When I was a Christian (many, many years ago), I was told (more than once) that “Scripture has Power!” It was “my sword and my shield” against a depraved world.
In essence (and briefly put), all I had to do was use words from the bible and sinners (those folk who don’t believe in supernatural beings) would acknowledge their evil ways, fall to their knees, and worship god.
Imagine my disappointment when it didn’t work. 😮!!
But of course it didn’t work! Like the old saying goes … “Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words will never hurt me.” (And especially not in the blogging world!)
Add to that the fact that “scripture” is taken from a book that came about simply because ancient people needed a way to understand the world. As such, its contents are based on events and beliefs that are several thousand years old and have long since been replaced by, oh what do they call it? Ahhh yes … Increased Knowledge and Understanding.
In other words, life has moved on and for many of us, it’s a bit difficult to get upset and concerned about myths and legends that were used many centuries ago to explain how the world worked. Especially when they have been usurped by modern knowledge related to the world we live in today (e.g., science, mathematics, cosmology, medicine, engineering, etc.).
Yet, there are those who continue to rely on the contents of this book, believing that it contains eternal truths. Especially about death — and a potential afterlife.
What’s interesting about this “truth,” however, is that even the good book offers alternate stories on what happens at death. The Hebrew Bible talks about the afterlife as a shadowy place known as sheol (grave, pit, abyss) and all who died went there. There was no segregation between the righteous and the unrighteous. Over the centuries, however, this perspective changed little by little until the hereafter became a place of fire and brimstone for the bad guys … or a “heavenly abode” for the good guys. Hmmm. Wonder how that happened?
In any event, there will most likely always be a subset of humans who are certain there’s a “guy in the sky” who created this world and is watching over them as they go about their daily lives. And they will also remain convinced that the”holy words” of the bible have magic powers to convince the aforementioned sinners to change their evil ways.
What they fail to recognize/accept is not everyone believes in magic.
In my opinion, it’s (past) time for Christians to recognize that their literary and verbal wranglings are not going to accomplish what they desire. As Henrik Ibsen, a Norwegian playwright of the late 19th century, once said: A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.