Monday, December 20, 2010

An Atheist's Take on Bible Verses

When you spend your formative years in a church, you end up knowing the Bible fairly well, and many phrases and verses become thoroughly integrated into your psyche.

Out of curiosity, I Googled "favorite Bible verses" to see what others regarded as favorites. Beliefnet has a page devoted to Ann Coulter's favorite verses, an aggressive set of prescriptions. She shares three verses from the most bizarre of books, Revelations, including this one: "But the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the false, their part will be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:8

Ann Coulter actually believes in a physical hell. Silly woman.

The lists I read contain some *very* strange verses, like this one: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1 What in heck is that all about? Why would anyone regard that as a favorite verse?

In fact, in this small sampling of lists, only one even had a verse that I'm fond of:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

I think of that as the anti-hoarder's verse, or the de-clutterer's verse. As I work on a massive de-cluttering project, I think of that verse often.

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