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Assessing the Risk

Seek The Truth Blog

Assessing the Risk:

Some argue that the way in which hyper-fundamentalist groups choose to interpret the ancient Biblical text is harmless; as long as they are not hurting themselves or others there is no risk. Yet each time a hyper-fundamentalist group makes national or international news in their climax as a destructive cult, that argument is placed in question. Did the group use their interpretation of the Bible to support abuse, torture, murder, or terroristic activities? Can we say that the Bible, a book used by over 2 billion people in the world today, was the source of their error through misinterpretation? Many, even some in traditional Christian groups, would argue that the group would have been destructive with or without their interpretation of the Bible. The Bible, some claim, no matter how used, should improve the moral standard and correct the error.

The sad truth is that many Christians have never read the Bible. Some who do read the Bible do so in small portions as their "Christian duty", and do not actually study, analyze, or critically examine its contents. It is embarrassing for many Christians to say, but the vast majority have no idea what is contained between the leather bindings and know even less how to understand the ancient writing as it was intended. They are content to simply go to church on Sunday, listen to a thirty-to-forty-five-minute speech, and go about their merry lives from day to day. They do not realize how much they are being influenced by the sermons, and without critically examining, are not aware of the level in which they can be influenced past what the Bible actually says or means. Without rails of safety created by critical examination of the text or sermon, there is grave danger.

The Bible is a book of many genres, describing many diverse cultures, and historically documenting the advancement of the human population from the perspective of one single race. It contains accounts of incest, rape, polygamy, torture, murder, human sacrifice, infanticide, genocide, and even the eradication of all mankind with the exception one family. In some accounts, horrific crimes against humanity were praised by a people living in error. If one simply reads or understands the context of the error, without the context of the consequences or instructions for improving, there is the risk of retrogressing.