10 Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About The Bible

This is exactly what I have been thinking about both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. When you add a variety of translations in there, it gets even more difficult to understand exactly what God wants us to understand. Perhaps that is the reason for God speaking through prophets; he is giving us guidelines to think for ourselves.

john pavlovitz

Young man reading the Bible with bright green backgroundWhenever Christians talk about their faith with other Christians or with non-Christians the Bible is there, either as an overt discussion topic or as part of the background noise in the room. Many followers of Jesus assume that everyone believes everything about the Bible that they believe about the Bible, which makes for some very messy miscommunication and far too many disastrous conversations.

More and more Christians are gradually coming to new conclusions about the Scriptures, or they are finally putting words to things that they believed for years but felt they couldn’t express in the past in their faith communities.

If you’re a Christian, these words may not speak for you entirely (or at all) but they are things that at this stage in my own spiritual journey, I do not believe about the Bible—and I’m guessing I’m not alone.

1) I don’t believe the Bible was dictated by God. The sixty-six books comprising the Bible were composed by flawed, imperfect…

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A Boy and His Sister

The true story of the love of a brother. Told by me (on another blog).

Stories From the Past

Warning: Despite my insistence that this blog is all about graveyards and dead people, it’s really about family history. This story is about part of my family, and it is part of my children’s history, so even though they are still alive to tell this story themselves, I’m going to tell it now to keep it from becoming untold.

My baby boy turns twenty this weekend.  I haven’t been able to get him out of my mind because he lives nearly three hundred miles away. I have been too ill to travel for the last year or so. I’ve been having car problems too. So has Jake. I miss him terribly, but he promises to come and visit soon, and I can’t wait. Yes, this is the story of a boy and his sister. I’m getting to that–I promise.

But first, a little about a boy and his music. I usually begin my day by…

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A Repudiation of Republican Rhetoric

Sorry; I couldn’t resist the temptation to alliterate.

I admit it. I’m pissed. I have encountered way too many mindless memes from my conservative friends recently. (Oops, I did it again!) Most of my conservative friends and family members know to steer clear of political conversations when I am around. They normally keep quiet out of respect for my difference of opinion. But that hasn’t always been the case, and I guess I ask for it by posting so many of my own progressive memes on Facebook. It really is the only place where I feel safe getting up and walking out when the conversation gets heated. I can’t help being vocal, though. I’m a huge Bernie Sanders fan, and I’m excited by his platform. Perhaps that is what led to one of my family members posting this meme today:

I hope that is not the case, but I’m not at all surprised by the rhetoric. I’ve heard it before. The most common comment I’ve heard is that “Liberals are the reason so much is wrong with our country today.” They don’t come right out and say it, but the sentiment is pretty clear: Liberals (AKA progressives) are evil people who should be locked up and kept safe from running our world amok.  Continue reading

About Those Missionaries . . .

About Those Missionaries . . .

I’m socially weird. I meet people on Facebook and become friends with them, rather than making friends and adding them on Facebook. I’ve found many of these friends in group chats and, I admit , I even made several good friends while playing Kingdoms of Camelot. I quit playing after a few months (I was becoming alarmingly obsessed) but I made some good friends and added them to my “collection.”  I never have met most of these friends in person, and I probably never will.

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That’s not to say that all of my Facebook friends came in this fashion, but a large handful of them have. In the past year or so, I have joined a couple of Facebook groups for progressive-minded Mormons. Two or three of my new friends came from these groups. I was a bit flattered, then, that one of these new friends asked to hear my opinion of one of his recent posts.

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My new friend said, Continue reading

another shooting

This was posted by one of my favorite professors when I was an undergrad. This is just another something that I wanted to blog about, but haven’t gotten around to yet. I guess this is the problem with working and trying to manage three blogs. I intend to keep all three though, so I guess reblogs are to be expected.

BJ's Blog

I’ve been thinking about this a lot–especially since my “Frontier” class in the summer. What is the American obsession with guns? Why do we, as a culture, cling so fiercely to our right to carry? How does this right trump the rights of ordinary citizens, students, children, parishioners to go about their lives doing what America promises them: to learn, speak, and worship freely?

My theory: we like the after-effect of a mass shooting. I know that sounds perverse, so let me explain. After a shooting–the killing of innocents–we locate the heroes, the people who sacrificed themselves for others, who took bullets for someone else, who tried to disarm the murderer, who stormed the airplane’s cabin and crashed the jet rather than allow the flight to hit its intended target. We like these stories a lot. I would argue that we like them so much that we’re willing to let mentally…

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I’m pro-choice, NOT pro-abortion. You heard me

I’m actually very much against abortion.

It’s interesting that I learned my progressive idealism from my father who considers himself a conservative.  Dad is pro-choice. When I learned his stance on it, I still hadn’t made up my own mind. In fact, as I do now, I felt that abortion was completely wrong and immoral. So I had to ask Dad why he felt that way.The first thing, Dad explained to me, is that morality should always be a choice, otherwise it is nothing more than forced obedience. To be able to choose is true freedom.

Not long before that, I complained to my mother, (who, to me, is ultra-conservative), that my ex-husband was always trying to constrain my choices despite the fact that we were no longer married (of course, the fact that he always tried, was one of the biggest reasons for leaving in the first place). She pointed out that part of the LDS belief system is that we were given our own agency with the intent that we, and no one else, would have control over our own salvation. In fact, she pointed out, it was Lucifer’s idea to take away the agency of humankind, resulting in what we know to be The Plan of Salvation:  “And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (2 Ne. 2:26–27)

Suddenly, as distasteful as the choice to abort a pregnancy was to me, I knew that it would be wrong to legislate against that choice. Continue reading

The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Oblivious

As I stand with my hand over my heart for the passing flag in tomorrow’s parade, I will be thinking of my freedom to choose whether or not to do so.

Latter Day Liberal

The Pledge of Allegiance and the 11th Article of Faith

One of the perks of living in the “land of the free” is that I get to write whatever I want in this blog, without fear of penalty.  Another perk is that I get to worship however I choose (or not) without fear of retribution. This means that I can join any religion, and practice any religion, or not, depending on my own personal convictions. With or without religion, there are many people out there who have made a place for God in their lives.  There are also many who have chosen not to make a place for God in their lives.  Having true freedom means that whatever choice is made, there will be no penalties. No retribution.

And my own religion supports these freedoms. When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was still quite young, Joseph…

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Secularism Won and it’s a Good Thing Too

This is what I posted on Facebook yesterday:”I was so saddened today to hear that my support of the LGBT community is translated as opposition to The Church’s stance on same-sex marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have come out celebrating this as a civil rights issue, not as a marriage issue. I have seen children of “good LDS families” homeless and wandering the streets, and worse, suicidal because they would rather face death than face their families with a truth they cannot change. I celebrate this as a member of the church because it has opened the door to closed minds.” I was even more saddened that only one of the sweet, supportive comments came from an LDS friend. And then one of my former-LDS-gay friends posted this:

Secularism Won and it’s a Good Thing Too

(Sorry, you will have to click on the blog title because I accidentally reposted into the wrong blog, and it wont let me repost a second time.)