It sort of hit my wife and me suddenly late in our process of deconverting. Every Christian rejects something (or a lot of things) in the Bible. Particular things. Things about which the Bible is very clear. It turns out, there’s no other choice.
The Bible contains a lot of paradoxical statements, conflicting accounts that cannot be unraveled and even a formal contradiction or two. It also has commands that the Christian does not wish to obey and descriptions of God that the Christian does not want to worship.
What each Christian is telling you, though, in her or his own way, is that he or she is god. Still, Christians can’t reject the Bible entirely. That would be throwing out the baby Jesus with the holy water. The Bible is the only reason to believe certain things they do hold dear. So, in one way or another, they reject what they don’t like.
Some Christians will dismiss more of the Bible, others less. Some in pious sounding ways, and others more flagrantly. The better educated, more articulate Christians might perform mental genuflections to explain biblical contradictions and write grand systematic theologies to describe their gods, while the uneducated ones might tell you only what they feel in their hearts and the religious yuppies will tell you what meaning they take from the Bible. What each Christian is telling you, though, in her or his own way, is that he or she is god.
The result is a rank and unique pride that claims a divine stamp of approval upon the Christian’s own life, while rejecting both all of the Bible that doesn’t appeal to her or his liking and the gods constructed by other Christians, reflecting other parts of the bible.
It’s an arrogant syncretism of life and religion that we call Self-Projection as God (SPAG).
For a practical demonstration, just pick a pair of contrary or contradictory Bible verses that are on either side of a sensitive issue and ask a Christian what she or he thinks about them. The better you know the Bible and the Christian, the easier it will be to pick the appropriately contrary verses, but the result will always be the same: The Christian will start rationalizing and explaining the contradiction in a way that accommodates them to his or her own life.
Understand that we’re not merely intending to demonstrate simply that the Bible is an inconsistent hodgepodge of ancient mythology and antiquated ethics rife with error. That’s obvious and it’s not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that because the Bible is such mishmash, SPAG is the necessary and universal form of Christianity in practice, an absolute identity: All Christianity is Self-Projection as God.