Thursday, May 17, 2007


This from Patrick Mead's Tentpegs - you can read the entire post here...

...Pretend with me for a moment. Pretend that you are a goat herder in Yugoslavia (that’s right. You are so far off the beaten track that you don’t even know there isn’t a Yugoslavia anymore). A Bible falls out of the sky right in front of you, in your language. Let’s stretch this a bit and assume you are literate, so you sit and read the thing — perhaps several times. While these questions are primarily directed at my own religious tribe, I think we could come up with some interesting questions for a variety of religions.

1. Would you come up with the idea that the Lord’s Supper was commanded once a week, day, month or year? Would you assume the elements are holy and shouldn’t be touched except by a priest? Would you assume that it was all right to fight the other goat herders about this?

2. Would you assume that instrumental music was wrong? Would you assume that God only liked certain kinds of music? Would you think God cared whether the words were memorized, chanted, read from a book, or projected on a screen, downloaded to an iPod…..?

3. Would you assume that you needed to build a building and start Women’s Day programs, Senior Suppers, Youth Pizza Night…?

4. When you told others about what you’d read, would you insist that they dress up first? And sit in rows facing you while remaining silent?

This list could go on and on and the answer would always be the same: no. Then why are all of these — and hundreds more — issues that cause people to leave churches, call for debates, proclaim this person or that congregation out of fellowship, and enforce that division by fiat, shunning, papers, and seminars?...