A communication raises the primary question as to whether...

Kearney (Neb.) Times

A communication raises the primary question as to whether we shall endeavor to ascertain the spiritual meaning of the Bible, be content with its literal meaning, or try to harmonize the literal and the spiritual meaning and use them both. The last two methods have been the cause of the failure of the church to reach the great mass of the people, and of the disfavor in which the Bible is held by many outside of the church, as well as for the apologies of those within.

A purely literal interpretation of the Bible compels conclusions repugnant to every normal mind, and invites criticisms of Christian teachings which are directly opposed to the spirit of Christianity. A literal interpretation of the Bible has been used to bolster up polygamy, slavery, and the liquor business. A literal reading of the Bible would permit us to sell a tithe of the increase, "and bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink." Yet no one preaches that we must sell a tithe of our corn or our flocks and buy strong drink. Why? Because it calls for a literal meaning abhorrent to our spiritual sense of the teachings of the Bible.

February 10, 1917
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