What the Fundamentalists Won’t Tell You About the Bible
And if they know the truth why they won’t tell their congregations!
By Katherine Yurica
July 31, 2005
The Bible—Can We Trust It?
I find it awesome that a book begun in antiquity still has enormous relevance for our lives today. But its very age and the ancient cultures it discusses requires something extraordinary from its modern readers. It’s not just that there are sixty-six books in it that appear to be inconsistent because it was written by so many writers over long ages of time. The Bible is like a mine that readers enter with picks and shovels and with miner’s hats and lights—the task is to find the diamonds, to dig them out. In this it is unlike other literature. There isn’t a “normal” story line. Instead, it’s the conglomeration of many stories, many histories, many acts of evil, and many instances of courage in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s about true prophets and false ones, lying and deceiving, and the rewards of evil as opposed to the rewards of righteousness. It’s about human folly. We ask ourselves, “How could Samson have been so naïve and foolish?” Or, “How could Gideon be such a scared cat?” The Bible is the story of the spiritual journey of a civilization and its people, couched in ancient poetic metaphors as well as being many histories. In short, it’s strange to our ears and understanding.
.../... And it was horrendous! Was it prophesied about in the scripture? I think only to the extent that the prophets pointed to a period of time when there would be a “great falling away” of the churches into apostasy.
And it is at that point I too discovered that the most pervasive anti-Semitism was formalized by critics of the Bible. I mentioned in “The Ship of State is Sinking,” that I spent five and a half years researching and writing a book that I titled, “The Great Superbook Trial.” It was a defense of Moses’ authorship of the Pentateuch. A whole system of ‘criticism’ had arisen throughout Europe beginning with the writings of Benedict Spinoza in the 17th century followed by Voltaire’s venomous contributions, down to Julius Wellhausen, who was born in Germany in 1844. Wellhausen wrote a work called, Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel, (trans. Menzies and Smith (New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957)
In essence, these men created a system of criticism based upon hatred of the Jews as a people. The critics believed the Jews were incapable of writing at all, let alone the writing of the sophisticated laws and the great poetry of the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures.The critics went further than the literature—they turned their attention upon the Jewish people: they denied that the Jews of the wilderness were civilized! They called them illiterate. Voltaire called them “a band of vagabond Arabs, brigands who carried into the desert what they robbed.” Wellhausen called them “desert barbarians.” He called the patriarchal accounts “art-products of pedantry.” I was shocked by the vehement statements.
Of course I had come out of the Evangelical and Pentecostal movement and had taken the Bible at face value since I was a child. I wanted to know the truth. I had left the evangelical world and was re-baptized in the Episcopal Church because I was fed up with the lies, hypocrisy and ignorance of the pastors and ministers I saw up close. (One of my pastors was check-kiting using 121 different bank accounts!) But what I encountered were pastors and priests who did not believe the Bible as a foundation to anything! Their faith was just faith: a belief in the institution of Christianity as it grew and developed by the churches. Again I was shocked.
First of course, if the Bible consisted of lies, and if fraud and chicanery were involved in its writing—then there could be no logical reason to be a “Christian” or to be a practicing Jew. I went to rabbis for help and was shocked to find they joined in the denigration of their own heritage! So I went back to study.
I began by crossing into other fields of literature. After long months, it became clear to me that a “culture” of denigration existed toward the biblical literature that did not exist in any other field of literature. .../...
I wrote a huge book about all this and I don’t want to rewrite the book here. My point is that the classic rules for criticism and rules of logic followed by historians today were violated by the men who created the “Deuteronomist, the “JEP” writer, the JE writer, the Priestly writer, the “Elohist,” and the “Jehovist. The critics have even calculated the number of words each wrote, with the Priestly Writer topping the scale with 70,000 words! But there is no evidence that any of the six ever existed. .../...
One of the reasons I find the critics’ case so weak is that the heart and soul of the literature is centered on the method of establishing truth. It seems unlikely that writers who so single mindedly established the scientific method for the first time in history—making it the standard bearer of how to find the truth—could themselves be involved in fraud and deception while creating the ethic of truth. Since I wrote on this topic extensively, let me just give a quick background on the scientific method from my unpublished book The Great SuperBook Trial.
