Saturday, 19 October 2013

Evangelicals Pick And Choose Verses [PAC Theology]

In response to a debate on Q about Trinity Western College being qualified to teach law at their school:

First, to really under-stand the rep from the evangelical association – Don Hutchinson – you either have to be a student of evangelicalism or a reformed one. There is a grave dishonesty among evangelicals that many do not realize. For example, he cited, for “biblical reasons” he thought things were right or wrong. In this case, homosexuality was the target. 

Hmm. So what does this mean? The bible says something, so it must be believed and obeyed? Okay. If this is the case, how does he or evangelicals decide which part of the bible? And of course we know that there is only one interpretation of a verse or verses or the nature of the bible [eg. Literal or one story of the Jewish people]! Hmm. So things are pretty black and white – very clear and easy to know what is right and wrong. Hmm. So he picks out – or could – a few verses – and there are only a few – that perhaps say that being gay is a sin. Though upon closer examination, the references were about gang rape or pederasty. Hmm.  So what now? Well, let’s just ignore that – it conflicts with our premise and ideology.

More importantly, perhaps, is that they pick and choose what verses they will take literally. I call this PAC Theology: pick and choose theology. The scary and very real thing is that few or no one questions this. I was one of them. I was there. I know.

Rather than question the bible,  the evangelical will die to defend it. This means ignoring obvious contradictions – not only within the text – but with real-it-y. They can’t see reality. Just as any “good” religion, philosophy, political party or any ideology – the “true believer” is blind to any “truth” outside of their version. 

An example of PAC Theology is the biblical support for slavery. Even Paul tells slaves to obey their masters. When you confront evangelicals, they have a way of rationalizing it. Either it’s “progressive revelation” or that Paul didn’t really mean it – he just meant to suffer for the glory of God. Huh???

Fear-ful l of admitting that the bible is wrong, they will dishonestly “explain it”. But this is pure dishonesty. The bible’s call to social justice and radicalism is clear. But that gets ignored. Jesus says the rich cannot enter the kingdom of God – just as a camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. Oh, but the next verse says all things are possible with God. So it is possible. And yet the next verses talk about the disciples leaving all to follow Jesus. Yet evangelical will ignore everything but the one verse. And commentaries say the last verses shouldn’t be in that part of bible. Hmm. So it’s okay to be rich. Commentators bastardize this section by saying “well as long as you aren’t obsessed with material goods”. But Jesus told the rich dude to sell all and follow me. No prayer, no admitting of sin!

These are just 2 examples of PAC Theology. 

Simplistic thinking and obedience to authority keep it all going. Evangelicals don’t question, for the most part. They believe their pastors’ interpretation of the bible and whatever they say. “Home churches” or “bible studies” discuss what the pastor said the previous Sunday. This is VERY scary. Let’s not forget that the CHURCH sanctified slavery, supported Hitler, the oppression of women/children, and the destruction of the environment [and still do – though the bible says to care for it and that it is God’s land]. 

Okay, let's look at one of God's wonders: 

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