It’s a weird story, I know. It was weird when we were writing. It didn’t get unweird.

Dueling bloggers

I follow a blog with a very particular and very decidedly theological bent. I disagreed with a recent post and, in the spirit of good conversation, told the writer so. Gently. Like we were pals.

They responded with equal congeniality. “No problem. Can you give a scripture that proves your point?” 

I couldn’t and said so. “It’s more of how this idea fits into all of scripture. All of life,” I wrote. “And there’s no question whatsoever that this isn’t what the ancient Hebrews believed.” 

“Ok,” they said again, and I’m glad they were so patient. I run like a deer from a rifle when these conversations go the typical way of social media. A tug of the forlock, a Yes, Sir, and I’m gone. 

“Here’s the blog where I got the information,” they told me. “They use scripture to argue their points. Can you use scripture to show how they are wrong?” 

Again, I couldn’t. “Have you read it?” I asked. “The references? The scriptures they reference don’t have a thing to do with this topic. They’re just tacked on to bolster their assertion. I mean, really: just because a sentence is followed by John 13:13 doesn’t make the statement true. Besides that, I don’t need scripture to say this is wrong. It’s wrong because of x and y.” 

Here we go again. “Fine,” they write, calmly. “Can you show me the scripture where it states they’re wrong? Where it says that the correct interpretation of John 13:13 (I’m making the reference up…) is something other than what they’re saying?”

The Christian Robot

I am confused as can be. It’s like I’m talking to a robot. The first scripture reference I see is true, John Robinson. All subsequent references are false. But I am still searching for a warm human here: “I CANNOT,” I say. Again. “There is no verse that says, here is the correct interpretation of John 13:13…”

We leave the conversation exasperated that neither person has moved. Or listened. I, of course, thought I was right. Maybe I should have tacked Num 23:6 to the end of my reply. I don’t think they were looking anything up, anyway. Maybe I could have gotten away with it. 

But here’s a gentle beef. Gentle because it’s a human thing, and I’m a human, too: we seek out stories that argue for our belief. That’s why there are tens of thousands of Christian sects. I’ve been reading the Apocrypha lately and was surprised to learn that almost every apocryphal book is read as cannon by some church group. So, while we can’t agree on what church to go to, we can’t even agree on what basic books are sacred. 

This is why I believe by faith, not by logic, and not because someone told me to. It’s why I hold truth loosely, in an open hand. 

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