The United Church “of Christ” says,
“We take the Bible seriously but not literally. […] We believe that the Bible is the opening of a conversation in which God is still speaking. […]
We are not afraid to notice and point out places where scripture disagrees with itself. We know that we are not the first generation to notice these things. We know that we are not the first generation to notice these things. Those who carefully put the Bible together over the early centuries wrestled to decide which books should be included and which left out. In their wisdom, they left us a collection of holy words that offer a rich variety of descriptions of God” (Daniel, Lillian. “Do We Believe in the Bible?” The Bible and the United Church of Christ. 3 Apr 2012.lcm/Bible-and-the-UCC-FINAL-2.pdf>).
Yet, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,
“Every scripture is God’s breath and profit to doctrine, to reproof, to correction, to instruction in righteousness, that the person of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
How literal do you think the 1st century Christians took these words? “Every scripture” is for doctrine. “Every scripture” includes the New Testament scriptures already being collected in the 1st century under the Apostles’ oversight. This is seen by Paul quoting Jesus in Luke 10:7 as “scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18. The New Testament scriptures were being collected in the 1st c. as seen in 1 John 1:1-4, 2 Pet. 1:16-21, 3:15-16, and Luke 1:1-3 (1 Tim. 5:18).
How does the United Church “of Christ” (UCC) support their claim to scripture disagreeing with scripture? The UCC states,
“The Bible was not dictated by God. Nevertheless, God’s Spirit was at work in the ways in which the narrative took shape. At every point, however, God’s Spirit worked through flawed, limited human beings, so in certain respects the biblical accounts are also flawed and limited. There are historical records in the Bible, and some of them may be accurate, but others may be less accurate” (Copenhaver, Martin B. “How We Read the Bible in the United Church of Christ.” The Bible and the United Church of Christ. 3 Apr 2012.lcm/Bible-and-the-UCC-FINAL-2.pdf>)
Clearly, speculating is fact to the author of this quote. They claim to know that the Bible is flawed and limited, because “some of them may be accurate, but others may be less accurate”. This is their basis for rejecting the Bible for being God’s breath, and God’s words being perfected in Christ, which were revealed by His Spirit (Eph. 3:3-5, 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
Why does the UCC feel this way? This has to do with how they perceive Jesus, which will be presented in part 2.