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Ad Campaign
Bible

Just how literal should one take the words of The Bible? It’s long been a question of debate, and lively debate on such issues is very much what WonderCafe is about.

Comments

revb's picture

revb

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I love this one best of all! It really describes what makes the United Church such an interesting place to be...

Bethan

S_2442's picture

S_2442

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I think it''s the core values of the bible that are important. The messages within the story. It worries me that people take the bible and interpret it to justify things like child abuse, violence and discrimination of others.

Sophie's picture

Sophie

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Personally, I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that the world was literally created in 7 days, that the entire earth was flooded... but I suppose Creationists and literal interpreters of the Bible would think I''m crazy, too. This ad makes me think of the whole ''intelligent design'' debate going on south of the border, as well.

tiebos's picture

tiebos

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I''m in love with this ad. It''s not so much whether or not we agree or disagree with the Bible or those who love to interpret it literally. It''s about freedom. It''s about freedom of choice. Freedom to choose and the welcoming spirit of "Hey. It''s okay to doubt."

I sit in a Bible Study where everyone refers to God as Him and they "just know and have always known since being toddlers" that God is always with them and that with "him" they can do anything.

Just once I wanted to say, "I wasn''t raised that way and I don''t relate to that."
But I couldn''t. This ad helps me to know I can!

john's picture

john

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So, what does the United Church believe anyway? Anything goes by the sounds of of this ad campaign. Why bother with a church like that? I want my kids to have a moral compass, an anchor for their life.

Acceptance, yes. Tolerance, yes. But also guidance for the tough choices in life. I don''t see it in the United Church.

wallygord's picture

wallygord

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I am sorry to break it to John who wants the Bible to be a rock for his life, but... the Bible was not composed by God. It was written at various times by various poorly schooled men who felt they had some points of truth in their lives. Truth is fluid now, as it was then. Truths are different in the old testament than the new.

What too many "believers" have done is to look for quotes that back up their "truths / beliefs." Think of all the various Christian Church groups in the world who have different focuses and drastically divergent follower requirements. Many people in each faith family believe that they have found the way; the others are wrong and they are right. What do they find when they go to their graves? The truth of that experience is different from one Christian group to another. And no one knows...

To be allowed, even encouraged to discuss these ideas is what freedom and the church membership should be offered. All faith families cannot have a hold on the absolute truth. They therefore have to be accepting of others opinions if they are to survive, perhaps if the planet is to survive. Fundamentalism is fundamentally wrong. Remember the pin: The moral majority is neither."

I congratulate the United Church for offering a forum for a wide variety of people to talk, to share ideas and to seek their truths. Freedom requires no less.

wgr

Carper's picture

Carper

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I have to agree with wallygord, John.

Tough choices are definitely explored in our church. I have to tell you that as a high school student in United Church youth group, I had brilliant leadership that navigated me through the tough choices of high school. In a world that offers instant gratification on so many levels - consumerism, drugs and alcohol, sexuality... I had the strength of character to make good choices as a teenager and I credit the ministry team in my church with that more than anyone else.

Someone once told me not to criticize the United Church until I knew absolutely everything there was to know about it - now here I am, 15 years later and 6 months away from ordination. I don''t agree with every decision we make. I don''t agree with flip comments that don''t give serious issues the weight they deserve. But we are not the only church guilty of that!

Hillingford's picture

Hillingford

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Way to go Josaphat. God is a spiritual being (part of Whom is the Holy Spirit) and it was through devine spiritual inspiration that the Bible was written. Men writing the Bible? No, they were merely the instruments which God used as he still does today when people open themselves to the reality of His spirit rather than denying the truth.

Marzo's picture

Marzo

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When you read the story of Onan, how does that make you feel about 'The Lord'?
Maybe people who think like the previous poster would appreciate the 'inspired truth' of the website,'godhatesfags(dot)com'. Fred Phelps and his followers really stick to the Bible and quote it all the time. None of that namby-pamby pantywaist stuff for them. Just good, old-fashioned death threats from an all-powerful, sadistic father-figure.

