be a good reason God doesn’t force beliefs though surely an all-knowing God is certain.
A fallible Book can lead to acting more loving.
Being unable to declare the certainty or morality of our opinions forces us to listen and express ideas openly. Starting a conversation with “I may be wrong” more likely leads to new understandings and creative solutions. Try it in marriage! Conversations change when humbleness is part of the tone. Certainty when it comes to political matters such as taxes or health plans has led to justifying verbal or physical violence in the name of God or morality.
An infallible Bible leads to many rejecting God and justifying violence in God’s name.
People may reject God for the wrong reasons when assuming the Bible in infallible or the writers always understood God perfectly and didn’t grow in their understanding. Moses claims God approved during war killing boys and non-virgin women but saving virgins for yourselves (Num. 31:18). The Bible is used to claim God condemns gays when they can no more choose who they love than straights can. It is often not acknowledged the Bible can be defended to not condemn monogamous gay or straight relationships. When God is portrayed as unloving or less than perfectly moral, understandably this can lead to atheism or rejecting God. What’s the point of believing in a less than perfect God!
The possibility of an infallible Book has led down the slippery slope of assuming interpretations are infallible. Literature always requires interpretation and we could be wrong. Not questioning if writers always understood God perfectly or assuming our interpretations are infallible has led to justifying slavery, killing infidels, and other atrocities. Supposed biblical commands must stand side by side with our moral consciences and open-mindedness.
A fallible Book may lead to knowing God better.
We make claims about God without acknowledging we may be wrong. Isn’t it better to be inquisitive rather than sure but wrong? Reading the Bible with a questioning spirit rather than blind obedience reminds us to not claim certainly because interpretations are subjective. Expressions of certainty than uncertainty are most likely to lead to chaos by forcing beliefs in God’s name. Actions that violate one’s physical rights are clearly wrong. We must be careful though to not condemn all other actions that don’t violate the rights of others because supposedly the Bible says.
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