Sunday, June 20, 2010

How do Fundamentalist Christians believe their interpretation of the Bible is the only true interpretation?

Of course, it is a truism that anyone who firmly believes in their worldview, including religion, believes the view they hold is the true one. If they didn’t, they would change it. That’s how change in view occurs. When someone starts to doubt their viewpoint is true, then they eventually reconcile those doubts or else move to a new worldview.

So, it is no surprise that Fundamentalist Christians believe that they are correct and everyone else is wrong. I have read some quotes from Fundamentalist leaders that expressed a very dim view of the Catholic Church (e.g., it’s a “cult”) and the Jewish faith. Their religion represents the only “true” religion.

I find this a very strange point of view, given the history of Christianity and Judaism. This is only scratching the surface of the very deep history of both institutions, of course. But consider that the current version of the Bible, the King James Bible, consists of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament, as it is known in Christian circles, is almost identical to the Jewish Bible. Christianity obviously has its roots deep in the Jewish religion and culture. The Jewish Bible is essentially a history of the Jewish people as it was taught several thousand years ago. Christianity eventually split off from the Jewish religion, and that version of Christianity eventually became the Catholic Church. Due to many events in history that I won’t go into, the Protestant faith eventually split from the Catholic Church. Fundamentalist Christians are overwhelmingly Protestant.

I do not understand how someone can believe that their religion, Fundamentalist Protestantism, is correct, when two of its major contributors, Judaism and Catholicism, are regarded as “cults” and regarded with suspicion and distrust. That makes no sense to me. They are essentially saying that the Jewish faith was absolutely correct, there is only One True God, Moses lead his people away from slavery in Egypt and parted the Red Sea in the process, and so on. But as soon as John the Baptist and Jesus Christ shows up, then the Jewish faith is incorrect. It went from 100% correct to 100% wrong. How did that happen? I thought the Jews were God’s chosen people? I do not understand the Christian viewpoint of the Jewish religion. It’s really difficult, in my mind, to dismiss Judaism when it is the foundation of your own religion. How can it be “wrong?”

The same observation goes for the Catholic Church. I certainly do not understand the process by which Protestantism split from Catholicism. But how can some Protestants regard Catholicism as a cult when the two faiths share 95% of their belief systems?

I sometimes believe that some Christians today do not have the slightest sense of the history of their religion.