What is it you folks like about the Bible, anyway?

srstrt's picture

srstrt

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Why is this such a hot topic? I think it's because the bible informs our own moral choices on a day by day basis. From the bible we take concepts and teachings that lead us in our moral decisions. These decisions can be huge as is the case with homosexuality or small.

If one is to consider the bible as morally authoritative in today's cultural, it must first be acknowledged that the bible as it exists now came from several different books from different authorships, times, and perspectives. Therefore, assuming the bible contains one unified voice that speaks as a single moral force is misleading. The Bible as it exists today was to early Christian's scattered documents circulating in the Christian communities it wasn't until the council of Trent in 1546 that the collective works of the bible as they subsist at present were compiled and released as official church teaching. The texts came from a drastically different context than todays. In taking biblical language and then applying that language to a contemporary culture is to say that there have been no significant changes in culture from the time the biblical texts were written to today.

From this my obvious vote is that we must be willing to interpret the texts for a contemporary context.

FoolishKnight's picture

FoolishKnight

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The bible is our holy book, but it is just that a book. So as much as we revere it, we should also take it with a grain of salt. I mean before the stories were even written down, they were pasted on by word of mouth. People could forget parts, exagerate other parts and leave of some other things. So for all we know the bible in it's self as much as it is an historical text it could also be a completely false document. Unfortunately we won't ever know.

Josaphat's picture

Josaphat

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"I am sorry to break it to John who wants the Bible to be a rock for his life, but... the Bible was not composed by God." - Wallygord

I'm sorry to break it to John? What a bogus comment to make there Wallygord. What a ridiculuos notion that one who wants the Bible to be the rock of their life, to be the Word of God in their life should have Wallygord here whipping out outrageous statements as "the Bible was not composed by God". The Bible was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. Allow to me state that again all ye who enjoy picking and choosing what to believe and what not to - The Bible is God's Word! His absolute truth, and the closest book we have on this sinful planet to knowing God and his commandments.

But wait, wait one moment here. God gives us his Holy Word along with his commandments and yet they are broken. Some "Christian" denominations go so far as to even give their blessing to sin ie. The United Church and their UNAUTHORIZED blessing to same sex unions.

I recently read that there are over 500 000 United Church members in Canada but the numbers are shrinking so the United Church embarks on a 10.5 million dollar campaign to raise awareness.

You know what. I'm happy the number of United members are dropping because maybe just maybe that means that people are seeing the errors of this liberal denomination and joining a Christian denomination that doesn't support and encourage sins that God has clearly spoken against!

steph's picture

steph

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It seems to me that the whole point of raising these issues was not so that everyone could get made at each other and have a place to be hateful.

In regards to why "we" like the Bible, its because the book is awe-inspiring. It is intense and deep and requires time to learn what its about. No one should open it and use what they find as a weapon. The book has to be read as an entire book. It becomes fascinating once you can see allegories and foreshadowing and referencing. You also have to keep in mind that it was written a long time ago. That means cultural differences are very real and very important to recognize. Please don't write the book off because of some people who give it a bad name. It is a people's story, explaining who they worship, how they came to exist on this planet, and what they think their lives should be about. I don't think its fair to have such strong opinions about it if you haven't read it, so if you haven't, at least give it a try.

steelmax's picture

steelmax

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Does It Hurt To Believe Everything. To believe Darwin and The Bible . To Beleive in The Greek and Roman Gods and in the God of the Holy Bible , Torah and Qur'an all had a hand in our brains evolution as to how we see the world and understand all that is around Us.

Child_of_Christ's picture

Child_of_Christ

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It breaks my heart to hear that God's abosolutes are being sacrificed on the altar of human reasoning.

