Bible centered lives
February 12, 2012 by Bill
Theodore Hesburgh was one of the great Presidents of the University of Notre Dame. Upon his retirement he issued a most remarkable statement. He said, “You know there is really no such thing as Roman Catholic University.” He went on to explain that a true university represents an open-ended search for truth regardless of where it leads, combined with the best scholarship known to institutions of higher learning. Whereas the very words “Roman Catholic” represent dogma, doctrine and indoctrination, the very antithesis of an open ended search for truth.
I know what he meant. When I was teaching at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, I was often with faculty members from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. They were owned by the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran church. One of their faculty members, with tears in his eyes, said this to me one day: “You have no idea how much we envy you. You are free to teach and explore all of the latest scholarship in every area of religion. We are not free like that under Missouri Synod control. If we were to teach or expose our students to anything that would threaten Missouri Synod doctrine, we could be fired.” You see…there is no such thing as a Missouri Synod Lutheran university.
All over this country are churches and “colleges” promoting themselves as “Bible” centered and “Christ” centered. For a church, that label is valid. But there is no such thing as a “Bible and Christ” centered college. “Christ and Bible” are dogma, doctrine and indoctrination. A college is, according to my Unabridged Editorials: “An institution of higher learning, one providing a liberal arts education.” Do you think for one gullible and naive moment that anyone could expose those students, in a bible college, to any of the most distinguished scholars in the world who could demolish their narrow and restricted “bible” indoctrination?
You can rest assured that “bible” centered indoctrination does not include any contemporary scholarship, such as was revealed in the April 13, 2009, edition of the Los Angeles Times. On the front page, column one, was an exhaustive article on the fact that scholars have known for years that there was no Exodus, and that: “The biblical epic of Moses NEVER HAPPENED. Even Jewish scholars admit that it is myth.” And: “Joshua’s fabled military campaigns never occurred.” As one Rabbi put it: You can never know God by denying the truth, and the truth is Moses and the Exodus never happened. It is mythology.”
George Ernest Wright and Frank Cross were two of the most respected and distinguished biblical scholars in the world. They were the Protestant representatives on the first translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and were my professors at Chicago. They both went on to Harvard. I’ll never forget the first day of class. They held up a bible and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a bible. We are STUCK WITH IT. Now, let’s try and make the best of it.”
Churches and colleges, claiming to be “Christian,” say they are “Bible centered.” What in the world does that mean? When I was teaching at the University I used to end the last ten sessions of every semester in the same way. I would invite in ten representatives of different Christian traditions to speak to my class and explain their “beliefs.” They had one hour, with 20 minutes for questions and answers. I had only one rule: The students must remain courteous but could ask anything they wanted. I would start with a Christian Science Practitioner. Next hour would be the Jehovah Witnesses (who always came in threes). Then Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Pentecostals, Roman Catholic priests, and on and on through ten speakers. They all quoted from the bible to affirm and justify and “prove” their positions. The students soon realized that they were listening to TEN TOTALLY DIFFERENT RELIGIONS, all calling themselves “Christian” and all reading from the same book, the bible, to “prove” their beliefs.
No other religion studied by historians has been, or is, so completely fragmented and splintered as the one we call “Christianity.” Protestantism alone has disintegrated into more than 400 different denominations, all quoting from the bible.
Can you see why the phrase “Bible Christian” or “Bible centered” is ludicrous and nonsensical?
Why any woman would want to be in a “Bible centered” church or “college” is beyond human understanding.
What the bible and the church have done to degrade women is one of the great crimes of human history. The treatment of women in the bible is characterized by such indecency and utter contempt that to call this book the “word” of God is total travesty. The bible is man made, written by men for men. A brief history lesson: In the year 584 AD there was held the Council of Macon in Lyons, France. Sixty-three Catholic bishops and twenty men representing other bishops met to engage in a serious debate on this subject: ARE WOMEN HUMAN? After days of debate the vote was taken. Thirty-two voted “yes”. Thirty-one voted “no.” Women were declared “human” by the Christian church by one vote. The history of women in Christianity is a history of half-witted and ignorant men who have acted as if they had frontal lobotomies. Listen to these “church fathers” as we loosely call them:
TERTULLIAN, called the “Founder of Western theology”: “Woman is a temple built over a sewer, the gateway to the devil. Women are the gate of hell.”
ST. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA in 96 AD wrote: “Every woman should be overwhelmed with shame at the thought that she is a woman.”
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, 345-407 AD: “Among all savage beasts, none is so bestial as woman.”
ST. AUGUSTINE, 345-430 AD: “Any woman who does not give birth to as many children as she is capable of, is guilty of murder.”
MARTIN LUTHER: “Women should stay at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. If a woman grows weary and dies from childbearing, it does not matter. Let her die bearing children. That is all she is here for.”
JOHN WESLEY of Methodist fame in a letter to his wife: “Wife, be content to be insignificant. Of what loss would it be to God or man had you never been born?”
JOHN KNOX of Presbyterian fame: “Woman was made to only serve and obey man.”
ST. PAUL of bible centered fame, in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 11: “For man is the image and glory of God. A woman is the glory of man. Man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man.”
You might ask where did these church “fathers” get all of these sick and psychotic opinions? Where else but from that book that many claim to be “without error.” Many Christian denominations still to this day believe this insanity. Can you understand now my statement that it is beyond human comprehension how any woman today could be a member of any organization that claims to be “Bible centered?”
Can you see now why the phrase “A Bible centered college” is an oxymoron?