What do we do with the strange places in the Bible that are either scientifically wrong, or ethically horrific? In this sermon I look at the church’s tendency to use the story of Eve to justify its own oppression of women. I also look at the passage in Timothy that tells women to shut up and just make babies.
From the sermon:
“The Bible is not a rulebook, it was never intended as a rulebook. It’s not a thesis, a dogma. It’s none of that. When it’s used that way, it’s being misused. A lot of times preachers say that the Bible is like the owner’s manual of your car. You open it up, and that just tells you everything you need to know about how you should live. But the Bible wasn’t put together in a factory. It’s not like a car, it’s not like a handbook. It’s like a forest that grew over thousands and thousands of years, and it’s a mixture of good, bad, crazy… just as a forest is a mixture of poisons and medicines. And the point is not to say, ‘This is good, this is bad; this is true, this is false.’ but ‘How do you use each of those plants? Where does it apply? Where does it become medicine, where would it be poison?’
“The way that you interpret the text is, ‘Does it look like Jesus?’ We use love as the interpretive tool.”