Listening to an episode of the Ridiculous History podcast this morning, one of the hosts said, “Don’t take my word for it.” A common phrase; we’ve all said it. A wise and sensible thing for sensible people to say. A standard line or rule of thumb really for scientists, philosophers, explorers, skeptics, etc.
Someone makes a statement, tells a tale of a personal experience. We’re intrigued and curious, maybe incredulous. They see the look on our face and matter-of-factly say, “Don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself, think for yourself.”
This got me thinking: What if throughout religious history we heard this phrase repeated? The “faith founders” emerge from their forests, mountains, deserts, caves and tell their fantastic stories, followed by “Don’t take my word for it.”
Can we imagine Jesus teaching the crowds, telling his parables, then shrugging his shoulders with a smile, “Don’t take my word for it!”
That would probably alter the entire history of religion.