- Religion and Philosophy
Warning: Everyone Interprets Scripture
One of the founding church fathers, Origen, had his own interpretations and they were widely accepted for over 200 years. Then the church with opposing factions and differing interpretations placed Origen on the list of outcasts and Byzantine Emperor Justinian sat in judgment about which interpretation was to become accepted by the church.
The existing Pope, Vigilius, had refused to attend this "kangaroo court" of ecclesiastical dogma and was placed under arrest by the Emperor. When the ecumenical council was over and a signature coerced out of the Pope, the Pope was allowed to go back to Rome. He never made it back alive. Church dogma was established as a matter of politics and the whims of Emperor Justinian and his conniving wife, Theodora.
Today, some pastors preach that miracles are impossible in modern times—that only the combined body of Christianity can perform a "miracle" of works by sheer numbers. That's not really a miracle. Other ministers preach that miracles are possible with faith, just as Jesus said they are.
Today, some pastors preach that salvation is permanently yours just for saying that you are following Christ. They comfort their flock with the soothing words that they can do anything they want after pledging themselves to Christ and that their place in Heaven is secure. Other ministers preach that salvation only comes from staying with Christ after pledging themselves to him. That's a big difference! Two widely separate interpretations.
Today, some factions of Christianity say that the universe, the world and humanity are only about 6000 years old—according to a literal Genesis. They disrespect science and scientists as "evolutionary," even though evolution is only a small part of science. They make strange and wild claims about how things got the way they are because they are interpreting scripture as if there is a need to interpret nature this way. Are they living in a delusion? Other factions of Christianity are okay with science and a 13.7 billion year universe. They're okay with humanity being more than 200,000 years old.
Using the Holy Spirit to Interpret
This book is from years of my own research into a biblical timeline compatible with those of mainstream science. I wasn't surprised that God's holy book would match his own creation (reality), but there were many surprises, including discovering through science the target of Noah's Flood -- a species which went extinct at that time.
So, who is right?
But more important is the point that nearly everyone interprets scripture. I say "nearly," because there might be a prophet or one anointed with the Holy Spirit who does not interpret anything, but merely sees it for what it is. For that, we can all be grateful. For the rest of us, though, we need to get more humble.
"But I'm already humble," some might say.
"Then take the ego you have remaining and cut it in half. Throw away the odd part."
"Is this humble enough?"
"Now, take the remaining ego and cut it in half, again. Throw away the odd part."
"Now, am I humble enough?"
"No. You need to take that ego which is remaining and cut it in half."
"Okay, I've done that. Now am I humble enough?"
"Take all the ego that remains and cut it in half. Throw away the odd part."
What is the object lesson of this conversation? This lesson tells us to be critically self aware. This lesson warns us that even when we think we are clean, we need to look and to keep looking until we know that we are clean.
But knowledge to the spiritually blind looks like self-delusion. So how can one really ever know that they are free of the delusion? Keep getting more and more humble until ego is at zero and cannot be halved any more. Then the Lord will tell you to stand—that you have kneeled long enough. It will be time to do the work of the Lord with the fullness of spirit.