The evidence for this is overwhelming.
In a recent blog posting I referenced how some Christians believe that once they go to heaven the perks include being able to watch the suffering of those souls condemned to hell. I myself have been on the receiving end of this taunt by religious fanatics who anticipate with great glee this marvelous side benefit of heavenly residence.
The basis for this belief is their interpretation of Luke 16:19-31. In it a rich man in hell converses with and is seen by Abraham in heaven. It’s either interpreted as a parable or a “real” event depending on how intellectually messed up the fanatical theist happens to be … or what his sect leaders tell them.
But, a particularly moronic theist in a message group I frequent took issue with my reference to this interpretation. Evidently I made this all up. I was “wrong.” Never mind that he has had no interaction with any with those fundies who interpret Luke 16 in this way; he has even less understanding that biblical verse has been interpreted in different ways ever since the Church stopped making possession of the Bible and independent interpretation of it a capital offense.
The Reformation, which led to a multitude of breakaway Christian sects from the Catholic Church, was in response to disagreement with Catholic dogma and scriptural interpretation. Today there are some 2,800 different denominations and sects of Christianity. Not one of them interprets every chapter and verse the same way.
Some of these sects reject the Trinity, others reject the existence of a physical Hell. Some believe the ingestion of the wine and wafer is truly eating the body of Christ; others believe it is just symbolic. Some believe all those who never hear the “Word” and thus are unfamiliar with Jesus go to Hell for their ignorance; others believe they are saved. Some believe in the Rapture; others reject it. Some Rapture believers think the seven years of Tribulation happens before the Rapture; others that it happens after the Rapture. Some believe God literally dictated the Bible; others that it was inspired by God. Some believe in Universal Reconciliation; most believe it’s damnation to Hell for non-believers. Etc. All have scriptural “evidence” for their opposing viewpoints.
Heck, there is a world wide movement of Evangelicals who believe that Highway 35 that runs from Texas to Minnesota is “the Holy Highway” as described in Isaiah 35:8.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds if not thousands of other concepts and interpretations of “God’s Word” and his expectations that distinguish a Calvinist from a Lutheran, from a Methodist, from a Quaker, from a Shaker, from a Mennonite, from a Baptist, from a Santeria practitioner, from a Jehovah’s Witness, from a Mormon, from a Christadelphian, from a Kimbanguist, etc., etc. ad nauseam..
These sects and denominations can’t even all agree on the order of the Ten Commandments or its precise meaning.
So with all the confusion of the scripture, the inarticulate ranting and contradictions, what is a true believer and devout Christian to do? Simple -- make the words mean what is most expedient, in the best interest of the believer, or supports his agenda. Don’t wait around for God to unscramble and re-edit his indecipherable-open ended- babbling idiocy, he’s already had a few thousand years to do that and seems to have lost interest or capability. So his creations have to do it for him, in thousands of differing ways. Basically it’s a cluster fuck of self appointed God interpreters.