I am seriously conflicted about this post.
You see I was raised to be a nice Episcopal boy. We don't say bad things about other people. You just put a strained smile on your face and make sure never to invite them over for drinks or dinner again.
It's the Episcopal form of shunning.
At the same time I am just so disturbed by this that I need to comment. And for you to understand you probably need to see at least some of the video. So here it is.
This is a Baptist preacher doing what he believes is right. He believes his congregation needs to hear this word. It is important for him to spend the time to preach on this passage and to share this conclusion. That's clearly what he believes in his heart of hearts. And I'm sure that he believes that the Holy Spirit is moving him to do it.
And I believe he's wrong.
I don't believe this is an important portion of scripture that needs to be brought before the church. Beyond that I believe the conclusion he draws is (sigh, this is SO un-Episcopalian) ridiculous. This is a waste of his skills, his intellect and his faith. I can't believe that his congregation sat there without thinking "Pastor's slipped a cog".
In the end it did get me thinking. It got me thinking that THIS is EXACTLY the reason why we need to spend more time teaching our kids what the Bible is all about.
Because if we don't they'll think that this kind of thinking IS what the Bible's all about. That's there's nothing more important for us as people of faith to worry about than this kind of silly rule making.
I do NOT want our kids thinking that God particularly cares about whether a guy takes a wee standing or sitting.
I do NOT want our kids presented with this kind of preaching and teaching and not have it challenged clearly and compassionately.
I DO want our kids to know and love the Bible for the wonderful gift and resource that it is.
I DO want our kids to be able to think clearly about their faith and its basis. And to know when someone is wasting their time with nonsense.
So I have no choice. I have to write this post. I have to say that I believe this brother in Christ is seriously off base. And I'd like to say the following as well to all my brothers and sisters in faith, young and old:
Spend some time reading your Bible. Do yourself a favor and get more than one translation. Compare how they interpret the ancient languages in which Scripture was originally written. Think about what it says. Be prepared to be challenged by what you read. That means some of it is going to sound wrong, funny, strange, troubling. Some of it is going to say things you don't like. Good. You need to read all of it, not just the bits that you like. Learn it so people can't twist and distort it for their own ends. Some people are trying to con you with the Bible. If you don't know it then you make it easy for them. Ask questions. If the answers aren't clear or don't make sense keep asking questions. Don't let anyone make you feel "dumb". The disciples had to have Jesus repeat things to them too.
The Bible carries God's message to all of us. It's a message about love and hope and caring for one another. It's a message of peace and joy and being welcomed home. If you hear people telling you it's a message of anger and violence of any kind (mental, physical or spiritual) they're leading you astray.
Let me say this in clear, un-Episcopal fashion:
They're wrong. They're lying to you. They're wasting your time. They are dishonoring God.