How to ruin faith.

Fundamentalism, in any form, is dangerous. It signals a halt to evolution, to introspection and to the possibility of growth. It signifies that my personal philosophy or my holy book is the ultimate reality and any wisdom that is not familiar to me is ‘other’, confronting, and easily or necessarily dismissed.

If you are brought up in an environment that encourages biblical literalism, then, from my observations,  there are two possible outcomes. The apologetics route, whereby people become very good at finding answers to impossible conundrums (yes, all animals could have been fitted on the Ark- they were embryos, apparently), or the realisation that the fact that there are several genesis stories or several ark stories means that the bible can’t be a scientific handbook, and so the basis of faith is rocked. Outcome;  atheist/ agnostic.

For thought provoking and articulate examples of how latter is currently manifesting, have a look at Recovering Agnostic and Christian Agnostic.

It makes me sad that what could have be positive and life-affirming faith has been undermined by a fundamentalist upbringing. This is what happens when you ask someone to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Tell you what, it’s a funny old world when I’m the one trying to persuade former believers to reconsider their stance. Very odd indeed.

6 thoughts on “How to ruin faith.

  1. The more I actually read the Bible and contemplate so-called biblical literalism, the more I think the literalists want us to believe in the narrow truths and highly selective truths they are willing to extract from these wonderfully confusing and life giving scriptures.
    The multiple creations stories (one day I must make a list of all them throughout the bible) are just the start of the contradictions. Recently, it was also pointed out to me that none of the gospel can agree on a timeline for Jesus’s life. Major life events crop up in totally different sequences.
    And more recently I have been contemplating the many of the social justice verses in the prophets, psalms, gospels and epistles. I don’t see too many fundamentalists taking those literally. In fact, it is not uncommon to come across commentaries that suggests that we should take the miracles stories as totally literal but the social teaching, of course, if meant to be hyperbole or metaphoric. Hmmm.
    But if you step back from trying to find scientific truths and say that these are holy (whole-making) scriptures that give insight to encounters with the divine – then a great new truths step forward.
    anyway here endeth me sermon for tonight. You have pushed a button of mine.

  2. Thanks for the link…I enjoy the honest voice you bring to the conversation. I really wish there was more of a “live and let live” attitude among those who read the Bible for inspiration as opposed to the fundamentalist/Evangelical mindset that the Bible is all you’ll ever need to know.

    I was just having a conversation with a co-worker that is a Buddhist. I was telling him that there are parts of the Bible that I still find very enjoyable. Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and James were the ones that I mentioned.

  3. Pingback: An all too shakeable Faith. | The Aspirational Agnostic

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