Not everything biblical is christian - raspberries
But what if I cut off a bunch of the thorny raspberry canes and sent a picture to Instagram with the caption, "can't wait to eat these raspberries, stems, leaves, thorns, and fruit" #itsallgood #allfromGod #nopartwasted #highfiber? People would think I was nutty and may even be concerned with my health, risking perforation of my esophagus, stomach, and on down. On the other hand, people who were part of the #eattheentirecane movement would cheer me on. They would defend me. It would almost be like one of those christian snake handling cults in which people do die every year from snake bites. I'm sure most of them are truly wonderful people, but they took a few verses in the Bible literally too far.
As I picked, I thought about Jesus and the bible. The psalmist writes, "Taste and see the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8 What was not written is taste and see the bible is good. The bible is full of good stuff and horrible stuff. But from those dirty roots, woody canes, and painful thorns, comes the sweetest fruit. Jesus, who models and teaches the way of love, is the fruit. The rest is the support for that fruit. There are thorns such as genocide, vengeance on enemies, vengeance on descendants of enemies, slavery, forced marriage, stoning of rebellious children or adulterers, racism, etc. There are dirty roots, like very specific laws about nocturnal emissions!?, but they are not edible and attempts to swallow them should not be made. The fruit is not the plant. It comes from the plant, but that does not mean the entire plant is to be eaten as well. Certainly, the fruit comes from the plant, but it's the fruit we eat.
Inerrancy is a belief that God inspired every word of the Bible. Inerrancy insists that commands to kill non-combatants were commands from God or that commands to take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth were divine in origin, despite the fact Jesus says otherwise. Inerrancy insists the believer eats it all, takes it literally, insists on the "plain reading". However, this is a recent assertion among protestants in the church's history. As Martin Luther said, the bible is the cradle that holds Jesus, but is not the same as Jesus. There is a three part series by Toronto pastor Bruxy Cavey on the anabaptist explanation of the bible in relation to Jesus, the church, and life. Brian Zahnd of the pentecostal persuasion writes similarly. Bible professor Pete Enns, also from the evangelical spectrum of the church also writes on this. And that's 3 white dudes...learn also from a black woman, and a black man. And those are just the americans. There is so much out there from the church explaining how the berries are good and sufficient for eating. Believe me, it feels so much better not eating the thorns anymore.