Sunday, December 6, 2009

Literalizing Text, Tradition, and Science

For the past number of years, people have been analyzing Scripture as if "every dot and tittle" is true. The analysis assumes that the message is literally and universally true. The problem is that literalizing the life of Christ is absurd if one wants to have people that live in the "real world". The fundamentalists/evangelicals are pruod of this endeavor. But, no less proud are the literal scientific types.

These scientific types think that bringing about the "real Jesus" movement will bring in the Kingdom of God. These are the theologically and eschalogical literalists.

Others are more open to experiment upon actual "case studies" so they can further their speicific Christian disicpline to prove scientifically the "facts" of faith. And still others, are interested in building the church.

International business minds find they can "get a cut" out of the deal, as their are so many fundamentalists and evangelicals in the U.S. Play the game and get the benefit.

So many, the believers, un-believers and the ambitious are all "on board" to bring in the Kingdom of God.

But, what about those who have been so pre-ordained? How do they think and feel about such a method of crucifixion or "usefulness"? Is this loving? No, but it will train or teach or form the person into "God's image", the very image of Christ. The pietists and Kantians are enamored.

But, is this methoc kind and considerate? No, but the greater good will benefit and the "guinea pig" will learn to be "selfless". The educators and utiltarians are "lured".

And what about the poor, who are "useful" for political ends? Are they truely cared about by those that use them as a "means"?

You get the message. "Doing justly and loving mercy" is not about planning the Kingdom, or carrying out specific purposes of others. A man or woman of character cannot objectify another life in such a way, as the means de-means the very image of God. The means controls, manipulates, assumes, presumes, and thinks of an 'apology". And yet, these think they "do God's work" and "co-create with God". What they create is a monstrosity. It is evil itself, not "good".

This morning I was sent an e-mail from a friend about Shaine Clayborn, who wrote "Irresitible Revolution". This was the 'primer" of this "entry". Our university used it in thier "World Changers" course. My husband and I tried to use it to help these students understand that their lives could be used just as pursposefully, in a different way, than Shaine's "radicalism". That anything they choose to do can be useful in the world for God.

Shaine's premise is the love of God for the poor, which has become the politically and religiously correct view these days. His interest in the poor is because God is love. He has obviously experienced this love, to be able to know and share it. Fine. But, for those who do not have that "message" to impart, then what is the "Kingdom" for them?

Are others allowed to have different lives and not be "judged" as lacking commitment? Maybe this is a good "weeding out" as the radicals like to say, of those "chosen" and those "not chosen". That is fine, too. I just know I am not going to share what is not "reality" to me. And who should?

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