Est. May 2008

05 April, 2013

Thump, Thump, Thump

Yep, Bill O went ahead and called us 'bible-thumpers’ because we actually think the Bible condemns homosexual marriage.

And I bet you’ll never guess who approves.

In her most recent column (blog post, screed, whatever) she says, ‘I never thought I would write these words, but I agree with Bill O’Reilly (in part).’  The part she apparently doesn’t agree with is that ‘the Bible is irrelevant in public policy debate.’  Why?
But you need to read the Bible in context, and use theology to make a persuasive faith argument.
Now, you’ve got to know what she means by ‘theology’ to understand her, and at least she makes her theology crystal clear in a following paragraph:
Theologically speaking, LGBT marriage is moral and just because of our fundamental religious insight that God created all people in God’s image. That conviction is primary, and helps us interpret scripture.
Get that?  LGBT marriage is, theologically, is moral, regardless of the numerous Bible passages which call it an abomination and warn those who practice it of their fate.  And, once you’ve adopted the Progressive theology Ms T adheres to, of course it helps you interpret scripture – the wrong way, sadly, but it does inform your interpretation.

Best of all, she invokes that great modern theologian John Fugelsang (yes, that was sarcastic) to bolster her claim regarding…wait for it…gun control.

You see Professor Fugelsang preached about Jesus and gun control over at that religious website Current, using Luke 22:35-38 as his inspiration.

And what inspiration it was:
And they’re saying that this means Jesus is pro-gun — the modern-day sword. But what Jesus is really doing is talking about prophesy and being a criminal. Because as soon as Jesus throws down his line about buying a sword, he adds that they only need swords because the prophesy says they’re meant to be criminals: “For I say unto you that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, and he was reckoned among the transgressors.”

So he’s not talking about defending yourself, he’s talking about having a sword as a prop so he can get arrested [to] fulfill the prophecy.
Setting aside the fact that, historically and traditionally speaking, the Isaiah passage Jesus was referring to has and is interpreted as prophecy of His hanging on the cross between the two thieves Dismas and Gesmas (the ‘transgressors’ Jesus was numbered with), Professor Fugelsang’s eisegesis leaves a whole lot to be desired.

First off, Jesus didn’t need the Apostles to ‘be criminals’.  Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane because Caiaphas and the religious leaders considered Him to be a blasphemer – He wasn’t considered a criminal due to the company He kept.

Second, none of the Apostles (with, perhaps, the exception of Matthew) were ever noted in any of the Gospels or the apostolic writings to have had any criminal background or intent at all (I pulled Matthew out because, as a tax collector, his fellow Jews probably considered him a criminal, though the Romans wouldn’t have).  Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all respectable fishermen; John likely had been known to the High Priest, since he was able to enter Caiaphas’ courtyard during Jesus’ trial; Matthew, as I said, was a tax-collector, so there might have been some Jewish odium around him; the only other Apostle who might have had a criminal past might have been Simon the Zealot – but whether he was a member of the anti-Roman Zealot party before he became an Apostle or whether he was simply zealous for God is still not definitively decided.  The rest of the Apostles, as far as their working lives and backgrounds, are pretty amorphous, but none of them are recorded as having ever been criminals – at least criminals in the eyes of Rome.

Third, as to possession of swords making them criminals, the Greek word used throughout the Gospels for ‘sword’ is machaira, which, when translated into English, means ‘a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh’ or a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword; curved sword, for a cutting stroke; a straight sword, for thrusting’.  In short, a ‘big knife’, which you would expect men such as fishermen to carry for cutting bait, rope, tangled nets, and so on.  They were large, all-purpose blades which, because of their size, could also be sued for self-defense.

And because these blades were fairly ubiquitous, it’s hard to fathom that simple possession of one would have made anyone a criminal (a ‘transgressor’) in the eyes of either Rome or the Sanhedrin.

Fourth, Jesus lying to His Apostles as to the reason why they should arm themselves?  Jesus using His Apostles as props so He could get arrested?  Really?  Then why did a crowd of men, including a Roman cohort, only arrest Jesus?  After all, using Professor Fugelsang’s logic, all the men with Jesus were ‘transgressors’ – and Peter even hacked the ear off Malchus, the slave of the high priest, right in front of the Roman cohort!  Because Jesus asked them not to (John 18:8)?  Does Professor Fugelsang actually think those men would have acquiesced to Jesus’ request after witnessing one of His men – these so-called ‘transgressors’ – mutilate the high priest’s slave?

Two peas in a pod, Professor Fugelsang and Ms Thistlethwaite are, aren’t they?

Gordius would have been proud of their knot-tying abilities.

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