If we say that the scriptures should not (or cannot) be taken literally then we are saying that what they say is not what they mean. If this is true then we must establish who is competent to interpret the scriptures for us so that we would know the true meaning of the scriptures. But who will that be? Should it be you, me, your pastor, my pastor, the instructors at your bible college or the instructors at my bible college? Which of those who have received doctorate of divinity or theology should we deem competent to tell us what the scriptures that should not be taken literally mean. Should we base the qualification on who has the most Holy Spirit? Who hears Him the best or who does He speak to the most? Who is most filled or anointed by Him? Who is out there that we can say that this is the one who can determine what the scriptures (which should not be taken literally) mean? Is there anyone we will all agree to or trust enough to tell us what the scriptures which cannot or should not be taken literal means?
If we say that the scripture cannot or should not be taken literally then anyone who has an opinion can be just as correct as anyone else who has one. Whether we like this idea or not this also includes Mormons, JW's, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists’, Taoists, etc. If the scriptures cannot or should not be taken literal who can be excluded from attempting to interpret them and if there are those who should be excluded from trying, who can we trust to determine who is to be excluded and who should not be (see the previous paragraph for choices for this role)?
If we say that only some of the scriptures should not be taken literally then we must find someone who is competent to decide which ones should and which ones should not. Then we are back to figuring out who will all of us trust or believe is competent?
Besides the problem of finding (or trusting) at least one person (which all will agree to) to competently interpret the scriptures there is another difficulty.
If we say that the scriptures should not be taken literally then we are saying that they do not mean what they say. This becomes a problem when we say that the Holy Spirit inspired and directed the writers of the scriptures to put down in writing what He told them to. The scripture says that the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all the truth so; if the scriptures do not mean what they say then there are four possibilities.
1. If the scriptures do not mean what they say, then the writers of the scriptures after being inspired by the Holy Spirit made unintentional mistakes in what they thought He was directing them to say. This means that the scriptures are now unreliable because though they were inspired they somehow got it wrong.
2. If the scriptures do not mean what they say, then the writers of the scriptures deliberately wrote what the Holy Spirit did not intend and the scriptures are again unreliable.
3. If the scriptures do not mean what they say, then the Holy Spirit made a mistake in what He thought He was inspiring the writers to write. The scriptures are again unreliable.
4. If the scriptures do not mean what they say, then the Holy Spirit deliberately inspired the writers to write what He did not mean and He is deliberately hiding the truth and misleading us from it if the scripture do not mean what He inspired them to say.
Imagine yourself transported back in time to the time when Peter or Paul or any of the other writers of the New Testament (or OT). You walk up to one and he turns to you and says, “The Holy Spirit is inspiring me to write this letter so that those here-after would know the wonders of the truth of Christ and grow into a full relationship with Him knowing Him truly as He is. But I’m going to let you in on something; He doesn’t really mean what He telling me to write. He means something else. Although I know what He means He not telling me to write it. So for you who are coming after us; so yea … uh … good luck with that!”