Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of fiction and nonfiction.
I'm right there with you. Judges 19 and 1 Timothy 2 were pivotal in my rejection of the bible. What kind of asshole god condones rape and outright sexism? Not to mention slavery or murder or any of the other atrocities god was party to. Where my ideas diverge from yours, though, is that if I know the bible isn't any more inspired than Harry Potter, there is no way to firmly define "god" that makes any objective sense. If you want to say "god" is just another word for "love" or mystery, great. But coming up with any kind of firm definition or personality characteristics is sort of silly since there is no way to KNOW anything about such a being.
I've heard it said the Bible is not sugar-coated, meaning there's a lot of rough stuff in the Scriptures. Mankind is in dire need of a Redeemer - we suck. That said, let me also say that I've always tried to read the Scriptures, taking into account the context and history, it's poetry and allegory. One commentator I love to read is William Barclay. His commentary on the New Testament is full of history and I appreciate his thoughts. So, what's my point? I love the Scriptures. I think if I continue to study them to "show myself approved" God will reveal Himself to me. He is bigger than the Bible.Fran
Frank is unfortunately taking the scriptures in question out of their historical and cultural context, and judging them by the very Christian standards of right and wrong that the New Testament he is bashing, established in our culture.The Apostles could have said, the Master is the enemy. Rise up and slay the man. And you would have had the French Revolution 1700 years ahead of time. Unfortunately you would also have the blood bath associated with it. Instead, the New Testament says in Christ there is neither Slave nor Free, Male nor Female, and calls on the Slave to love his master, and the Master to treat his slave as his brother. The wife to love her husband, and the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. In the context in which slaves were simply living tools that could be disposed of or treated in any way the master wished without any societal disapproval, and in a society in which women were little more than children, and had a status just above that of a slave (if they were not also a slave, in which they had even less), these ideas were radical. Slavery was a universal fact of life in every corner of the world, including Africa and Native America. Only Christians began a movement to eliminate slavery. So sure, blame the Christians for slavery, and give every one else a pass.
Thus far, Fr. John Whiteford is the only rational voice here. Francis Schaeffer taught me a lot - helped me understand the meaning of the world around me - what forces created abstract art and music, what drives modern literature, why society and government are evolving in the directions they are. Abortion was only a tiny part of what he head to say. No one else that I've read before or since made a much sense - certainly not Frank. What Francis Schaeffer said in the 60s about this present generation has turned out to be absolutely true - it's greed driven and ugly. The Bible is truth - though it's not always easy to understand; Francis Schaeffer was not always easy to understand, but it's worth the effort. For Christians looking for truth to live by, there are answers, they make sense - though sometimes they are counter intuitive - and they bring joy and love into our lives even in terrible circumstances.
Christianity is based upon the teachings of Christ. These references are taken from the Old Testament, and not Crist. His message was "love one another." Wish we all could follow that.
Mr. Schaeffer is right, we must out of decency completely reject the bible. His excellent article only failed to mention the most obnoxious thing in all of scriptures, it's absolute arrogance in dealing with women and men reducing them to servants. Baba O'Riley said it best "I don't need to be forgiven".
"Mr. Schaeffer is right, we must out of decency completely reject the bible."Frank - You should write this comment down on a small piece of paper and carry it in your wallet at all times. Well done!- An Orthodox Christians who rejects both fundamentalism AND stupidity!
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