The bible was written by man inspired by God. It consists of two covenants. The old testiment was a covenant made through Moses the lawgiver with the Hebrew nation. (Gal 3:19) It is a revelation of God's holiness in a righteous standard of law which requires its recipients to solomnly keep it. (Lev 18:5 & Gal 3:12)

The new testament is a covenant made through Jesus the redeemer with believers of every nation. (I tim 2:5) It is the revelation of God's holiness in a wholly righteous son who cleanses its recipient's consciences and forgives them by grace through the faith to be children of God.

Jesus came to earth as a man to fulfill the old covenant with God in perfection so that we could be reconciled with God for eternity through a new covenant made by the blood shed on the cross. The new testament is a right relationship vs a legal relationship.

The bible is the truth and isn't fabricated or passed along stories. In fact the old testament was so sacred to the people of Israel that only priests were able to read the word and also each time a scroll was depleting the scribes would make a new copy of the sacred scriptures and destroy the old one to preserve God's holy words spoken. In fact in 1947 when the dead sea scrolls were discovered (which is the entire book of Isaiah) and is 1000 years older than any script EVERY word was the same and NOTHING lost. God is faithful to preserve His word. The new testament is in the old testament concealed and the old testament in the new testament revealed. (hundreds of prophesies)

God is the same as yesterday today and forever more. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Rom 14:11) Any man that takes away or adds the word of God will be judged (rev 22:18,19)

God is faithful to His very word and no word will return void until it accomplishes everything that it was sent to accomplish. (Isaiah 55:11) Heaven and earth may disappear but I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the law. everything written in it will happen (Matt 5:18)

Just a free tidbit for all the scholars....if you so choose to take the challenge.
http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/the-case-for-christ.htm

Jennifer's picture

Jennifer

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This is more of a general response to this whole series of ads. Is it not pitiful that the United Church (where I was raised) has lowered itself to the level of placing distasteful ads in the interest of creating sensationalism, conversation, debate and attracting new members? Yes, the fact that I'm actually replying to such astonishing publicity may be viewed as a success by leaders and otherS of the United Church, however, it is my intention to remark that the "time, talent and treasure" spent on such a campaign might be more Christianly used to help those who need to find God, or their understanding of their higher power. I am talking about the addict, the street youth, the homeless, the helpless and the fergotten. Many of you out there, believe it or not, are only a crisis or two or three away from being any one of those that I just mentioned. These people, for the most part, did not wake up one day, do some meth, and declare, "I want to be an addict!" or choose to have abusive, neglectful or abSentee parents and turn to the streets for love and acceptance from others in the same predictament. Let's focus on the REAL issues and do what Jesus would do. He walked amongst such people and blessed each and every one of them. IS THAT NOT OUR GOAL???

fruitfulsex's picture

fruitfulsex

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Considering the ad shows an equal amount of tabs for agree and disagree, perhaps this church is more confused than believes....otherwise I would think one extra tab for agree would be appropriate. Oh, and if the ad agency's art dirctor tried to convince otherwise, the bottom line is The United Church of Canada paid a fortune for the ad and should have the final say! Faith

asdfdocomo's picture

asdfdocomo

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Wow. I hardly expected this ad among all to be so discussed.

I thought it was really rather plain. I caught the message of the ad to be "Some people disagree with some parts of the bible. Come on in and let's discuss those things."

It never ocurred to me that some would take that to mean that one can freely pick and choose what to believe in the bible and what to reject, and form their own faith from that. It sounds like an easy way to start a cult.

That godhatesfags site is pretty shocking. How can they claim to be preaching the bible when they are ignoring the way Jesus was comfortable and spent time around sinners? The way he spoke against the outwardly holy Pharisees? The fact that "While we were still sinners God loved us and sent his son to pay the price for our sin." Now i believe that homosexuality is a sin just like fornication. But does that mean we cease to treat homosexuals as humans? My brother has sex with his girlfriend, and that's fornication, and sinful, but that doesn't mean i cease to love him. He doesn't need my condemnation. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of convicting him of his sin. What he needs is Jesus. And the best way I can help him get there is by continuing to love him and pray for him. One of the major articles on that site was about God loving everyone being the biggest lie ever told. Have they read in Exodus where God reveals what he is like? Have they read John 3? I don't think it's fair to point to that site as the paragon of biblical christianity.

