GracePointe Church, a progressive Christian church in Nashville, posted a graphic on Facebook earlier this month explaining their stance on the Bible. Like other more liberal Christians, they accept that it’s a man-made book, full of errors and contradictions and indefensible passages, but still worth taking seriously for other reasons. They also don’t think it should be used as a science book — take that, Ken Ham — or as a weapon against LGBTQ people.
The image they posted, however, got conservatives riled up because it also claimed the Bible was not “the Word of God”:
Pastor Josh Scott is now defending that statement to the Christian Post:
“I actually want to try to help people hear the story of the Bible, hear the stories and letters and poems in a fresh way, but a way that honors where that came from and the people that produced it,” he noted, while arguing that while parts of the Bible can be considered the “Word of God,” not all of it is.
He pointed to Old Testament prophets like Amos and Jeremiah who would preface messages from God with “the Lord came to Amos, or the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.”
“There is stuff in there (Bible) that I think really goes against the character of God. There are genocides that have been divinely sanctioned in the Bible. People have used the text in the Bible, plain readings of the text at times to support white supremacy, to defend slavery, to defend segregation,” he noted. “Saying the Bible is inerrant and infallible, it absolves us of our responsibility to do what our ancestors did, which is to wrestle.”
Those are the words of someone who’s actually read the Bible. Good on him.
He still gives it too much credit, but at least he acknowledges the book’s flaws instead of assuming it’s perfect in every way and cannot be reinterpreted or changed. I have no desire to join his church but you can already assume the people who are part of this congregation are the kinds of people you wouldn’t mind hanging out with.
Still, the reaction online includes a complete dismissal of Scott’s faith, with some Christians claiming progressive Christians aren’t real Christians — more like “regressive” Christians, amirite? — and that a healthy understanding of the Bible will sentence you to an eternity in hellfire.
Totally normal infighting over a work of fiction.
(Thanks to Cindy for the link)