Friday, October 17, 2008

The Pig Parable: by Barbara Segura

One of my more creative friend's wisdom:

One day while riding in the car the girls announced they did not believe in the bible.. They had had a couple of arguments with friends who quoted the bible from a very fundamentalist point of view and some of these things ran completely contrary to what the girls know to be true. So their position was that the bible was wrong. I attempted to explain to them that you cannot hold the bible responsible for the way some people choose to interpret it. And that it was important to remember the style of writing used by the authors. I explained the difference between scientific writing, journalistic writing, fictional writing and parable writing. And that the bible was written by Jewish scholars who had been trained in the parable style type of writing.

This was how I explained parable.

Remember the story of the 3 little pigs. Not the cleaned up sanitized version where the moral of the story is have a rich relative or go on welfare. But the original story. The first pig wanted to play and have fun so built his house out of straw, the second pig was slightly more hardworking and built his house out of sticks, they then went out and played and bothered the very hard working third pig who was building his house of stone. In the original story the first two pigs are eaten by the wolf and the third pig survives due to his hard work. So, I asked the girls what the moral of the story was. And they said not to be lazy and to work hard. I asked them, Is this true? And they said of course it is true.

Now this is how I tied it all in.

The fundamentalist says , I believe in this story and though I have never seen a talking house building pig the story says there were talking house building pigs therefore I will believe that there are talking house building pigs and argue to death the truth of talking house building pigs.

The atheist says there is no such thing as a talking house building pig therefore the entire story is false and untrue and I will argue to death the falseness of it all.

As the girls laughed I said, do you see what the problem is? The point of the story was not to believe or not believe in talking house building pigs. But rather understand that hard work is better than being lazy. Which of course they had understood. The fundamentalist and the atheist both missed the truth.

I asked them then, which is more interesting, a story book or a text book? And they of course said that stories are always more interesting . I then went on to say that the bible is a truthful, fascinating and interesting book, but that if you get caught up in the fundamentalist interpretation or the atheist interpretation then you miss the power and truth of what God was saying. And since God wanted everyone to read the Bible it was not written as a text book, or a science book, or a newspaper article but rather in story/parable form so that all could enjoy and understand.

Barbara Segura

1 comment:

Theresa Ayers said...

What a wonderful way to explain a simply truth. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we miss the overall meaning. Great story….