Orville Higgins | Why I just can't trust the Bible
Like most Jamaicans of my vintage, I grew up in the Church. Going to 'Sunday school was as compulsory for me and my brothers and sisters as going to regular school.
One of my mother's eternal wishes was that her years of sending me to church as a child "not amount to nothing"' and that I would eventually be baptised and become a full-fledged Christian. I would wish to please my dear mom, but I have struggled with biblical literature ever since I could talk, and I am not sure if I am any closer to resolving these issues.
For one thing, I am still mystified by the story of creation. Adam and Eve, we are told in Genesis, were told not to eat the forbidden fruit, or the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed and were
banished, not only from the Garden of Eden, but clearly out of God's good graces as well. Their sin was not treated as two people being disobedient, but mankind on a whole was seen to have transgressed.
I pause here.
I still don't understand how a just God would hold all humanity culpable for the acts of two people! Maybe it is just my own stubbornness to think logically, but there doesn't appear to be too much logic to that.
The creation story gets more interesting. God now wants man to redeem himself in the eyes of his Maker. The act of disobedience so upset God that man had to do 'something' to get back into His good books. God then sent His Son, who did nothing but good on earth. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the poor, and, for good measure, turned water into good wine.
Despite all that, Jesus was murdered, crucified like a common criminal on a cross. This act, we are told, is what man had to do to get back into God's good graces. Think about it: Man disobeyed God by picking fruits from a tree. God was so vex with man that He had to send His son so that man could be redeemed by His blood. They murdered His son, and now God saw man in a better light.
For the life of me, I have never been able to understand how disobedience made man lose his standing with God and murder redeemed him!
The other thing I struggle with is the denigration of Judas.
Judas used to 'par' with a man called Jesus who could do a whole lot of miraculous things, including commanding the elements. Jesus raised the dead, healed the sick, people merely touched his garment and were cured from ailments.
Some people wanted to harm this man and came to Judas to make a deal. I don't know how much 30 pieces of silver was worth then, but it must have been a nice sum. Here's my question: Do you think Judas thought that they could have hurt Jesus? Do you think that Judas felt that a man who could calm storms and feed a multitude with a few fish and bread could be harmed by
little men with their 'lanterns and torches!'
Judas was clearly just collecting what he thought was easy money. In Judas'mind, he must have been saying, ''Unuh cyaa do dah man yah nutten!'' This is tantamount to me having Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris as my friends, and a fat, overweight dude offers me a big money to point them out so he could take them on in a fist fight! I would probably take the money, too!
I can just imagine the shock on Judas' face when he saw them holding on to Jesus and saw Him meekly surrendering. Judas must have been quietly urging him, "Do you thing nuh, big man. One movement of yuh hand and dem bwoy yah drop."
Jesus, however, did nothing. He allowed Himself to be hauled off to the gallows and killed. Judas could not live with his conscience after that. It was clear to me that he never wanted, or expected, anything to happen to Jesus. He was merely 'hustling a money'! When Jesus died, Judas could not live with his conscience. He then went out and hanged himself. Rather than being so despised, Judas may well be one of the more honourable men in the entire Bible.
So, yes, I have my issues with the Bible, and what I have mentioned here are not the only ones. I do believe that there is a supreme being with superior intelligence far above the comprehension of man. I am no atheist, but I do struggle to understand and rationalise a lot in the Bible.
My mother's wish that I become a hand-clapping, Bible-thumping, hymn-singing Christian will have to wait for a while yet.
- Orville Higgins is a sportscaster and talk-show at KLAS ESPN Sports. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.