Fundamentalist pastors and preachers are not well educated. The Pentecostal denominations do not require that ministers have a college diploma. (Not that a college diploma insures wisdom.) But the congregations and the ministers are handicapped intellectually. They have very little ability to ward off the lie or to even detect a lie. So they can’t really give insights into the meaning of biblical passages other than what has been handed down to them by tradition and their denomination’s requirements. This is the reason these churches are such easy prey for confidence artists. Fundamentalists cannot tell you the answer to this question: How do today’s scientists discover truth? And how are scientists distinguished from pseudo-science quacks?
In the words of Karl Popper, who was the distinguished professor of logic and scientific method at the London School of Economics, “Einstein consciously seeks for error elimination. He tries to kill his theories; he is consciously critical…”
The pseudo-scientist, on the other hand, loves his theory above everything else. It is his baby. He raises it up, applauds it, and makes it the standard by which everything else should be measured or interpreted. It is his idol. He tries to save it from refutation at all costs. And because it is the theory first and truth second—a pseudo-science is wedded to such incorrigible bedfellows as falsehood, dogmatism, and delusion. This difference in attitudes marks the essential demarcation between science and pseudo-science. Karl Popper put to rest the myth of “invincibility” of their results: “irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory as people often think, but a vice.”
By the nineteenth century, the classic view that the function of science is to construct explanations for observed phenomena gave way to Ernst Mach’s perception that the object of science is to make predictions.
Karl Popper points out, however, that the prediction must be risky in order to have any value as a confirming instance. Enter Moses!
The rule of demarcation between science and pseudo-science may have been rediscovered in the twentieth century by Karl Popper and others, but it was in fact originally written by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy! It is one of the most important of the fundamental principles of the Bible. In two separate passages, which must be read together (Deut. 18:21-22 and Deut. 13), Moses carefully framed the criteria in precisely the negative terminology which characterizes Popper’s statements. Thus the prophet’s (or scientist’s) predictions are subject to tests of refutation not confirmation; they are falsified by observation. But the biblical literature also demands that the methodology of the prophet be examined!
Using the Amplified Bible’s translation, the biblical text in Deuteronomy requires research and investigation to determine if the prophet’s (or scientist’s) methods contain falsehoods, false reasoning, false notions or fallacies. If idolism is found, the man and his theories must be rejected. The words are, “inquire, make search, ask diligently” (Deut. 13:14.) No epistemology—a way of obtaining knowledge—can be accepted without investigation! (In these passages I substitute the word “Truth” as a synonym for the word “God” as the terms are interchangeable.)
In the light of the biblical rule of demarcation, how sad it was to see the Pentecostal and Evangelical churches running after a false prophet like Tim LaHaye, who invented a divination system and a pseudo-science called The Humoral Theory of Temperament! LaHaye, falsely claiming that it came from the Bible in the Book of Proverbs, made a fortune categorizing all mankind into four groups: “Melancholics, Phlegmatics, Cholerics, and Sanguines” and selling “temperament” readings to the gullible members of churches in America. All this and without a pastor in the country standing up to rail against the system that matched the reading of tea leaves and animal innards as a means to divine truth! No wonder the churches have fallen away into cults of hatred, neck high in political and spiritual error!
Before I leave the topic of the Bible and the search for Truth, I should mention the issue of evolution. Simply stated, I never found the account of creation in Genesis to be conflicting with evolution. One says God did it! The other says how He did it! In fact, the theory appears to follow the stages of creation in the Bible rather closely. I also find the description that visible light was separated from invisible light and was the first thing created by God to be stunningly profound when one considers modern physics. (See my book, The Lost Book of Wisdom).
I have been asked recently if I believe there was a fall of man. My response is this: the accounts that convey the idea that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden are fascinating to me. I have to ask myself, “What does this primeval story tell us?” Evangelical churches teach that it was disobedience to God’s edicts that brought death into the bodies of Adam and Eve. Wow! Readers might conclude from that statement that the God of the Bible is cruel! I have struggled with much of the Bible. But it wasn’t until I began to think of the events in the Garden of Eden as psychological and as a metaphor for advanced concepts at the time of the writing that I realized this was an account of a profound event: it depicted the epistemological fall of man.
Adam and Eve were two beautiful beings with incredible brains who were suddenly confronted with a liar and lying. It was a case of first impression! Keep in mind, God said don’t eat of the fruit, but the Serpent said in essence, “God is lying to you. He knows that you will become wise like him!” Eve was confronted directly with a contradiction: God’s and the Serpent’s words could not both be true. What did Eve do? She believed the last person she spoke to and she totally failed to make any effort to discover who the liar was. Adam went along with his wife—so he too saw no need to discover truth. At that moment, there was an epistemological fall of man. And death entered the human race not because God punished his creation, but because it had to do with something fundamentally part of the universe he created. Think about it: He—God—is ultimate reality. A lie therefore contradicts reality and creates delusions. Death is necessarily the natural offspring of lies!
