But the Bible says......
- Dear Friends of Chi Rho Press,
Dr. Rembert Truluck writes prolifically on the internet and this is one of his
latest pieces. We think it is wonderful and thought we would pass it
on this week to you all.
Dr. Truluck is the author of "Invitation to Freedom," which Chi Rho
Press has published, and the up-coming "Steps to Recovery from Bible
Abuse," which we will be publishing this year. We are having a
special sale on "Invitation to Freedom" -- $5.00 plus shipping and
handling (see out last eNewsletter). Write Orders@... to
place an order. We will be announcing a pre-publication sale for
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse this month.
In addition, we are offering special Promissory Notes for the
publication of "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" ($1,000 at 8%
interest, repaid in eight quarterly installments over a two year
period). Write me at Adam@... for more information.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
And now, here are Dr. Truluck's piece on, "But the Bible says . . . "
"THE BIBLE SAYS"
Rembert Truluck. Update for September 29, 1999
"Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" http://www.truluck.com
Thank you for passing this on to others.
THE BIBLE IS A MIXED BLESSING of great spiritual information and power
along with perplexing inconsistencies and a tumultuous history of
distortions and abusive use against powerless people. The Bible holds
out hope in the truth about God's unconditional love and acceptance of
all people, and at the same time the Bible is being used by legalistic,
homophobic religions as a weapon to attack, oppress, and destroy Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people.
How often have you heard the words "The Bible says" followed by verbal
emotional and religious abuse, rejection and invalidation of you as a
person? Did God intend that the Bible should be used to cause the human
suffering that is being endured from religion by GLBT people today? Did
God intend that the Bible should be used to incite self-destructive and
suicidal behavior in multitudes of homosexual teenagers?
WHAT IS THE BIBLE, ANYWAY?
1. The Bible is not God and does not claim to be God. The Bible is a
book. The word "bible" is the word for "book" that comes from Greek
"biblos", the term for the bark of the papyrus plant, which was used for
writing material and which also was linked to the name of the Phoenician
city of Byblos, where book making materials were developed and one of
the places where books began to take the form of stacks of pages bound
on one edge (codex) instead of the ancient form of scrolls.
2. "The Bible is not the fourth member of the Trinity. You are." This
statement in my web site material on the Bible has brought a lot of
criticism, ridicule and hate mail my way! Jesus in John 17 made clear
his intention that his followers would speak for him and represent him
and God as living messages of love and truth. Paul in 2 Corinthians
2:1-3 called his readers "living letters" that communicate God's message
more effectively than words written on stone or paper.
3. In John 1:1-14 Jesus is called the "word of God." The Bible as a
book never calls itself "the word of God." Remember that the early
church accepted the New Testament writings gradually, beginning with the
Four Gospels and Acts and adding Paul's letters and other writings until
about A.D. 1000, when the book of Revelation was accepted in all of the
4. Warnings against distortions and the abusive use of Scripture are
found throughout the teachings of Jesus. Paul, especially in 2
Corinthians, warned against distorting and misusing his letters. 2
Peter 3:14-18 issued a strong rebuke against "unstable and untaught"
Bible abusers who distorted Paul's writings as well as the rest of
Scriptures "to their own destruction."
5. The Bible was not necessary for Christianity. The early spread of
Christianity throughout the Roman world took place before the Bible
reached the form that it had at the time in A.D. 325 when Constantine
made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. The message of
Jesus was taken to the world personally by word of mouth before it was
written down and organized into the present New Testament that we have
today. (Read my "Hebrew and Greek" section in my web site as listed
6. THE BIBLE IS A COLLECTION of ancient writings produced over a period
of approximately 1000 years that express and reflect many different
languages, cultures, philosophies and human experiences. Out-of-context
and incorrectly translated passages from the Bible have been used for
centuries to teach conflicting and contradictory interpretations of God
and religion. The result has been both a splintering and a discrediting
of the true purpose and message of the Bible. For Christians, Jesus is
the obvious Bible corrective to abusive uses of the Bible and religion
to hurt and destroy people. Misuse of the Bible is heightened by the
fact that not a single word used in the Bible means exactly the same
thing today that it did when the Bible was formed 2,000 years ago.
7. THE BIBLE AND OTHER MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS have often been used to
teach and enforce ideas that build and sustain religious and political
control over people. Especially in times of war, nations turn to
religion to motivate soldiers to fight to the death, from the extremes
of suicide bombers in World War II and religious teachings that
convinced armies that death in battle meant immediate transportation to
heaven to the religion based patriotism of both sides in the U.S. Civil
war and in every war since.
Soon after the Bible reached its present form in the fourth century, the
Roman Emperor Constantine began to adapt Christianity to fit the
existing religious, political and military forms of the Roman Empire.
As Christianity spread throughout the Roman world, pragmatic politics
combined teachings of the church with various cultures, philosophies,
societies and religions along the way. By the time of the Reformation
in 1517, the Bible had been used not to find truth but to justify and
explain a vast system of religion, politics and power that had taken
fifteen hundred years to develop.
The use of the Bible to justify and explain existing culture, religion
and politics continues unabated today in spite of great advances in
every field of research and knowledge. Even in our present "information
revolution" brought on by computers, the Internet and a rising flood of
fresh new information, the Bible is being used by many people to justify
and explain misinformed and illogical beliefs.
PRESENT PROGRESS FOR GLBT PEOPLE
Our present progress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender
self-acceptance, self-esteem, and acceptance in society and religion is
just one step on a long, long path to the light at the end of the
tunnel. The clear message of Jesus is multi-dimensional and flexible
enough to be experienced and expressed in millions of individual ways.
Human diversity is encouraged and enhanced by the life and message of
Jesus. The use of the Bible to limit and control human diversity is a
contradiction of the Spirit of Jesus. "Where the Spirit of Jesus is,
there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17.
In view of the life and message of Jesus, how could anyone maintain that
God intended that the Bible should be used to humiliate, condemn and
destroy people because of their sexual orientation? How could anyone
justify the use of the Bible to teach Gay and Lesbian teens to fear and
hate themselves so much that they develop self-destructive and suicidal
thoughts and behavior? When will misinformed hateful distortions of the
Bible finally cease and the Spirit of Jesus prevail?
See also: http://www.truluck.com/html/hebrew___greek.html
PO Box 24062
Oakland, CA 94623
Adam DeBaugh, Director, ChiRhoPrss@...
Ronald DeVrou, Humble List Servant