Can a lie ever lead to God?

I would so love to go to church, just once, and not be outraged by something.

In tonight's episode, the bible quizzing book from which my children are learning (over Genesis) stated that men have one fewer ribs than do women. Yep. It really said that.

Why would they teach kids this? Not only is it not true, it's not even a legitimate a creationist claim. (See link in title).

At issue here are a couple of things:
1 - The crazy teacher who knows nothing of biology or the bible has scads and oodles more credibility than I do because she's the teacher, thus making it hard for me to convince my children that they're being mislead.
2 - My children are being mislead by an official publication of the Church of the Naz. Not even in some honest and understandable way like teaching them that the first few verses / chapters of Genesis are to be taken literally, but in some crazy way that smacks of some sort of sociopathic refusal to acknowledge reality.

So, are the people who write Nazarene quizzing text-books incompetent, uneducated, or under the conviction that no one who acknowledges truth can believe?

And why, why Oh, God, whenever I contemplate your "greatest" creation, am I left to ponder something on a continuum that lies between lazy and incompetent and downright out to hose me?

NOTE: I'm not upset about the fact or falsehood per-se, but rather that falsehoods are being presented as fact.

So, kids, to summarize: men and women have the same number of Ribs. But that's really not important.

God may or may not have actually created the earth in seven literal days; and it's not important. Noah may or may not have actually been 600 years old when he got on the arc; and it's not important. The great flood may have been a global event, or may have been a very large local event associated with the ending of the latest ice-age; and it's not important.

I'm confident that when you look at the text critically, you'll agree that the genesis story makes no sense as a literal account, but is truly beautiful and uplifting when viewed as an allegory of man's relationship to others and his God.

And another thing, my children: People of great personal certainty will ignore the limitations of their own finite perceptions and try to convince you that they know things that they cannot possibly fathom.

Whether they do so out of fear of the divine retribution in store if they think otherwise, or perhaps because of the consequences to their world view, or the fear of facing a life that is uncertain and fraught with complexity and mystery, and being forced to rely on their own God-given conscience rather than a written map of legal-es, is unimportant.

They will tell you that their capricious god will sentence you to eternal torment for refusing to surrender your reason, your conviction, and your own good sense in your personal pursuit of Truth and Godliness.

Now THAT's important. How will you respond?

So, if Genesis doesn't teach us that men are missing a rib, what DOES it teach?

Genesis teaches us that one of the first thing that God does in the bible is to show tremendous grace to Cain, when even in banishing him from His presence, He marked Him and promised His protection.

Genesis teaches us that there is a God, and we have a relationship with Him that is vexing and difficult and rewarding and beautiful.

Genesis teaches us that even our most precious relationships with the people we love will be tainted with selfish motive -- but that's no reason to quit having relationships.

Genesis teaches us that our children are born into a life of hardship and distress, and that this fact is to be celebrated, because we love them, and we thank God for them because they are truly gifts.

Genesis teaches us that our actions have enormous impact on others even when that fact cannot be easily seen, and we are a part of a community, and we are in every way our brother's keeper.

Genesis teaches us that there is a price to be paid for not being as the animals, and that becoming like God is a perilous journey. But it's a journey we have begun, and this cannot be undone. This is a terrifying thing, but it must be faced without undue dependency on pat answers and simple Sunday-school truisms.

Yeah... Important...

"But the teacher said..."



I sure hope you have a chat with that Quizzing teacher!


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