United Methodist Beliefs: Is the Bible literal?

♪ (music) ♪ (Adam Hamilton) So, people
ask me, 'Do you have to read the Bible literally?' And the answer to that
sort of hinges on what part of it you're reading. So, when you read, you
go to the beginning, you read the story of Adam
and Eve and the Garden of Eden, those are archetypal stories. They're really not trying
to tell us the story of some ancient people who
lived millennia, or maybe hundreds of
thousands of years ago. They're trying to
tell us about ourselves. And so, in those stories,
we don't so much read them literally. We read the truth of them. They're archetypal stories
and we also are Adam and Eve. If you miss that and you try
to read that as history and you fail to understand that the
real import of those texts is to tell us about ourselves,
then you've missed the truth of those stories. But you come to the Gospels and
the stories of Jesus and we read those much more literally. Now we recognize even in
the Gospel accounts, there are different
ways of telling the story. So, I read them and take the
main idea and the things that Jesus is saying
but for instance, Jesus ascends to
heaven from where? In one Gospel he ascends
to heaven from Galilee. In another Gospel, he ascends
90 miles south of there in Jerusalem at Bethany. So, If I'm reading
them literally, I have a problem. But if I'm reading
them and saying, 'Okay. These are two
different accounts, they're two different
recollections of the same story,' I'm not so caught up
in, 'Did it happen in Bethany or Jerusalem?' But I believe it happened. Depending on which part of
the Bible we're reading, we read it more
or less literally. There's poetry in the Bible,
so you read that as poetry. There's wisdom literature,
so you read it as wisdom literature. But there are other stories,
like the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale, and that
story I think is one that is meant to be ready prophetically. We read it and we understand
that it's making a point. And the point is
Jonah's hardness of heart and unwillingness to seek repentance
and getting stuck in the belly of the whale is where
we often get stuck. Did it happen literally? I'm okay if it did but I
don't think that was the point. I don't think the point was to
tell us about somebody who was swallowed by a big fish. I think it was to tell us about
our own hardness of heart and God's relentless
mercy even for the people who are enemies of God. So, I'd say some places
you read it more literally than other places. Always, you're listening for the
truth with a capital 'T.' What is God trying to teach us
through our sacred story? ♪ (music) ♪

How could you even post this as fact? I am Methodist and I believe Genesis is literal. Hamilton, you and your liberal views do not speak for all Methodists!

And you are the reason why the world will not believe. If it was a fairy tale then Jesus would not have said they happened. Wow…

It's insane that you can read The Bible & come across contradictions & discrepancies & still say or think it came from The Almighty.

Is that what Christianity is offering or is this exclusive to the Methodists?

I've come to the conclusion that the Methodist "religion" is basically a Roman catholic JR. They take so much from the infamous known antichrist – and have turned God's Holy Word into some sort of 'social gospel'.
People best get their eyes opened ….. God is not a "religion". He is not a "version" – and He is not a "denomination".
Jesus Christ says pick up that Cross and follow HIM – not a building/church – not a human being – not a version of His Holy Written Word – He says follow HIM.

What's behind these guys that say many things in the OT are mythology is that they don't believe God can do those mighty acts. They are denying the supernatural.

Where the Bible presents itself literally, read it literally. Where the text presents itself LITERARILY, read it LITERARILY. Hamilton is the king of eisegesis: reading his own bias of interpretation of the text on top of the text itself.

I have found that taking the Bible BOTH literally AND figuratively allows the greatest advancement of Christian Spirituality

To study the word of God literally, is to have the dead read to the dead, the blind to the blind. What's the point of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that we might have the EYE'S to SEE and the EARS to HEAR if any dog / unbeliever can read the word and get the same information. This is how unholy the so-called worldly church of pagan Christianity has become, which is exactly why it's become APOSTATE. They don't have the foggiest idea in the world who the US, is. They think it's these natural earthly body's that are the US.The US, is the seed of righteousness that was born from above, the inner spiritual man is the US.
The whole point of being born again, born from ABOVE verse's our first birth which is from BELOW, is to receive the mind of Christ / helmet of salvation, NOT A LITERAL HELMET, the breastplate of righteousness / to guard our hearts, etc, etc, etc. We are become citizens of the kingdom of HEAVEN, it's a spiritual kingdom NOT A LITERAL ONE. Why on earth do you folks think Jesus said to Disciple's that to the multitude, it has NOT BEEN GIVEN for them to understand ?. What ignorance, this group needs a real WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I pray that the Father open the eye's of the blind that one might see through what has been written and that he / she, might come out of the bondage they are in, to the literal, carnal gospel of MAN'S doctrine's and tradition's, P&L ( : > ).

John 17:3…"This means everlasting life, they are taking in knowledge of you, the only true God and of the one whom you sent forth Jesus Christ.

ALL of these "religions" we have today are not from nor of God. They are ALL man made – and ALL have written their own twisted doctrine and silly rules that God never authorized or spoke of in His Holy Word. . The Methodist so called "church" is now going against God (again) by allowing females to preach – and homosexuals to be "preachers". God will deal with them come Judgement Day.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." Yes take Him literally.


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