At the link below, you will find a question concerning an atheist inside the church house. The man, once a sincere believer at a ‘hyperconservative’ church, has lost his faith over time. Frankly, in this bit of exchange, I can see why. I too have struggled with my faith when I watch leaders give such false assumptions of Scripture or become hypocrites, speaking vanity and lies. But, in my faith, I have reason to believe. Further, I have yet to surrender the responsibility for my morality to another.
The man, whose wife is still a believer, sits in the pew every Sunday, listening to things which are clearly spoken wrongly. In the instance he relates, below, we find a death of Grace and then so much so, the loss of a soul.
For example, Deuteronomy 22:13-21 discusses Israelite laws addressing a daughter’s virginity. (These verses relate how if a young husband accuses his young bride of not being a virgin, it must be investigated by her father and the city elders. If she is found to be a virgin, the husband must be fined, whipped and must remain married to her for life, but if she is found to not be a virgin, she must be killed by stoning.)
The teacher and elders said we should teach our daughters to not have sex before marriage because god hates it and he demanded death for it in the past. They said that a few deaths for fornication would solve a lot of our problems with premarital sex in this country.
After hearing the tirade continue for about 5 minutes, I asked the teacher if he would kill his daughter if she sat down with him and told him she had premarital sex. His exact words were “I sure would like to kill her if that happened.” I responded that no sane parent in this day and time would kill their child, and in fact, no one in the room would do it. A parent may be upset, angry, frustrated, or feel any number of emotions, but they would not kill their own just because of a supposed biblical fatwa in the Old Testament. Furthermore, how is it just that the man only gets a fine and a beating if he is wrong, but the woman gets stoned? Should we adopt the ancient Near Eastern practice of viewing women as property?
Are we still to follow the Law? The Ceremonial? The Ritual Purity? Or, under Christ, do we find completion of those things, in that we no longer seek to eradicate sin in such a barbaric manner.
This verses that he mentions are every bit as inspired as John 3.16, but the time for the punishment instructed by them have come to an end. One of the things that we must remember is that Fundamentalism is often times counter-intuitive to the nature of the Scriptures and even God Himself. Does God change? No. Not in His Nature, not in His Holiness – but has He given us a ‘flat document’ or has the interaction with humanity, as humanity has changed, grown?
We no longer kill our children for disgracing us, or treat women as property, or slaughter lambs and doves to cleanse us of our sins at a yearly appointed time. Further, we long kill homosexuals, adulterers, cheaters, nor commit genocide in the name of God. As humanity has changed, as we moved from the Law to Grace, our interaction with God Above has as well. While sins are still sins, we find that holiness is spiritual, not physical.
But, the one thing that never seems to change are those in power who have that secret revelation of literalism and the aversion to change and education. What has it produced? It has produced a man who would roundly criticize Muslims for honor killings but suggesting the same to his flock?
More than anything, it has produced the erosion of faith. We are men and women, and as such, we question. We are curious of the things which we know not. This is why we have looked above for That Which is and why we continue to explore hidden things, and rediscover plainly seen things. When this man who first started to ask questions, and to seek for the very life of his faith, was confronted with so illogical notions which shows neither the Grace of God or the historical accuracies of salvation, he begin to lose the battle. Further, where was the minister here? Did they not see the struggles of the flock? I have to remember that the Good Shepard left His 99 to search for the 1. One. Just one was enough to leave the comfort of home to search for the answers for the lost.
Can we not the do the same?