Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Hounds of Scripture

First to seek GAFCON Bible teaching through my new Ask Father Christian facility is none other than the First Episcopal Canine Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Right Reverend Clumber, who writes:

Why doesn't the Bible like dogs? There seems to be a fairly negative view throughout, with even Jesus naming those he does not like as "dogs". I'm confused, as the first Canine Bishop on the Episcopal Church, as to what I should be teaching the good people of my diocese, Pittsburgh.

Dear Bishop Clumber,

May I begin by saying how honored I am to find myself in a position to clarify matters for one of your prestige, who is not only an important Episcopal leader, but should also by rights would have been crowned America’s Greatest Dog were it not for obvious foul play on the part of Pittsburgh’s former incumbent. Having deserted his Sacred Commission only to find you so capably filling his empty slippers he clearly sought revenge by vindictively fixing the judging.

Now regarding your question: when approaching the Scriptures one must always remember something that many of the Communion’s more outspoken Clergy find extremely disturbing: the difficult truth that the Bible was written by foreigners.

I say this not to offend, nor out of any desire to weaken my brothers’ faith, but simply because it is the truth, regrettably or otherwise. Personally I see it as inspiring that the One who can summon the stones to praise Him (Luke 19:40) can even speak through heathen tongues.

Having coming to us through such imperfect vessels we must realise that Scripture also reflects the culture of its original time and place, as well as speaking into our own. This is why we must no longer exclude men with spots or testicular defects from our congregations (Lev 19:20), but are instead free to include and ridicule them – because these sort of foreign phobias need no longer concern us.

Now in my experience most foreigners don’t like dogs, probably because dogs are loyal, faithful and discerning – all qualities which foreigners are famous for lacking. In the process of recording Bible truth a lot of nasty foreign preconceptions about dogs which we all now know are completely untrue were included: unfortunately that was inevitable given the people to whom the task of writing the Scriptures was entrusted However please don’t take it personally. You should hear what some of the Church Fathers said about ferrets, and we all know how much bad press pigs have had since day one.

Sadly in their desire to escape from the loathsome presence of liberals (who are sort of like the foreigners of god’s Kingdom) a great many members of the Communion have begun reading the Bible as if they are Baptists, which is hardly any better. Consequently there are those who even argue that the apparent criticisms of creatures such as yourself justifies their own foolish specism.

Yet this shows how little they actually understand about the fine art of misapplying Scripture to suit ones own ends. Just because it can extremely useful to use the Scriptures in order to justify one’s dislike of menstruating women (Levitcus 15:19) or sodomites doesn’t mean the Bible actually is intended by god to be read in such a way. Correctly applied the Bible can be a wonderful weapon against those whom we wish to alienate, and it can in the right hands be a powerful tool. Yet let no man, not even one as wise as myself, be deluded into thinking we can ever be the Scriptures’ master. Just because we find it handy to misuse the texts according to our whims doesn’t automatically mean our interpretations carry any divine authority.

It is one thing to be a corrupt old scoundrel like myself, but believing one’s own mischief is just foolishness. Just ask your predecessor.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

4 comments :

clumber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clumber said...

Thank you very much, Father Christian. It's all so clear now...

+clumber

MadPriest said...

Thank you for sharing, Father.

A lot of "so called" Christians are extremely ignorant about this aspect of their faith. I was reading recently that the Vatican now believes that when "the alien" is referred to in Scripture it means little grey men from outer space. Of course, those of us who speak English, and therefore can read the Bible in the original, know full full well that "alien" is another word for "Johnny Foreigner." As you point out this must include the very people our Lord walked among.

But does this mean Jesus was a foreigner?

Hell, no! Of course, not. And I am proud to belong to a nation of true believers who early on in its Christian life came up with what I regard as the only truly infallible doctrine of the Church namely "Jesus was an Englishman."

When we originally published abroad this marvelous revelation, many scoffed. But we were vindicated. If you look at almost all the photographs and paintings we have of Jesus you will see, very clearly, he was no Jewish boy.

Once again, thank you Father Christian. You are a rare and valuable jewel bobbing around on the surface of the cesspit of faith.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Ah yes, Father - "and did those feet in Ancient Times" indeed.

One of the great falsehoods of contemporary mystics is that William Blake was one of theirs. Any man worth his salt knows he was an entirely Orthodox literalist, and were he with us today there is no question that he'd be a GAFCON man through and through.