Sunday, August 07, 2005


Sermon for the Churched and Unchurched Church

Don’t get lost in the interpretation! Have you heard the line? It goes something like, “I don’t disbelieve the Bible…I just have a different interpretation.” For anything that matters (what is sin, condemnation, salvation, obedience, etc.) you had better count on there being only one interpretation, one Way, one Truth, and one Life…because that is what Jesus said. As you have seen, if you’ve read previous entries, we can and we do get bogged down with some interpretations and they often have to do with prophecy and the future. God told us, no one is to know the time. He made it clear it’s coming and that is the extent of eschatology! It is mesmerizing to speculate but we are completely muddled on the subject—far from united. Does it matter?

Should we drink wine, grape juice or water at communion? Pretty much anything but blood…nice thought, heh? “Why not?” you vampires ask! Blood is the power of life, the power of Jesus, the power of God…sacred. (You’re gonna ask so “no, I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t eat only kosher.”) There is probably something about the wine, making the other extreme, water, not as acceptable either. Jesus’ first miracle—amazingly supreme wine from water! Offered sour wine on the cross, Jesus refused. God communicates with symbols; sorry to you concrete thinkers. Jesus and his closest followers drank wine together at their last supper together. Jesus taught communion with bread and wine…saying, “I won’t drink from this cup again until I return.” So, are we Christians separated because some prefer grape juice? Uh-uh. No. Nada. Shame on us if this was to be a divisive point. The underlying meaning and interpretation of the ritual is a whole other matter and I’m not going there. Sadly, it has divided us.

Pope Benedict XVI is bold to speak the words “relativism” and “dictatorship” as being mutually defining of our times. The argument protecting the humanist dictator goes, “It’s not about secularism vs. Christianity; it’s about allowing pluralism.” Interpret it this way, “Freedom equals pluralism and Christians are way too rigid.” How Satanically deceiving can you get?! Ya know, I might go for it if only Christianity were allowed back in the ring! But because Christians and Muslims are absolutists (the reason the two religions are equated so often now!), we shall be oppressed! ………Oh, you mean Muslims aren’t oppressed? Islam IS allowed in U.S. schools? ………Oh, that must be because they’re the religion of peace!

Here’s the thought process: Singularity>>single-minded vision>>legislated morality>>dictator. President Bush obviously doesn’t believe absolutist beliefs must ultimately develop into dictatorships. He is even hoping for pluralistic peace in the Middle East. Here’s where it gets sticky. Can Islam rid itself of condemning, “you are unclean” sorts of ideals? The similarity is that both religions DO believe in one dictator—their god or God. How is it that the Muslims want to enforce their god’s rule themselves? Mohammed believed in conversion or death…let’s get that straight once and for all. Jesus reinforced free-will choice. He taught the consequences of two eternities and made it clear, God will judge every person for his and her choices.

The mistakes of the Christian world can be narrowed to two historical events and the Crusades could be considered mere self-defense and retaliation. Spanish inquisition—a powerful church institution gone mad. I am certain, America’s first settlers made it clear from day one—the institutional church will not gain political power. That said, the Christian churches’ mistakes have been glitches. If Christianity had not influenced the development of this country’s republic of Freedom, had the Reformation teachings of John Calvin, Martin Luther and others not carried through to culmination in our founding documents,…we would not be free indeed.

In conclusion, it all depends on your interpretation….of the Bible, of church doctrine, of history. Sometimes there is only one, True interpretation and it is our singular task to find it, according to God’s purpose for man as His representative. Christians have rigid beliefs and morals for supporting a free civil society, otherwise known as civilization. We also rigidly believe in freedom of religion.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?