Thursday, November 06, 2008

handing out free guns

ben and i were having breakfast today & talking about fusion. i told him that it's so hard to teach people the complexities of correctly interpreting scripture in just 30min once-a-week, but necessary if were ever going to get beyond this stupid commercial version of western church-ianity.

we laughed a lot.

but the problem remains: when you introduce people to the depth of the bible, and they don't fully listen, you run the risk of having them make up their own rules as to how the bible should be interpreted.

which is a big deal, and a big risk.

so, for example, during our genesis series we did a little historical-critical work comparing genesis 1 to the enuma elish and ancient israel to ancient babylon. we talked about how these things should be read in context, because context informs us.

which, then - somehow - caused a gentlemen to tell me that jesus' teachings really were all poems and metaphors that we shouldn't take seriously because he was responding to the enuma elish.


jesus was born 1800 years after the enuma elish, never interacted with it, nor was it part of the dominant narrative of the roman empire. he and it have almost nothing to do with each other.

this poor guy confused our homework that applies to genesis with our homework that applies to jesus. they are not the same things, but he - because he only half cared - confused them and combined them unthinkingly.

and the worst part?

he didn't care or BELIEVE me when i tried to correct him.

it was at this point in the conversation that ben asked me: do you sometimes feel like you're giving people guns when you preach?

meaning: do you sometimes feel that people have no idea how dangerous the bible is when they refuse to listen to the basic instructions for how to use it properly?

don't we understand how much is at risk when we're dumb with the bible? uncriticial? unthinking? unreflective?

and not just with the context or the history, but with basic stuff like jesus' commands to his disciples.

don't we get it?

1 comment:

  1. I know how much Ben likes rap music, so I will respond to this post with a lyric from a Pharoahe Monch song

    I roll with my gun
    I love it like my first son
    it protects me
    and makes sure the fakes respect me

    My misunderstandings and distortions of scripture, ironically, often protect me. Protection from conviction. How can the Spirit convict my heart about diligently seeking the Truth when I already believe I have "the whole" truth?

    Also they afford me respect. Others who have adopted the same distortions are quick to congratulate me on my wisdom. Even those who disagree with me understand I am "sticking to my guns" and they probably respect me for that.

    Yup, these six shooters are pretty sweet. Except I miss God a lot, but He's hard to catch anyway, and He always comes back around. Right?