Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I was reminded lately how many Christians use their bible as a spot cleaner. If they don't agree with something, they grab one verse, usually out of context, that seems to talk against whatever it is they don't agree with, and use that to prove their point. I suppose that is at least better than just repeating some vague generalization like "the Bible says that's wrong!" without even knowing WHAT the book says. In that case, they just repeat what someone else has told them it says. Perhaps THAT person was also repeating information they didn't know the true source of either. Knowing your source at least gives you the aura of authenticity, even if it is taken out of context or inconsistently applied.

The particular case this time was about the use of the Tarot. Now, the Tarot isn't mentioned specifically in the bible. There are general prohibitions about hanging out with people who prophesy or do other seemingly occult things. Of course, many of those proclamations were conditional. Like "if you go to this place, don't get caught up with all the weird things they do, don't forget you are God's people!" My rather loose translation, but you'll find that same injunction many times in various words. 

Here's one quote that seems good. In the old testament book of Leviticus, chapter 19, starting with verse 26 “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes." (ESV)   Ooh, that seems pretty explicit against fortunetellers. Let's keep that one around to hit people with.

On the other hand, we might not want to remember the next verses: 27 "You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord."

Hmm, well, we can use part of that against those weird tattooed people. On the other hand, we can keep verse 27 to remind us not to cut off our sideburns or trim our beards. Unless of course, you want to, then I guess we just forget that one. Also unless, of course, you are female. But then, we know, for the most part, in the bible, females are second class citizens. 

You can certainly find more examples for yourself. Many Christians seem to be excellent at picking and choosing which part of their bible they want to apply at any particular time. As I said, spot cleaning. 

Most of those "useful for hitting others over the head with" scriptures are in the Old Testament. As long as they can be used to prove a point against someone they are "useful for doctrine and reproof." (2nd Timothy 3:16.) Of course, if we find something in that old section we DON'T agree with it must part of that old covenant. As in Hebrews 8:13   "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (ESV again).

Hey, if you're going to use it, use it all. You don't get to pick and choose. That's what I'm saying. I have not doubt the same can be said for most of the established religions. Christianity is the only one I have experience with. 

Now, every group, of any religious persuasion or none,  has a majority of good honest people who do their best to live their lives to their very best, hurting none, fair and helpful to all. It's just those vocal, screwy few who are the bad apples. When those vocal screwballs get to be in positions of authority, watch out!

I prefer the path of living life deliberately. It is the Avatar path, the warrior path, the shaman path. It has many names.

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