Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Does it matter if some stories are "fake News"?

On facebook a friend reproduced this post about leadership as follows,
What is a true leader??

This is a pack of wolves. The three in front are old and sick, they walk in the front to set the pace for the rest of the group so that they don't get left behind.
The next five are the strongest and the best, they are there to protect the front if there is an attack.
The pack in the middle are always protected from attack with the strongest both sides of them.
The next five behind the middle pack, are also among the strongest and the best, they are tasked to protect the back side if there is an attack.
The last one, that is the LEADER. He ensures that no one is left behind. He keeps the pack unified and on the same path. He is always ready to run in any direction to protect and serve as a "bodyguard" to the entire pack.
Just incase you were wondering what it really means to be a leader... it's not about being out front and for all to see.
It means taking care of your whole team.

Hope you all had a good day x

Then of course there were the comments. One person said, "You know it is fake news eh. Makes a nice story though."
Another person wrote, "Fake news or not it demonstrates a leadership model that is so hard to find and one that is worth considering and practicing."
In other words, it did not matter if the story is historically true about wolves behaviour, its point is true and worth listening to. That makes sense doesn't it? 

Now I want to apply the same rules to stories in the Bible, many, perhaps most of which can be taken as parable or metaphor. We'll stick to the New Testament. Was there a virgin birth? Did Jesus make wine out of water? Did he calm the storm, multiply the loaves and fishes, heal all those people in a miraculous way, come back to life after death etc etc. Today in Church we read the ascension story from Acts. It reads, ".. as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them, etc." Now did that happen? Should we get into an argument about whether, and how it happened historically?
I believe for many of these stories in the gospels and Acts (and other books in the Bible) we must say, "Fake news or not, this story demonstrates a deeper truth that is worth considering." 

The late New Testament scholar Marcus Borg suggested this approach. Dominic Crossan suggested that many of the gospel stories and the gospels themselves are parables about the great parable teller, Jesus. This frees us to listen to their deeper meanings and not get bogged down and distracted by historicity questions.
Anyway that is about where I am at, and I could not help thinking of this when my friend posted this story about the wolves and leadership.

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