I believe, as stated in 2 Timothy, that scripture is useful.
But until people can see that divinely inspired does NOT mean divinely dictated, inerrant, or perfect; and until people start
to see that the Bible is not an “owner’s manual,” “playbook,” “rules for life,” or any of those other crazy things; and until the
Bible can be seen as an unfolding, progressive revelation of God that did not end with the “canonization of scripture;” until
people have a better understanding of how to approach, understand, and interpret the Bible; until AT LEAST we get that far,
I’m close to believing we should put the Bibles back on the shelf and leave them there. That could easily encourage people into
having a close relationship with God, instead of with a book.
“We’ve gotten ourselves in a mess with the Bible.”
“First, we are in a scientific mess. Fundamentalism…again and again paints itself into a corner by requiring that the Bible be treated as a divinely dictated science textbook.” “This approach has set up Christians on the wrong side of truth again and again.” “Many pious people deny our environmental crises by quoting Bible verses and mocking science. Just as they were the last to acknowledge the rotation of the earth and its revolution around the sun, they’ll be the last to acquiesce to what science is telling us about our growing ecological crises.”
“Second, we are in trouble in relation to ethics.” “…we are stuck now…largely obsessed with narrow hot-button feuds (eg. abortion, sexual orientation, nationalism, genetic engineering) that end up being little more than litmus tests for political affiliation.”
“In the United States, white Evangelical Christians are the most fervent advocates of government-sanctioned torture and…frequent churchgoing is a statistical indicator of support for torture.”
“Third, we are in deep trouble relating to peace.” “When careless preachers use the Bible as a club or sword to dominate or wound, they discredit the Bible in a way that no skeptic can.”
“It’s an old and tired game: quoting sacred texts to strengthen an us-versus-them mentality.” “In case after case in the past, there is a kind of Bible-quoting intoxication under the influence of which we religious people lose the ability to distinguish between what God says and what we say God says.“
—- Taken from “A New Kind Of Christianity” by Brian McLaren. Buy the book HERE.