Reconciliation

Preface

That there should be so much discord and antagonism within the ranks of Good, particularly when there are so many conflicting forces at work, is a source of disquiet.

A few days ago I was talking to someone who affirmed that every word written in the Bible was literally true and the revealed word of God. When I pointed out two passages that were complete contradictions of each other and asked which was true, I was told that to a believer both were absolutely and factually true. The seeming contradiction stemmed from my lack of faith; obvious errors, manifest ambiguities and apparent mistranslations – even complete impossibilities contrary to all logic and reason, provided they appeared in the Bible, presented no obstacles to those who had faith. I find this attitude very hard to understand and accept.

When I queried how it was possible that an obviously intelligent person in other respects could accept the irrational, I was told that to those who believed, all things were possible. To people lacking faith the Bible might contain human errors, but to those who accept it as the revealed word of God, to whom all things are possible, it is unimpeachable. Such an attitude must surely do considerable harm to the cause of Christianity and while these unwavering believers may be its backbone, the time has come when the bare bones must be clothed in the flesh of reason and enlightenment.

It is this unbending, dogmatic attitude which alienated me from the beliefs I once held. My faith was worn away on the grindstone of narrow-minded bigotry. Yet, though the light burned dim, the flame was never completely snuffed out and now, once again, it burns brightly. I know that some day, somehow, Christians will sink their differences and join together in one great Brotherhood based on the recognition of the Fatherhood of God.

Editor’s Note:

Part I is a précis of the author’s writings over many months as he wrestled with his thoughts in an endeavor to find a point of reconciliation with his Culdian beliefs and those of present-day Christianity.

Part II is the unedited account of his revolutionary experience which took place near Thames, New Zealand on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 13th, 1982.

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