1. There is Christian junk out there, seriously stinky.
2. We are okay with scrutinising the Bible, but not the lenses.
Sadly, I just discovered this, which is sad, but I would say almost certainly symptomatic of other unconfessed elaborations. This is definitely not shining like stars among the warped and crooked as children of God, this is simply being warped and crooked generation. (Phil 2:15)". So the boy who came back from Heaven", did not go anywhere. He made it all up, and admits it, the dying, heaven, meeting Jesus, the Devil, being raised back to life... It casts doubt, of course, on other similar stories (which may of course be true). One thing is definite, they sell loads of copies, because people are desperate for the details of what happens next.
But there is also a quote from the teenager, now 16, who has made the confession. It is very simple and reminds me of my own quest. Never thought I would quote a sixteen year-old on here, but there we go!
"I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible."
"The Bible ... is enough... the only source of truth". Sounds like this young guy found God, who could be redeeming for himself something here.
There are so many Christians out there who basically, although sometimes extremely loosely, hold to a Nicene form of trinitarianism (and one key feature of this blog journey has been to discover that there are multiple forms of trinitarianism - in fact I myself am finding myself adopting a non-Nicene form of it, more on that soon). My hypothesis - and this is based in part on my own experience, but also observation of others - is that the Nicene cornerstone of the Christian faith (is it the cornerstone?) is preached, but it goes pretty much unscrutinised. THE BIBLE gets more scrutiny than Nicea, it is respectfully exegeted by believers, seeking to both determine true and original meaning while simultaneously careful to ensure the interpretation does not stray from other parts of Scripture. But not Nicea. That is because Nicea - and a whole procession of creeds, canons and councils to follow, that have to follow to try to clean up the mess made - are lenses through which we read scripture. We do not read the lenses.
We look at the Bible, we look through the creeds. Since the Bible reveals who God is, I am arguing that the lenses are seriously worth checking out if we are serious about knowing the guy[s] we are looking at. My grandmother at the end of her life lost nearly all of her sight. However, as it turns out, a certain tint of yellow lens helped her see contrasts better. She needed a lens, it was not like she could see without it. But the lens makes everything yellowish, and that is key information also. She knew that she couldn't argue that the tree really is yellow because she knew about her lens, its usefulness and its limits.
The creeds hold unbelievable and unidentified influence over us Christians today. Rant over - for now!