Questioning the Scriptures

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SilentDawning
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Questioning the Scriptures

Post by SilentDawning » 13 Aug 2019, 08:47

As I've gotten older, I find myself questioning whether scriptures are really a good way to live your life -- at least, to the extent touted in most religions.

1. They are often vague and general. They don't tell you HOW to solve many day to day problems -- I find relying on books by experts, after filtering it through the lens of research and personal needs -- is far better than scripture study. Scriptures point you in a general direction (pray, be good, follow God's will) but they are short on specific practices. And when they do prescribe them, they are often out of date and specific to the time. Many are riddled with the biases of ages past.

2. I find scriptures are sometimes even wrong. For example the new testament scripture that "no man can serve two masters". There is a common and effective way of running organizations where each person has two bosses -- their functional boss (sales, marketing, finance, operations) and their project boss (research and development, customer retention project etcetera). In these situations, these cross-functional organizations do very well. The idea that having two bosses is never good simply isn't accurate.

Now, when an inaccuracy is uncovered, people will say "Christ was talking about serving God and Satan at the same time, he wasn't talking about general service to people in authority". I hear stuff like that all the time. You question a scripture's meaning or accuracy and someone will then narrow the scope of the meaning of the scripture so it's accurate again.

3. They are ambiguous -- people interpret them as they see fit. And they've been used to justify same sex attraction, debunk same sex attraction, justify murder, speak out against murder, and you name it. The fact that the Miracle of Forgiveness is no longer printed or supported by our church, along with Mormon Doctrine goes to show how scripture can be interpreted many different ways even by people in high authoritative places.

4. I will say they are good for what I call "inspiration triggers". You read a general passage and reflect and you might get some personal revelation about what it means for your life, but I get that from a lot of sources, not just scriptures.

I will continue to read them -- many are pithy and valuable, but I feel they are often overrated.

What are your thoughts? And is scripture reading a major regimen in your life?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: Questioning the Scriptures

Post by Roy » 13 Aug 2019, 16:09

I find the scriptures have the following non-divine benefits.
1) they are a story vehicle for tranmistting some positive moral lessons.
2) they are wisdom literature. They are a collection of inspired and wise writings.
3) they form a cultural identity. We live in a Christian nation. Many cultural aspects have their roots in the bible. Being conversant in it can help.
4) they are living documents. I actually quite like how they are interpretted and reinterpreted. In this way they receive a fresh twist of perspective to keep them relevant in a new generation. Because I am pretty well versed in all the LDS interpretations, I find many of the non-LDS interpretations fascinating and new to me.
5) they have anchient roots. especially in religious matters, people trust what is old. When christianity began they saw themselves as the fulfillment and continuation of judiasm. When Mormonism started they saw themselves as the fulfillment and continuation of christianity. Being old gives a sense of credibility.

From a believing perspective the benefits of scriptures are much more - from answering the questions of what happens before and after life, to giving life purpose and meaning, to reading the "Word of God" an feeling His voice touch your soul. Those benefits to the believer are invaluable and irreplacable.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Cadence
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Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 21:36

Re: Questioning the Scriptures

Post by Cadence » 13 Aug 2019, 17:02

I have often said scripture especially in the church is very cherry picked. If you take the Bible maybe 3% is used. Mostly just those that fit the narrative. It’s a little better with the BofM but not much

If you take a bible and just randomly open it and read a page more than likely it will not make much sense. You have to have it framed In specific belief system to be coherent.




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Minyan Man
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: Questioning the Scriptures

Post by Minyan Man » 13 Aug 2019, 18:04

Lately I have developed a love & appreciation for the parables. For the reasons outlined by Roy:
Roy wrote:
13 Aug 2019, 16:09
I find the scriptures have the following non-divine benefits.
1) they are a story vehicle for tranmistting some positive moral lessons.
2) they are wisdom literature. They are a collection of inspired and wise writings.
3) they form a cultural identity. We live in a Christian nation. Many cultural aspects have their roots in the bible. Being conversant in it can help.
4) they are living documents. I actually quite like how they are interpretted and reinterpreted. In this way they receive a fresh twist of perspective to keep them relevant in a new generation. Because I am pretty well versed in all the LDS interpretations, I find many of the non-LDS interpretations fascinating and new to me.
5) they have anchient roots. especially in religious matters, people trust what is old. When christianity began they saw themselves as the fulfillment and continuation of judiasm. When Mormonism started they saw themselves as the fulfillment and continuation of christianity. Being old gives a sense of credibility.

From a believing perspective the benefits of scriptures are much more - from answering the questions of what happens before and after life, to giving life purpose and meaning, to reading the "Word of God" an feeling His voice touch your soul. Those benefits to the believer are invaluable and irreplacable.
The parables are open ended. To me this means, it allows us to use our imagination and apply our own meaning to the story being taught.
For example, the Prodigal Son. What was the older son's reaction to his Father's treatment of the younger son?
- was he happy?
- was he angry & hurt?
- did he welcome his brother home like the Father did?
- did he become a prodigal son too?

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