Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scripture and The Church

I was thinking of going through all the proof texts used to condemn homosexuality and show why maybe they don't...but it's been done so many times, I don't see the point.  Here is an article that I think does a better job than I ever will:

The problem is, no matter how good the arguments, many Christians simply cannot change their view, because it would compromise their faith.  When it comes down to it, they simply cannot believe that the Church has taught something incorrectly for this long...I mean, how could God allow that?  Of course, this applies to the belief in an eternal hell as well. (I do want to note that from A.D. 170 to 430, there were six Christian schools...of these, four taught the restitution of all things, and only one taught endless punishment)  But consider the religious leaders of Jesus day--they studied their scriptures very intently, and prided themselves so much in doing so.  And even still, they couldn't agree on what the writings really meant. (just like today) Remember the story of them trying to trap Jesus by asking him a difficult question about what brother would be married to a wife after they died, since they had all been her husband at one time? 

That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him.  Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.  The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.  Finally, the woman died.  Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.  At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.  But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you,  ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

I want to point out that this argument is not over who's going to be married to her in heaven, but who will be married to her after the resurrection.  I think this is the biggest mistake we've made in looking at scriptures--thinking the whole point is 'where will we spend eternity when we die--heaven or hell'.  But if you look closely at the writings of Paul, you will see that the hope he has is for the resurrection from the dead. (in the coming age)  Some Jews believed in this resurrection, some did not.  And notice Jesus' reply to these men who had studied scriptures probably their whole life and knew them forwards and backwards (and had authority over others in teaching what they meant)..."You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God".  How can any of us be sure we understand the Scriptures or the power of God?  If your putting all your faith in how things have been understood so far, and that the church would never make a mistake about scripture, I think you need to take a closer look at church history.  Remember that the church at one time taught that babies not baptized before death would go to hell, that the world was flat (there is a scripture that talks about the four corners of the can the Bible be wrong?) and that the sun rotated around the earth. (again, scripture confirmed this to them, and anyone that argued differently was in big trouble--because they were denying the authority of scripture)  The church was also the biggest defender for slavery...because clearly the Bible condoned it.  But even with all this evidence against the church NOT always getting it right, still people need to put their faith in the church leaders guiding them instead of in the Holy Spirit.   And if you think all church leaders are listening to the Spirit concerning these two issues because they are "staying true" to the Bible, I would have only one question for them..."Have you even considered the possibility that you are wrong, and if so, have you prayed that the Holy Spirit show you if you are?"

 P.S.  I'm so glad I have no authority to tell you what to believe.  I am an absolute nobody in that regard...I'm certainly no Apostle Paul.  But look what he has to say about his 'authority'..."We are not bosses who tell you what to believe. We are working with you to make you glad, because your faith is strong." (2 Corn.1:24 )  If you are waiting for the church leaders to reveal truth to you, because you think men in power are the first to hear from God--read what Jesus has to say about that: 
Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. (Matt. 11:25-26)  And just one more thing...who were the first ones to see Jesus after his resurrection?  And did his disciples listen to them, or think they were just hysterical women?