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The Dangers Of Literalism

I have shown in my interpretation of the creation account, that of the flood and my study of the book of revelation that there is not so much an analogy in the text to other scientific and mathematical principles, but an embedding of meaning in the language used itself. That "word pictures" and equivalencies of language given to bronze age and iron age people - the recipients of the text (that not only made sense to them at the time), ensured the continuation of the scripture kept intact for us today whom now have the language necessary to reveal the embeddding of God's intended meaning. (God has the ability to preserve his word intact.)

The objection that this is sleight of hand I critically dismiss; there are too many such intersecting principles in revelation and the book of genesis for this to be a mere "trick". The dangers of anyone killing others and of mass violence caused by taking the scriptures literally has essentially been left in the past except for by the fanatical today. Even to the priest of the dark ages, who could not himself read and would also have had you burned at the stake for reading the bible (thus taking away the power of the church to interpret in God's place, the crime of "usurping all" the power of the pontiff from the throne in the vatican down to the illiterate priest in the diocese) would be unaware of the scriptures.

Then there was, through ignorance a great gulf in history where the scriptures were not taken literally, or even "at all" after any particular manner. Why blame God for the lack of enlightenment? If the critical objection is that the account was given to the bronze age nomad in terms of 20th century relativistic science and study and was kept intact in the basic language they had then, some three thousand years ago and then some; then why lay the blame for a lack of enlightenment at God's door if we were not yet enlightened enough to understand it? Clearly God intended no restraint on our mind's own freedom - being a device of the enemy to do so.

What would the illiterate priest have made of a seminary that taught him about the "righteous light of God" that can not agree on whether today comes before tomorrow or at the same time; or whether the curvature of space-time back on itself is causally paradoxical? The priest was not enlightened, although the account itself through its embedded language is clearly enlightened.

The literalist would look at the text and state that all that is written within was performed as stated by God. None of this has been lost in the interpretation. the embedding preserves the meaning. Other parts of the scripture such as in revelation - that of the 'apocalyptic' imagery is interpreted in the sense that God will not lose one of His elect to the dragon (besides Judas.) Even the appearance of God having removed himself far off from us is only an illusion according to the pattern the world is described as existing within.

No one today, or indeed in Jesus' own day expected burning mountains to fall from the sky, unless God spoke it would certainly happen : indeed from the interpretation of the imagery in the text this has already occurred as in the embedding's account: No one expected a scarlet beast to parade across the seas either, with the world drowning underneath - then or now: So clearly (thanks James) there is a historical precedent for considering that the text indicates something higher than literalism.

The greatest danger of the text is not its meaning, or its truth - but the literal nature that non-believers assume the text to have! Clearly the christian today is ridiculed by the atheist and secular minded that the bible is a book full of children's stories with no relevance today, and is clearly invalidated by observations based on the universe visible today. That universe is clearly explained by the text itself, and after the manner of our own knowledge which we apply to understand the world around us.

How strange that the danger of literalism comes from the unbelief of those without the discernment to read the scripture; that the unruly children for whom the stories are meant have long rejected them because they and their forebears have not grown up enough to read them! Just as the christian who can not interpret can now and swiftly engage the scripture, those that reject it on the basis of literalism are themselves made foolish - where will they turn when they are shown to be as children with only a child's spiritual reading level?


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