Hillingford's picture

Hillingford

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Dear Marzo: The inspired truth of the Bible remains the truth whether we like it or not. God hates sin but loves the sinner. Unfortunately there will always be misguided zealots (within any religion) who will abuse, misuse, import personal prejudices etc. into the truth of Gods word. Don't "throw out the baby with the bath water" simply because the Bible has been dishonourably used by hateful people. Study the Bible (I mean REALLY study it) and you cannot help but be changed for the better by its devine nature.

Kayla's picture

Kayla

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My question is for wallygord.

You said that the bible, "was written at various times by various poorly schooled men who felt they had some points of truth in their lives. Truth is fluid now, as it was then. Truths are different in the old testament than the new."
Yes, it's true that the bible was written by various poorly schooled men, but if you don't believe that the bible was God-inspired then where does the foundation of your faith come from? If the bible was completely man inspired then yes, it's completely flawed because man is completely flawed. Which means that who knows if there was a Jesus? If your not taking the bible seriously as the Word of God, then who is to say that your beliefs are right? How can you pick and choose what is right and what is wrong? Where do your beliefs even COME from? If your picking and choosing which parts of the bible to believe then your beliefs have no basis because your making the bible obsolete. Basically what your doing is saying, "oh I like this, I'm gonna believe it, and I don't like that, so it doesn't matter." It's like being in a cult.

MonAsksIt's picture

MonAsksIt

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I love this ad! The problem I have with the bible's infallibility is that if it is the absolute "Word of God" then God decided to use humans as puppets, taking over their brains and dictating what they should say. If that's the case, why didn't God TELL Jesus to write down everything he was saying so we would get it straight from the horse's mouth? The 4 gospel writers don't agree on a lot of things, so either there are mistakes, or God isn't a very good puppet master. If you don't believe me, read the 4 accounts of the Easter ressurection. It would have been much better if we had a gospel according to Jesus. Or at least, less debatable. But that wouldn't be as much fun.

Pincess_myka's picture

Pincess_myka

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People shouldnt take the bible that literal god didnt make it to be so literal the bible has some literal n some metaphoric stuff in it
for the jeahova witnesses when the bible say dont give blood or somthing like that he wasnt makin it literal theres a message inside it but you got to understand it first
because if your family member is going to die and you have the same blood to help save them and you dont its like your killing them
also if you just read the bible like an eclipidea your not understanding it properly because the bible is not all literal

Child_of_Christ's picture

Child_of_Christ

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MONASkSIT

God is not a puppet master as He gave us our free will. God desires intacmacy and relationship with us not religious format.

The new testament does not contradict but are revelations of Jesus Christ from 4 different perspective /aspects to give his full,harmonious picture. Each gospel was written acc ording to the disciple and is their account to their intented audience.

Matthew wrote to the jews and presents Jesus as their legal heir to Abraham's promise (Gen 12:1-3) and David's throne (1Cor 17"11-14) It is to show the jews that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and the King of the Jews. Matthew shows the religious leaders that they rejected their messiah. Matthew specifically outlines where Jesus fulfilled the Old testament prophesies. No other group of people would understand jewish law and scripture, this is why is evident that this gospel is written for jews therefore presenting Jesus as fulfilling the holy scriptures and prophesies.

Mark was written to the romans. It appeals to the roman character which admired faithful servants. It refers to people well known to the romans and has to explain jewish words such as boanerges in 3:17, Talitha cumi in 5:41 and customs such as pharisees ritual washings in 7:3&4. It is obvious that a roman would not need Jesus presented to them the same as the jews. Mark shows Jesus as the perfect servant of God and is an action book and straight to the point there was no debate over scripture with pharisees and jewish religion.

Luke is written to the greeks. This is to show Jesus as anointed man to both man both jew and gentile. It is to give a complete and certain account. For example it gives Mary's geneolgy as opposed to Joeseph's listed in Matthew.

