Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cut through the crap!

Religious "Spam"
While surfing through news stuff I somehow got onto a Utube of a UK Sunday TV program where people were arguing about whether Genesis is literally true in relation to the creation of the world. This Bible believing Christian was sounding forth about the world being made in six days and how the dating of evolutionists and pre-historians is all wrong etc.  Other Christians were trying to answer him… and I closed it down. Really? Still going on about that stuff?

Now I happen to believe that the Genesis accounts, properly read, are wonderful creative myth which speaks a whole lot of truth that we need to listen to. “Myth” does not mean “rubbish”! It means if anything, writing that speaks of even deeper more important truth than historical accounts. But I could not be bothered arguing about it with the literal creationists. There are more important things.

I was cleaning up my desk today and came across some papers a man in my church had given me. He has stopped giving me papers for a long time because he knows I disagree, but he handed these to me the other day. The writing was full of spurious interpretations of both the book of Daniel and writings in the book of Revelation. I would love to try to correct such interpretations, even ridicule them because I have heard of many over my years. Each one says that some phenomenon currently happening is a sign of the end times… but the world has gone on. A new “sign” is read into the writings and a new interpretation to meet the changed situation, by sometimes the same people. You want to say, “but you said…?” but I don’t bother arguing.  Why?

Biblical priorities 
In the reading set for last Sunday (John 15:9-17) John has Jesus giving his last discourse to his disciples. Here he shares what John would see as important directions. The word “love” is mentioned 10 times and Jesus urges them to obey his commands. His command mentioned twice in just the few verses is “love one another”. In Luke 10 when Jesus was asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life” Jesus ends up telling the story of the good Samaritan, and said, “Go do likewise.”  In Matthew in the parable of the “Sheep and the goats” he has a whole lot of loving actions we must do to “the least of these.” “As you have done to the least of these, you have done it to me.”  The prophet Micah was searching for what it meant to be true to God and came up with this statement. “He has showed you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

I will argue about creation, Daniel and Revelation when I am done dealing to these important instructions! The world is going to hell in a hand basket, there are people suffering in our own communities, poverty, war and injustice throughout the world and Christians are still arguing creation, weird prophecy and obscure Biblical passages! Even if I believed in Genesis literally, and in the weird interpretations of Daniel and Revelation, when I look at the “way” of Jesus, there are more important issues to be grappling with! In today’s world with its incredible needs, what does “love one another” mean? With so much suffering what does it mean to feed, clothe, house, visit etc. “the least of these”?  With incredible inequalities even in our own country, what does to “do justice” mean? Sitting around squabbling over religious arguments seems incongruous in the face of such realities. For God's sake, cut through the crap, focus on the important and live and love as Jesus did!

1 comment:

Keith Harris said...

And so say all of us ...well, obviously not ALL of us!