Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An American Myth That Hinders Bible Study and Christian Growth

 "The Bible says..." God's Word," etc.
Tautology is "using different words to say the same thing even if the repetition does not provide clarity."

Tautology also means "a series of self-reinforcing statements that cannot be disproved because the statements depend on the assumption that they are already correct."

Even for those who claim to "use the Bible to interpret the Bible" tautology is involved because the "other verses" that are used are assumed to have a "self-evident" meaning, too.

Why is this important for Americans to understand?

In an excerpt well worth your time found here, Richard Hughes exposes five myths America lives by. One of the five myths is the myth of "Nature's Nation." I have included a quote from Hughes below as an illustration that I apply to how a part of our particular worldview influences our interpretation of the Bible.

I believe that the myth of Nature's Nation hinders insightful and edifying Bible study, and therefore, it hinders commanded Christian maturity (2 Pet. 3:18).

There Are 5 Major Myths
Hughes writes:
"The myth of Nature’s Nation is rooted squarely in the principles of the American Creed. The creed proclaims that among all the truths one might encounter in a lifetime, there are certain truths that are simply “self-evident,” and require no formal proof...."
"Those truths are “self-evident,” the creed contends, because they are rooted in “Nature and Nature’s God” and therefore reflect the way things are meant to be.... the notion of Nature’s Nation has often annulled America’s debt to history, tradition, and culture and led Americans to believe that the contours of American civilization—the way things actually are—simply reflect “the way things are meant to be..." 
We're The Only Ones Going to Heaven!
"In other words, the sort of government America had erected was the very kind of government God had ordained from the foundations of the world, and the kind of government God would create if He were here in person. Here one finds no debt whatsoever to history, culture, or tradition... Americans as children of nature were innocents who did not act in the world of historical conflict..."
"Their responsibility was to keep pure and undefiled this New World Garden of Eden. In this context, America’s colonizing efforts simply reflect “self-evident truth,” grounded in “natural law.” From this perspective it is completely logical to subjugate other nations under America’s “superior way of life.” Because the principles they were bound to find were the very ones with which they began, Americans fold into the myth of Nature’s Nation virtually all significant contents of their culture."
—Richard T. Hughes, edited