I could go on however let me leave you with this....if you saw an accident would your account be the same as the person next to you or even on the other side of the street. My secure snwer is no but as each person is interviewed and recounts the events it should give investigators a complete picture from every angle.......

adam's picture

adam

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The best way I have heard the bible described is not as truth, but as more than truth. You cannot take it literally - it is a complete injustice to what it represents. The bible needs to inform our lives and has relevance in todays society as much as it did way back when. But it must also be challenged so we understand it. There is context around it that needs to be considered and so much more.

Every Christian chooses what to believe some parts and not believe other - every one of us. Proof: ever ware polyester/cotton undies? That is forbidden:

Leviticus 19:19 "Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread."

Same set of laws that says that God hates gays - makes you think.

Some of the bible we simply can't take seriously today - like this stuff - and like women being ritually unclean during their period and other stuff that we know better about now.

The bible is too important, means too much, and has too much to say in today's society to have it merely be taken literally.

And this is the real power of a Christian community - to open and honestly talk about the bible and struggle with it's subversive commandments for living.

karen's picture

karen

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Well, raised as a catholic, and just now interested in the united church, I'm trying to find a home that feels less severe and more accepting of others. I'm more comfortable with a religion that doesn't condemn people's sexual orientation, that allows women to be ministers, that is not male dominated. These things are visable to me and are things I can say "yeah" too. Beyond this, I am a wild mess of confusion. I don't understand the bible in the least. I read the stories but don't believe them. I'm told by some that they're just parables, designed to teach a lesson. From others, I'm told to take them as literal truth and made to feel bad for even questioning.

Has anyone read the Conversations with God books? Can those ideas and those of the united church have a place side by side? It feels for me the closest fit so far, but I'm not sure. I go to church and sometimes find my attitude is awful. I want to feel a higher power, and to find strength and to be reminded of what's important in life. I go to church so that I can remember what I have and that I'm lucky and that I should forgive more and judge less. I go to feel inspired and if I'm lucky, sometimes I am. But I know many times too, I'm just not getting it.

I don't really know what my point is, but it feels good to be talking about it - thanks everyone for listening...

im1ru12's picture

im1ru12

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in my mid-teens I seriously tackled the Bible... I basically read the whole New Testament and bits of the Old testament... and then I just stopped going to church. I thought I had to beleive the WHOLE thing or I could not be Christian at all, And nothing was going to make me think that women shouldn't speak in church and that slaves should just accept their lot, etc. A literal interpretation of the bible was a huge barrier to me even trying to learn more about the Bible.
I sought spiritual guidance/options from the texts of other religions - I have read widely and even took a few religion courses in University... what I recognized was that all religious texts have this cutural and historical baggage... but the light of the Divine shines thru brightly. In seeking the Divine, it now helps me immensely to read, pray and meditate upon the texts of the Bible. Knowledge gained in small group bible studies and reading on my own and thru my church help me filter out the historical and cultural bits that might well completely block out the spirit's message in the text. I find that exploring the Bible and the Divine in community is more friutful than doing it alone. I really appreciate this opportunity to discuss such topics.

tiebos's picture

tiebos

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In regards to John's comment, I don't think the ad is indicative of what that United Church of Canada is trying to say. It is an ad - a masterful one at that - with a purpose to get people talking, get people thinking. It is not what the UCC is trying to say. It is saying, "We know you're out there. We believe in conversation and questioning. There is a spot for you here. We embrace your doubt and disagreement." That would include homosexuals and heterosexuals, all creeds and colours. Those who are firm in their stance on the school of religion and those who flounder confused.

John is the perfect example of someone who should feel free to converse. That is the point of all this. I'm sure the UCC was hoping for someone who would not simply slam the door and say, "From posts on this discussion alone, I decide that the UCC has no worth." An enlightened mind would seek out more info. An enlightened mind would say, "Hmmm... What exactly does the UCC stand for because this confuses me." A sharp eye would see at the bottom of this forum "Opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the WonderCafe or the United Church of Canada."

