Occasionally a well meaning Christian friend will call me out for not believing the whole bible anymore. They might implicate that I cherry pick those Holy Scriptures to suit my own purposes. The truth is that only those who believe that the bible is the full ‘infallible’, ‘inerrant’ “word of God” are really guilty of cherry picking. They are quite happy to hear the love verses like Corinthians 1:13 (love is kind etc) quoted at a wedding, but they don’t like to hear the many distasteful verses encouraging ugly, distasteful things like stoning people to death or rape and violence. They will also conveniently ignore the fact that the bible has been used in past ages to justify slavery, rape, genocide and in more recent years homophobia.
Yes I admit it, I am guilty of cherry picking bible verses, but I am allowed to because I do not have a dogmatic (must believe everything) view towards those documents anymore. Your dogmatic framework forbids you from taking this approach. I am free to extract inspiration from certain biblical passages wherever I like (you know, the ones that resonate with the average good-natured person, like “God is Love”, “Love keeps no record of wrongs”, Love your enemies” etc). But I also take my inspiration from nature, music, art, people and many other places. I will seek love and choose not to be a “resounding gong”, nor a “clanging cymbal”. I will speak the truth wherever I can, and best as I am able to do so. Maybe if we search honest and hard enough we will see that this is what Jesus and other wise teachers encouraged us to do.
So I implore you to open up your heart and mind, get out of the Christian religious box. Be a person of spiritual and intellectual honesty. Seek Truth, it won’t hurt you, in fact it might just set you free.