In my very first post in blog 1.0 I spoke about my desire the read the Holy Bible cover to cover. Several years on I’ve mostly accomplished that goal. And while in blog 1.0 I used several posts to dissect and parse biblical passages–basically nitpick, I’m now going to give my “overall impression”, a macro view instead of the micro.
Here it is: boiled down to its very essence the bible is top notch. The key messages of loving thy neighbors, forgiving trespasses, and treating others as you’d like to be treated really resonate. Some of the rest is dangerous tribal hogwash, but I’m supremely happy to try to follow much of the heart of old testament teachings and Jesus Christ’s new covenant.
Much of what I’ve come to believe in religion and Christianity was reinforced reading The Man Who Quit Money (hereafter TMWQM) by Mark Sundeen. TMWQM chronicles the lifelong struggles of Daniel Suelo, a gay man raised as a fundamentalist Christian who tried to literally live Christ’s teachings. He renounced all worldly possessions, “squatted” on public land and lived on charity and forage. He denied any monetary benefit from his good works and struggled with his faith and his homosexuality.
But Suelo’s biggest battles lately involve defending his sexuality and spirituality against narrow minded evangelical Christians. When asked by one if he (Suelo) thought he could “live like Jesus?”, Suelo responded: “Wasn’t that what Jesus said: do what I do? He was here as an example for us to follow. Same with all prophets. Didn’t the prophets tell us to be like them? That’s what’s wrong with Christianity. They make Jesus and the prophets into icons, take them off of earth, and put them in heaven to worship them, so they’re no longer accessible. You’ve taken a reality and made it into a worthless idol. Christians talk about the idolatry of other religions, but when they no longer live principles and just worship the people who taught them, that’s exactly what they’re doing.” (TMWQM, p. 246)