Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

If Not The Bible, What Is Our Authority On Truth?

In The Bible, The Holy Spirit on November 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of such a thing as the Bible god but I believe it is alive and well today while it was virtually non-existent before the printing press. Basically, the Bible within Christianity has generally taken the place of God himself – a view I hold through experience.

I actually consider the Bible an authority in my life but not THE authority. Interestingly, the Bible itself doesn’t even make this claim. Instead, it says that “the Spirit will lead you into all truth.” It doesn’t say that the Bible will lead you into all truth. It only says that the scriptures are beneficial and that’s like, well duh, learning math is pretty beneficial too.

Where/what is the Spirit of truth? Not the Bible. I believe it is the power of God himself and it dwells “within” us. The Spirit can speak through the Bible but it can also speak through a lot of other books and people and any other part of its creation. So the Spirit of truth can speak through the Bible but is not confined to it. That seems to be a really difficult idea for many Christians to grasp because churches teach that if we don’t “believe the Bible,” then we’re not saved. (I guess the illiterate are screwed in that case.)

When someone says the Bible is their standard of truth, I ask them which interpretation? They, of course, fall back onto their specific church division. I then ask, “Well, how do you know that your church has the correct interpretation? How do you know that, say, the Mormons don’t have a monopoly on the truth?” And evangelical Christians don’t usually have an answer to that because they feel wrong for saying, “I just know.”

Back to the Spirit within us, I think we can “just know” and decide for ourselves; and everyone does this anyway whether we refuse to think about and determine our own beliefs or not. If we, as an individual are responsible for our personal beliefs, if we reap the consequences for believing them, then I think we are innately our own authority. God seemed to set it up this way, at least. And we have that capability because of the spirit within us.

So, bottom line: think for yourself because you are responsible for yourself.


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