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The critically unimportant angle of stakes

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There was once a great farmer that bought a vast property to grow tomatoes. He removed the stones, tilled the ground and finally planted his seeds. In little time the seeds sprouted and the young tomato plants sprung out of the soil in any direction they happened to grow. Seeing that the time was at hand, the great farmer called his servants together and instructed each of them to take the straight stakes from the stock house, go out into the fields, and drive one stake next to each of the tomato plants.

“Make sure the stakes are straight.” He instructed “Then tie each tomato plant to the straight stakes in order that they might grow well and tall and produce as much fruit as possible.”

So, the servants of the great farmer did as they were told, driving a stake next to each plant and then tying each plant to its stake. A while after the work was finished the farmer took his most trusted servant through the fields to check the crops and see how they were growing. As the two made their way through the fields the servant of the great farmer was disturbed to see how many of the tomato plants were fruitless and wilting. He checked the ground and the soil was good. He noted the fertilizer and saw no problem there. But as he surveyed the grounds he noticed the stakes, which had been driven next to each plant, were not perfectly straight. Some leaned to the right and some to the left but nearly all were off the perfectly vertical mark that the great farmer ordered in the beginning.

“Sir, I see that many of the plants are wilting and fruitless and I have also noticed that the stakes in which the plants are tied are not perfectly straight. With your permission let me take the servants into the fields and straighten the stakes for we are men and are perfectly able to make sure each stake is perfectly vertical.”

But the great farmer shook his head no. Confused by his master’s indifferent attitude towards the matter the good servant questioned “Why… why not straighten the stakes in order that the fields will yield more fruit.”

“Because the stakes are straight enough.” The great farmer replied plainly. “Various weather conditions and differences in the soil make it necessary for the stakes to lean, one this way and another that way, and it is not good or essential for us to continually disturb the growing crops. The wilting and the fruitlessness is not the fault of the angling stakes but is the product of bad seeds. Never-the-less, this is how a plant will grow with no stake at all.” He then bent over and picked up a tomato plant that had come loose from its stake. Not only was the plant fruitless but it did not even have the beginning buds. Like a weed, the plant was only sucking up the good nutrients from the earth with no sign of ever producing a single tomato.

“What do you want us to do?” The servant asked.

“Plant the rest of the seeds in the next field over. When the new plants sprout, come back to this field. If a plant has no fruit on it, untie it from the stake and let it fall to the ground. Gather all the unused stakes and drive them next to the new crops. Continue this process back and forth, reserving the stakes for the fruit baring plants.



I wrote this parable to address the notion that the bible contains contradictions and suggested ideas that are never elaborated on, and therefore since this is the case, it must not be from GOD. Some point to Genesis and the innumerable questions concerning the beginning illustrations and narratives. Some point out the contradictions concerning Old Testament law and following prophetic revelation, such as the case of divorce. Some point to the eye witness differences in the Gospel accounts, such as we find in the empty tomb narratives. To many, all these seemingly disparaging discrepancies and open ended doctrines point to proof that the bible was indeed written only by man with no aid from a competent deity. But does this man imposed criterion really point to divine absence? I think not. In fact all the supposed discrepancies and seemingly flat out contradictions is just what I would expect from authentic revelation. If the doctrines and revelations were two simple and cohesive, I would then suspect plain human development, but the bible has a solid and distinct feeling of attempting to move it’s practitioners in a specific direction, with all the complication and situational variance that we find in life. To add to that, I think the people who criticize the bible along these lines are projecting their own personal directives and points of importance that they themselves would impose on scripture if they themselves were an all powerful deity, but simply because the bible does not adhere to the guidelines of men does not mean the hand of GOD was not involved. It simply means GOD did not find these areas important enough to change or possibly these points are as they are for reasons we can not see. In any case, these so thought discrepancies are in the end not the reason for lack of faith and virtue, and the different angles of the bible are not the reason some fail to produce good fruit. Neither are these angles responsible for the failure of stimulated aid and growth that the bible was intended to provide for mankind. Just as men would have no problem making sure the tomato stakes are perfectly straight, GOD clearly has the ability to change these apparent angles, but just as men find this practice completely unnecessary, it is only fair to assume GOD also finds these man imposed criterion equally unnecessary for his unsearchable goals.

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