Monday, January 24, 2011

Why it pays to know our history

You can set your clock by it: the "you people are trying to re-write the Bible" arguments from those who take Holy Scripture as the Literal Words -- rather than the Living Word -- of God. Here's a great response to one of those arguments from a frequent commenter on this blog. (Thanks, "uffda51")
It’s not about the myriad translations and versions of the BibleIt’s about the historical and cultural context in which it was written and the recognition of the influence of the Holy Sprit over time.

This was the language used by my Rhode Island Puritan ancestors in the 17th century to justify slavery.

"Unless the heathen were acquainted with the Gospel, eternal misery would be their lot in the after life. Therefore, any suffering that the slaves might experience on the slave ship or in slavery was more than compensated for by their fortunate delivery from a life of idolatry and savagery.

A slave trader could piously rejoice that an overruling Providence had been pleased to bring to this land of freedom another cargo of benighted heathen to enjoy the blessings of a Gospel dispensation." (Of course the “land of freedom” (New England) first had to cleared of Native Americans, who were either killed or enslaved, in King Phillip’s War, arguably the bloodiest war in American history.)

The “majority of practicing Christians in the world” at the time used the Bible to "feel superior" to Africans and Native Americans just as many Christians still use the Bible to feel superior to LGBT persons. Pious and patriarchal “delivery from a life of idolatry and savagery” is simply an earlier version of “love the sinner, hate the sin.”


Nicole Porter said...

Even the RCC said there is no scriptural argument against women clergy. They hold on to tradition for whatever reason. Racism goes against scripture, just like homosexual acts. There is nothing in the bible to support it. There is nothing in scripture to support bishops, priests and deacons living any kind of lifestyle besides celibacy or in marriage. Not SSRs, that isn't and never will be marriage if it contains two people of the same gender. You can change the canons of the Church and the constitution of the US, and it will never be marriage. Why? Because it was never sanctioned by God but by special interests groups. Stop comparing race and gender to being LGBT. You can't control the first two. I'm not here to change your mind because that's something you have to work out in your own heart. I'm here to remind you that there are still good Christians in the Church who will not toe this line. Ever.

LGMarshall said...

TEC has not so much 're-written' the Bible , as, I'd say, 'dismissed' and 'ignored' it. [actually, trampled & spit on].

If you read Scripture with a humble heart, you would see that the BIBLE is both Literal AND The Living Word of God. 'Literal' because every word is True. 'Living' because every word always was, is now, and will always be... Unchanging for Eternity.

If you read Scripture, you will find no place where human slavery is approved of by God. We live in a Fallen World ruled by Satan, you continue to reject that fact.

If you think that Man will bring Peace on Earth, you again are mistaken, and not reading your Bible.

Re Paganism... Beware! as it creeps so easily back into The Church. Ask the descendants of slavery about their Christian Faith and what it means to them... I think I know what they would say. "Thank You Jesus." Ask today's Sex Slaves, that have found Christ, what their faith means to them...

IT said...

The mind boggles indeed.

Evan said...

"If you read Scripture, you will find no place where human slavery is approved of by God."

You're joking, right?

Ephesians 6:5-8
Colossians 4:22-24
to give just a few...

...all the Literal Word of God, right?

dr.primrose said...

"Racism goes against scripture .... There is nothing in the bible to support it."

I don't disagree with you on that. But during most of U.S. history, racism was in fact defended on biblical grounds -- "the Curse of Cain"

"The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth. Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father's nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, 'Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.' He also said, 'Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.'" Gen. 9:18-27.

I grew up in the American South before and during the civil rights era. The view that these verses justified racial segregations was preached and believed by a substantial number of people.


The Bible is still being used to justify racist discrimination and segregation. Check this out:

dr.primrose said...

Sorry. I mispoke in my previous posting. The biblical justification for racism is the Curse of Canaan, sometimes known as the Curse of Ham, not the Curse of Cain. Long day and weary mind.