Saturday, January 9, 2010

126: David, Again

1 Chronicles 15-17
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods. - 1 Chronicles 16:25

We're slowly making our way through Samuel (aka Chronicles). The ark is brought to Jerusalem. David had kept it in another town because he thought God was going to kill him, like he'd killed Uzzah. Then God promises David he will "build a house" for him. David sings, says a psalm, and prays. I'll spare you the details, considering I've already given you the details when I was in Samuel.

How can the church remain relevant in 2010? Hypothesis: read the bible. I think not.

This is what the article has to say:
The modern Church is viewed by many as an agent of intolerance and by others as a self-help success program. It has become increasingly difficult to find the correlation between the faith of our fathers and the confused, anemic faith of today.
An agent of intolerance? No, they just hate gay people, Muslims, and anyone else that doesn't think the way they do. What's intolerant about that?

Their solution is to, of course, read more scripture:
In order for the church to be relevant in 2010 it must find its identity in Jesus and become scripturally literate.
Right, so what does the scripture say about tolerance that we're missing? The only things I've read so far, pertaining to tolerance, say that we're supposed to kill people that don't believe the way we do (and everyone else that does anything "wrong" for that matter). Granted, I haven't read the whole bible, but since the bible is inerrant we have to assume that it wouldn't be inconsistent.

I've been harsh on the writers of this article, but they do have some nice things to say:
The Church will be most Christ-like when its collective voices are used not to condemn homosexuals but to eradicate AIDS.

Their efforts will be most effective when they are focused not on personal prosperity but on the poverty that grips about one billion people worldwide.

They will be most persuasive when they model lives of personal integrity and therefore have a moral voice to stem the tide of the sex trade that degrades the human race.
I wholeheartedly agree with this, but is this anywhere in the scripture? I think not. If you want to twist your religion to be nice, then fine, but don't pretend to be taking the scriptural high ground.

(via Faux News)

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with this, but is this anywhere in the scripture? I think not.

    Sure it is. You haven't gotten there yet, but it's there. Especially the anti-poverty stuff.

    The problem is that the Bible can be used to justify anything because it's a collection of books written by different authors across the span of hundreds of years in societies that don't look anything like what we live in now. And it really has no coherent theme beyond "things the Jewish folks around AD 100 thought were important to keep" and "things that early Christians around AD 100 thought were important to keep." So you have to interpret it. Even the folks who claim to be doing a "literal interpretation" of the Bible are interpreting it and choosing to read some things as more important than others. You rarely see the folks who claim to have a literal interpretation of the Bible giving up all of their worldly possessions to aid the poor, for example, even though it's one of the few clear directives from Jesus's mouth in the NT. But the hating on gays - even though you have to go through two levels of indirection from Jesus's mouth to get to the gay-hating, THAT part is required.

    I feel a bit bad for the liberal Christians who think that the "faith of their fathers" has any resemblance ot the modern, tolerant, inclusive faith that they want to have. The history of Christianity is not layered with tolerance and inclusiveness - it's layered with rejection of non-Christians, forced conversions of "heathens", and lots of anti-Semetism. Modern Christianity owes more to the Enlightenment than to the Bible or the traditions of the early church, but even liberal Protestants can't admit to that because the myth of "sola scriptura" is too important to the Protestant identity to confront where their values and morals actually come from.



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