Let’s understand what I have said. Whenever we believe a lie, we have made ourselves ill—ill of mind, soul, spirit and body. We have separated ourselves from Reality. Delusions, falsity and superstition separate us not only from God (ultimate reality) but from life and health! This is as true today as it was in the Garden of Eden.
How do we know this? We have to examine the epidemiology of mental illness. Scott Peck saw that evil was an illness! This is profound! I believe that science will find that a correlation exists between those who are truth seekers and the flourishing of life and health in contrast with those who allow fear, superstition, delusion and falsity into their psyches and consequently open themselves up to death. But like Adam and Eve—we don’t feel the results immediately! Here’s a question: Why, after the devil and his angels, do the fearful head the list for why God created hell? Well we could try on this hypothesis: fear also is a disease of the spirit and soul of man, it’s used to intimidate and destroy and control others. Those who succumb to it bow down and embrace that which is false. We are seeing the spread of this sickness in America today.
Has God elevated the search for truth, logic and reason above everything else? You can bet your sweet reasoning on it!
I called the decision by Adam and Eve to believe the Serpent a “willful ignoration” because they preferred ignorance to knowledge.[like ALL the fat deluded teevee TOOB-FED vegetative 'Americans'...] Later I read Scott Peck’s books and found that as a psychiatrist, he wrote that original sin was “laziness.” The refusal or the failure to commit one’s life and mind to seek the truth in every situation haunts us to this day. The churches are following false leaders and false prophets because members fail to investigate. Look where it took the followers of Jim Jones! This propensity of mankind to follow the crowd over the cliffs like lemmings is a disease of the mind and spirit. Thus the fall of man in Genesis is a profound choice made by our ancestors that follows man through eons and eons and ages of time. And yes, it brings death in its wake.
Then the next question is why did God become man and enter our world. Was it to save us from our universal preference for lazy ignorance? There is an eternal light intertwined with knowledge and truth and reason and if we put on these qualities like a garment, do we become one with the Enlightened One? Or is there a second step in which we launch ourselves on a spiritual quest for knowledge, understanding and spiritual growth?
It is possible that without the interjection of God into our realm, with the accompanying facts of his death, and resurrection—that without that physical revelation—man and his civilizations would never have emerged from the shadows of superstition, fear and psychological misery. It is possible that man was doomed to live in the Dark Ages forever unless and until a vision of the sublime settled down and occupied the throne of his heart and mind—and raised him from the hell of his own psychological torments. Make no mistake, Christianity and Judaism before it, were the road to reason in opposition to lies and superstitions!
John Milton argued in his Areopagitica, (one of the great documents in the history of free speech) that censorship is an anathema to enlightenment. In 1644, Parliament had passed an act requiring all books to be licensed by an official censor. The Presbyterian party, which was then in control, was determined to bring Englishmen into conformity with its particular variety of Protestantism by ending political opposition.
John Milton stepped forward and quoting the Bible, quoting the Greeks, quoting the poets of the ages, he gave one of the greatest orations of all time as he called upon members of that legislative body to allow men and women to struggle for themselves to determine what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil for in that act of determining which is which, we not only find who we are, but we find the next wrung up the ladder of enlightenment for all civilization and for all time! But the lesson of the fall of man is this: evil loses. It will always lose because it carries the seed of its own destruction.
Life is a spiritual journey that requires absolute honesty and absolute attention. May mankind learn this lesson so that man may at last enter into the kingdom of God and into everlasting life one person at a time.
 Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, (New York: Basic Books, 1962).
 St. Augustine’s passionate thirst for knowledge of God culminated in his realization that Truth was a synonym for Him. In his Confessions he wrote, “…Thee only (who truly art Truth) …O Truth, Truth, how inwardly did even then the marrow of my soul pant after Thee…. Thee Thyself, the Truth, in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning…”
 Tim LaHaye, Your Temperament: Discover Its Potential (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1984. And see La Haye’s Spirit Controlled-Temperament (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1983) and LaHaye’s Transformed Temperaments (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 1976 edition).
If you have a trait such as keeping a neat desk, LaHaye claimed you are a Phlegmatic and “Phlegs” make good tithers!