The facts are that churchgoers are a minority when compared to the entire population. Perhaps this site won't address UCC members or Catholics or Anglicans or whatever. Those people may have just found their fit. But for people who may want to make a church home but do have the two colours of post-it notes on their Bible, (and are worried they will be judged for it) the welcome mat is being rolled out for you... Apparently not at John's church but certainly at mine.

For more information on the UCC in present day, check out the Song of Faith for an idea of what the UCC is "in our time."

http://www.united-church.ca/ucc/songfaith/

Hillingford's picture

Hillingford

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If the Bible was not inspired by God than it is no better as a guide through life than any other best seller (surely you wouldn't use the latest Tom Clancy novel to form the basis for your life) and should be read and then ignored while you move on to the next book of intrest to you; but if the Bible was inspired by God than only He can say what is correct and what is incorrect in it. In the New Testament it says that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." and therefore ALL must be correct. Admitedly there is much in the Bible which at first blush is difficult to understand and even seems inconsistant and contradictory. I read the Bible every day and have read it cover to cover over 10 times and still face these difficulties, but experience shows that when I pray asking God to reveal what is being said, eventually understanding is given (sometimes right away, sometimes days or even years later and sometimes not yet- but I keep asking). The Bible will never be fully understood with human intellect alone. If you want to overcome what you see as weaknesses with the Bible than pray to God about it. Remember He wants to have a relationship with you, and relationships are based on conversing between parties. Many of the posts to this site are intellectually stimulating but without Gods involvement in understanding His word many of the writers messages have little worth being based on what the writer thinks rather than on what God reveals.

Janet's picture

Janet

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Either the Bible is the inerrant Word of God or it isn't. You can't have it both ways. It's all or nothing and it's such a shame that not even the church stands on the total scripture anymore. No wonder people are confused and not willing to be part of a body anymore.

jb's picture

jb

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@ublin:

I appreciated the link to "Song of Faith", and I'll quote the following lines:

Scripture is our song for the journey, the living word
passed on from generation to generation
to guide and inspire,
that we might wrestle a holy revelation for our time and place
from the human experiences
and cultural assumptions of another era.
God calls us to be doers of the word and not hearers only.

I like this point of view of the UCC: the scripture is God-inspired, but also tempered against the culture of the time. It is up to us then to find the divine message in the scripture, and separate it from the human story. This is why we need the freedom to discuss, and doubt, and find the truth.

jane's picture

jane

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This is good. I think it will help people who want to know more about Jesus and perhaps try visiting a church, to make the first steps without feeling they are going to be beaten over the head! Having once been to a church where the minister shook the bible at us and preached hell fire and damnation (the congregations shrank steadily) its really important for people to know that isn't going to happen.

greg's picture

greg

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I like the ads. They are simple, easy to understand and funny. As christians we often forget the " JOY "in our faith.We need to lighten up a bit.Thank God we all think a bit different on issues. All of us can contribute to interesting discussions on various faith issues.Together we all learn more , at the same time appreciating the different viewpoints held by each other. God, I believe , loves diversity. This forum is a good idea to encourage communication and ideas.

HeidiWholeness's picture

HeidiWholeness

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I love this ad.....why? because it depicts what we all think but are often afraid to speak alloud. Do you take EVERYTHING in the Bible literally? Can't say that I can.

heartagram's picture

heartagram

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I think that people need to be reminded that these ads are not necessarily the views of the United Church, they are merely providing us with the stimulation to envoke discussion so that we can debate amongst ourselves in a civilized manner and converse with people who either share our views or disagree with them. I think that what they are trying to accomplish is to create a place where people can explore their own ideas as well as the morals and ideas of others. I think that somewhere in the midst of all of our morals, views and opinions lies the truth or answers that we seek. We all just have to be open-minded enough to explore that.

southmost's picture

southmost

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The UCA is full of shit and they know it. How can one pick and choose from their beliefs. Christianity ain't a trip to your local buffet restaurant, were you pick and choose what you want in your plate; its more complex, you have to accept it all.

jb's picture

jb

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@southmost:

Are you suggesting that we accept it all, without question? So there's no room for debate? Or do I misunderstand the term "blind faith"?

