I get this e-mail from a lady this morning who gives me some scripture that she feels pertains to this Terri Schiavo case about how following the law is turning your back on Jesus.
Galatians 2: 21 I do not frustrate the grace of god: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Then it hits me. What the $%^$ does this mean? I ask her if she could please tell me in what context was this scripture written.
I don’t expect I will get a reply. (I was wrong. I got one about 10 minutes before I published for the night)
Here is the problem with Christians.
Daniel is in the lion's den. He is standing in the middle of all of these hungry lions that are circling him, hankering to take a bite out of him and the people are looking down into the den expecting him to be eaten at any moment. Daniel just calmly looks up to them as they are shouting words of encouragement down to the lions something to the effect of, “These beasts can circle me all they want, with their eyes gleaming with anticipation and their lips glistening with saliva hungry for my flesh, but they will never bite me because I am protected by the lord.”
Now fast forward to the modern era and we have some televangelist who is being investigated for fraud by the federal government and he stands up to some microphone on the steps of the federal court house and evokes this scripture, “Daniel XX:XX says “ These beasts…blah blah blah”
Well when Daniel said this, he was talking about actual lions while he was standing in an actual lions den.
Suddenly these Christians take it upon themselves to make “beasts” a metaphor for “federal prosecutors” and the "circle me all they want" is a metaphor for launching a criminal investigation into his ass and all of his followers nods their heads like this preacher just quoted a scripture written 2,500 years ago that is relevant to what he is going through today.
And then he would have the nerve to encourage other evangelical Christians to draw strength from this scripture whenever they feel they are being wrongly persecuted by the atheist, liberal, anti-life, homosexual, feminist agenda.
Christians act like the bible is a spell book, full of incantations, and that you can just turn to any page, point to something and it will make sense and that is why.
There is absolutely nothing in the religious culture to discourage a person from taking something that was intended to be literal and turning the literal “subjects” of sentences into metaphors.
Even those Jesus freaks that take every word in the bible literally, they still freely use their own discretion to insert their own metaphors to make something pertain to their lives.
See, that in my opinion, is what causes so many problems with organized religion.
It’s this on-going to desire to try to make scripture relevant.
Every religion does it. It’s not just a Christian issue by any means.
There are so many subjects that we deal with today that were never addressed in the scripture because these are modern circumstances that didn’t exist back then even in their wildest imaginations.
The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about cloning, the Internet, evolution, interplanetary colonization, or even democracy for that matter. It doesn’t have anything to say about people being kept alive artificially on breathing machines or fed indefinitely though feeding tubes because something like that wasn’t even conceivable in the ancient world.
If you got run over by a runaway chariot and it snapped your back in two and you went into shock and stroked out after realizing that you were laying on your stomach and yet looking at the bottom of your feet staring you right in the face, guess what happened after that?
You died, that’s what.
There was no way that anyone could save you. You went into shock, you’re stroked out and you died, broken in the street.
The issue of whether or not you should be kept alive and cared for 15 to 20 years while your brain deteriorated into Jell-O was not an issue.
Well now it is, and you think that pulling some quote out of context about a bear that David slew to protect a lamb is offering some insight into how to address this issue because you have taken the liberty to make the bear and lamb a metaphor for the judicial system and Terri Schiavo?
It’s laughable. It really is.
You know I can’t think of a better example of this than how Jehovah Witnesses used to deal with the issue of blood transfusions back in the day.
Jehovah Witnesses, claimed that God forbids people to eat meat without first draining the blood. This is supported by scripture.
But somehow that had been interpreted to mean that a blood transfusion is the same as “eating blood.”
Genesis 9:4 but flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
Well after so many Jehovah’s Witnesses needlessly died from normally treatable conditions that could have been helped if they had only had a blood transfusion, now the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whoever they are, will now allow their followers to accept transfusions just as long as the blood that they are putting in your body is actually your own blood that you had drawn and stored ahead of time.
So let me get this straight, it is not ok to “eat blood” unless it’s your own blood that you are “eating”, then its ok?
If you want to have dialog about the ethics or morality then that is one thing, but keep those irrelevant, out of context quotes to yourself.
They are a woefully poor substitute for making the argument yourself.