I’ve been told, repeatedly, that I should keep my mouth shut when it comes to critiquing the Bible because I came from a more conservative Christian background, and because I have the gall, frequently, to interpret it more strictly than many liberals.
Often this is done in a condescending way, as if I have an infant’s understanding of the Bible, and if I understood the deeper, true meaning of the text, I would be convinced of its truth and would probably still be a Christian. That’s simply not true, though. I mean, I’m actually an anomaly. According to the last Pew Poll, it’s not the evangelical protestants who tend to take the Bible more literally who are leaving the church in droves. According to the last poll we did on the number trends, their numbers only went down .9% between 2007 to 2014.
.9! That’s like, less than 1%. In seven years. So the more conservative group regarding Bible interpretation are the most likely, not the least likely, to stay in the church.
You’re wrong — just flat out wrong, according to, um, the facts — if you think my background gave me a disadvantage in staying in church. I was more, not less, likely to stay a Christian because of that.
And not only that — there are more Evangelical Protestants than there are Catholics, let alone Mainline Protestants or any other Christian affiliation. So if you’re going to attack Christianity, the Evangelical Protestant nut is the hardest to crack and is also the most efficient place to concentrate on, as they take up the largest slice of the pie.
Far from being a setback, my background is an asset. And my attacks on the Bible as not inerrant are on target. Because, truth be told, the non-liberal Christians are the people I’m really after anyway. If they leave their version of Christianity and turn to a more liberal Christianity, then a lot of my work is done.
Because right now, liberal Christianity is something of a pipeline to the “Nones” category, which is a pipeline for the “Agnostic/Atheism” category, as the Atheist category, while still small, has doubled its share of the population over the past seven years (and, in the process, become larger than any non-Christian religion).
Why is liberal Christianity a pipeline to the “Nones”? My theory is simple:
Once the Bible becomes more metaphorical and open to more rational interpretations that take into account science and, y’know, facts that we know here in the 21st century, some of what it says — like the resurrection of Jesus, for example — starts to look as if it doesn’t have good evidence for it, and begins to seem as if it has powerful evidence against it. So people simply give it up.
I mean, the numbers back it up. Liberal Christians are already leaving Christianity. It’s something of an epidemic. So, to tell you the truth, I’m not all that worried about them.
The rest of y’all — let’s talk.