Trinitymike's picture

Trinitymike

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I think that, even as an agnostic, I can find the messages of the Bible useful and pertinant to the world, much as I find ANY great text useful.. I mean, I on't believe that Hamlet was a real person or that There was ever a bunch of Pilgrims on the way to Canturbury who had those exact talks to gain something from great literature..

There are too many contradictions within the Bible to accept it literally or as the word of a divine being....but, I still loved reading it, as it's a great read in itself as well as the basis for much of Western thought and literature.

Trinitymike's picture

Trinitymike

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I think southmost is having us on...I hope...

softmyst's picture

softmyst

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I think the ad is great. I'm concerned that some people are upset about the use of resources for the advertising rather than humanitarian uses. It is important to remember that in many places our churches are dying. Without new people joing the UCC, the resources wont be available for either ads or to help the sick and the poor. I'm glad we are doing something to invite people in.

heather_sxe's picture

heather_sxe

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this one I do like on the otherhand because it allows you to open up questions. For a long time the Bible and it's teachings (the parts that dont' make sense, or don't add up) have been pushed to the sidelines.
but it doesn't stop there....talk about your questions people! get answers, and if they don't add up, question more, doubt is a natural thing.
question religion!

Hillingford's picture

Hillingford

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Bilandre misses it all together. He is attempting to understand an infinite book with intellect alone. No human (or human website ) will ever explain the Bible adequately. You must speak (pray) to God to give you understanding (after all he is the author) and if you are open minded and receptive to Gods leading He will reveal the truths in His word. Apparent inconsistancies and contradictions are only so because we haven't taken the time to speak to God or listen to what he might answer, instead we try to use our own reasoning and it inevitably fails us.

Matt12345's picture

Matt12345

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"The UCA is full of shit and they know it. How can one pick and choose from their beliefs. Christianity ain't a trip to your local buffet restaurant, were you pick and choose what you want in your plate; its more complex, you have to accept it all." Even though its colourful language I agree with you a 100%.

The UCA is of the worst churches in the world for picking and chosing what they chose to follow in the bible. The UCA has fallen so far from the path of Christainity that I don't know if they will ever get back on. I believe everything the bible says, I believe God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th, he flooded the whole earth. If you start picking and chosing what to believe and what not to believe don't you take away the purpose of following Christ. Your sort of playing God, by deciding if certain things fit your life or not. Before long the UCA is going to come out and say that they believe any religion can go to heaven and you don't have to believe in Jesus Christ. I pray for the lost church of UCA.

uptheriver's picture

uptheriver

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If God wanted us to take the bible literally would He not have made it clearly understandable. Him being all powerful and all.

That way there would have been only one way to interpret the Bible. But He didn't seem to do that. It's the most difficult book we have to study.

What I really think is that He wanted us to engage in the discussion and interpret in ways that are relevant to our lives. That would make about six billion interpretations or less since there are other religions that people follow that use other inspired words.

FWIW
John

BeachHarry's picture

BeachHarry

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The United Church is wondering why its membership is declining. I find it no surprise, as I find that the UC has become irrelevant and inconsequential. It has lost its moral compass and therefore its moral authority. Why would anyone follow a church that itself has no idea where it is heading?? Why would anyone go (much less pay) to see an NHL game if they allowed just anyone to play?? It would no longer hold the same value and authenticity. The UC reminds me of the unpopular little kid in the school yard that trys so hard to please everybody, that he pleases nobody. If you don't believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and it is completely true, how do you know which parts are true and which parts aren't?? Why would anyone base there life and eternal salvation on a book that they believe is only partially true?? Either I believe in it, or I don't. The UC has totally watered down the scriptures, and people are looking for spiritual leadership and guidance. It has become a social club to debate theology. I hope that the UC awakens and re-establishes its spiritual roots and seeks the truth which only comes from God, and does not change over time.

