Spirituality & Theology, Practice & Voice, Uncategorized

Questioning the Word of God?

Do you believe that God, as scripture infers, decides who has ultimate earthly governmental authority, both secular and sacred?

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 13:1, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

Would evangelicals who resent, resist and indeed demonize President Obama’s 8 year administration apply or just ignore this passage to the 1st century church in Rome? According to this verse and the entire 13th chapter of Romans, all authorities are “God ordained” including presumably Obama’s two terms and all the preceding and succeeding presidential terms especially in this culturally, “God ordained and God fearing Christian nation of the US”, something Rome was not considered to be when the Apostle Paul wrote his letter.

Those preaching the judgment and condemnation of God on this nation and who all but hope cataclysmic judgment is imminent, and that such disasters, natural or nuclear, would serve the nation right because of its rejection of God, seem to be hell bent on being proven right. It’s as if they want and will this to happen, including writing and worshipping around it. I’ve heard this type of preaching most of my life and preached it along with the rest and best of the others over the years, and I now realize how absurd and actually scripturally inaccurate it was, or at least leaves room for some reflective thought and discussion.

Millions of these same people, most calling themselves “believers”, are huge Trump supporters, even though Donald Trump in no way embraces or believes the way they do on any number of theological and moral ideologies, especially with regard to the “Wrathful Judgement of God” on a non-assuming nation, eating and drinking before “sudden destruction” as some biblical translations have it.

If the prognosticators of doom, damnation and judgment are correct and their prophesies are based on and in scripture, then what do they suggest we do to change the already predicted and prophesied doom and gloom including the great falling away of the apostate church, the end time false prophet and ultimately the anti-Christ? If these things are already prophesied to come and can’t or won’t be reversed, then we’re all pretty much already ruined, eh? Where does the good news or “gospel” fit in this scenario? It’s like Job in Old Testament scripture saying: “The thing I feared most has come upon me”. Is this the case with you? Are you and your family doomed and soon to experience it?

If both Hillary and Trump are the villains millions insist they are, where does that leave the country with the motto “In God We Trust”, and with scriptures that say: “obey the laws of the land” (Romans 13), and honor kings, Presidents, and those in authority, etc? Are we all subject to biblical end-time or “end of the world” prophesies, and should we all just patiently and prayerfully wait for these days of coming doom?

Consider that unfortunate events have and always will occur in life and history. Overt dramatization or demonization of them is often counter-productive and causes undue anxiety in both the culture and consciousness of hundreds of millions of people, especially when they are attributed to an angry or angered God ready to impute his wrath on the world with violence and death worse than any extreme terrorist organization on earth.

For the first 3 centuries of early Christianity, when believers were called “people of the way”, the only bible in existence and considered by the “believers” was the Old Testament Hebrew scriptures, including several books that were later abandoned by Jews and Christians as sacred Writ. The present Bible, including the New Testament, was not confirmed as official cannon until some 300 years after the crucifixion of Jesus and wasn’t mass produced until some 1400 years after Jesus when the Gutenberg press was invented.

I encourage us all to rethink how we read and interpret scripture and what parts, if any, should be perceived as literal, allegorical, metaphysical or metaphorical. This is no small suggestion or consideration, and I dare risk asking people to reconsider what we believe about scripture or so-called “Sacred Text”, why we believe it, how those beliefs add to or subtract from the quality of our lives and the lives of the people around us. We were taught never to question the so-called, “Word of God”, but I say ask questions, answer questions and then question your answers. I dare you to! The fresh answers discovered may positively enhance your life and the lives of millions on this planet.

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