The last time I blogged I mentioned that a significant portion of the crisis we have in American Christianity is how we approach the Bible. There is a lot more to this subject.
Much is made about being Biblical. Being Biblical is a phase in need of a definition.
Being Biblical is most often defined by something, frankly, it is not.
It has become fashionable to carve out positions on politics, ethics, different aspects of faith, and find Scripture texts to back up one’s opinions.
Do you remember the uproar over the Harry Potter books and movies? Much of that uproar came from people who chose to cite Leviticus 19. Leviticus 19 contains a listing of ‘do nots’ for people. Many of them are in regards to the 10 Commandments and have little controversy behind them. But it also states this in verse 31:
Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.
In the second half of verse 26 it states:
You shall not practice augury or witchcraft.
Pretty clear and this teaching is imposed by some on many. Now, there is much wonderful in Leviticus 19 that makes a great deal of sense. However, here is my question. Are the people who are yelping loudly about Harry Potter keeping all the commands of Leviticus? I wonder.
Back to verse 26. The first half of the verse states:
You shall not eat anything with its blood.
It strikes me that if you are taking the whole passage into account one ought to eat all of one’s beef cooked to be well done. Rare, medium rare, medium, and medium well all have a chance of some blood. In some of the finer steak restaurants they often make the claim that they will not guarantee the quality of well done beef. Ironically, these ‘sinners’ who are encouraging people to break the law of the first half of verse 26 are never targeted for pickets and never have editorials against them proclaiming them to be godless heathens.
Verse 19 contains :
you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed;
The agricultural community has been cross breeding all kind of fruits and vegetables for years and have had great success. We buy many of these products in the grocery stores and I have yet to see a protester decreeing the grocery chains and the farmers to be godless heathens.
And then, of course, a continuation of verse 19 reads:
nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.
Yep. If you’re sitting here in clothing made from a cotton polyester blend, you are hereby decreed to be a heathen.
As a person who generally orders beef rare or medium rare, as a person who has enjoyed crossbred produce, and as a person sitting in a chair typing this while wearing clothing that are made from blending polyester and cotton, I am here as a heathen.
Or maybe not. Being Biblical has to be more than finding Biblical quotes to validate positions. Somehow I suspect that if Jesus walked into a room and found people preaching about Harry Potter and how terrible those books and movies were, he’d walk back out wondering why the preacher was wasting his/her time on such nonsense.
I’m realizing that there is much to say on this topic about the crisis of Christianity in America. Bear with me as I try to explore this.