Harry

ladymac111's picture

ladymac111

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What a wonderful ad. I really love this.
I know I'm guilty of the same, but at least I realize it. What we need to remember is that the Bible is a human creation. Okay, maybe it was divinely inspired, but everything but the Ten Commandments and quotes from Jesus came from human interpretation.
Everything's so old, there's been tons of room for error.
Look at the creation story ... just the beginning of realizing that it's probably not all literally true.
Sorry for the ramble. I love this ad.

Linden16's picture

Linden16

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This is an interesting ad, as it challenges us to consider what we really believe.

It's easy to say that "liberal" churches such as the UCC have no moral compass, but frankly, I think it's more honest to say, "We're not sure of the answers to life's questions, but we're tyring to find our way" than to claim, "We've got the definitive truth, and everyone else is therefore wrong!"

My wife's currently in a pretty charismatic/fundamentalist church, and follows a very "name it, and claim it" (prosperity) kinda gospel. All of the sermons have tons of scriptural support, yet the faithful within that church still appear to be sick, poor and downcast. What does that mean?! If you're in such a "conservative" church, life's disappointments invariably leave you feeling that you've failed to keep up your end of the bargain with God. Somehow, you're not confessing everything, or you're doing something wrong for God's blessings to be passing you by.

bilandre's picture

bilandre

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Anyone who says they believe in the literal truth of the bible and live by every word is decieving themselves. They have no choice. They are brought up in a church where everyone around them says they have to believe the whole bible or go to hell. So they start to pretend to believe. you can convince yourself of anything if you try hard enough.

Just stop pretending. See the mystery and the fantastic nature of a collection of knowledge passed down over generations that still has relevance today. See the truth that is our truth and that is the truth of centuries ago. Just please don't pretend that you believe every word. That every word is literal truth. you're only fooling yourself.

Here is a great site for people who pretend to believe in the literal truth of the bible:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

hilights all of the absurdity, injustice, contradictions in the bible, AND points out the good stuff.

The point: you don't have to pretend anymore. You can love God and be a Christian and not delude yourself into believing contradictions. That way lies madness.

Hillingford's picture

Hillingford

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P.S.- I was brought up in a drug using, wife beating (father hitting mother), pornography plagued household and was not influenced by any church to believe the Bible as literal truth. I made my own choices in life and God has seen me through horrific times because I trusted His guidance.

Troy's picture

Troy

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This ad boils down to the question "Did God really say"¦?"

People have been asking this question for a long time. In fact, it is the oldest trick in the book. Literally.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" Genesis 3:1

Satan used this question to plant doubt in Eve's mind about the authenticity of what God had said. "Did God really say??" She chose to believe Satan rather than God.. with disastrous results. This is a question of the authority and authenticity of God's Word. Satan has been using this same trick throughout the ages, and now The United Church of Canada is now asking us.. "Did God really say?"

If the answer is yes:
then my disagreement is irrelevant. He is God and I am man. He is the perfectly loving and perfectly just Creator of me and everything else. If yes, then the Bible is God's Word to man and we must accept the whole thing. If God said it, then our opinion must change to conform to His Word. We can't change or disregard portions of His Word that do not conform to my opinion.

If the answer is no:
then the book is pointless and so is the church. Go find a secular social club to hang out in because the church has no authority and has nothing to offer but man's opinions that are constantly changing. There are no real answers and everything truly is relative.

There can be no middle ground. No half and half. As unpopular as it may seem to this age of "tolerance", it is either yes or no.

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

I say yes, God really did say..

jgerrie's picture

jgerrie

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I like the sentiment that i's OK to disagree with specific statements in the Bible. Still, this image still presents the Bible like many fundamentalist present it, as primarily a set of distinct claims. Many passages and books of the Bible are wonderful pieces of literature meant to be taken as wholes, and where the individual analysis of the "truth" or "falseness" of passages is not going to be a particularily useful way to approach what one is reading.