Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

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JESUS WAS TOO LIBERAL?

October 7, 2009

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King James is surely spinning somewhere.

Just when I thought Christian Fundamentalists couldn’t further propagate their extremist agendas, I learn there is a project underway to re-write the Bible in an attempt to eliminate its “liberal bias.” I never knew the Bible was conservative or liberal. How is it that after nearly four hundred years, the King James Version of the Bible is suddenly not written properly?

I first came across this information at HuffingtonPost.com. I thought, “Surely, this is just one of those articles whose headline is more interesting than the actual story.”

Not so.

Here’s some of what you’ll find on the home page of Conservapedia.com.

“Conservapedia is a clean and concise resource for those seeking the truth. We do not allow liberal bias to deceive and distort here.”

“No other encyclopedic resource on the internet is free of corruption by liberal untruths.”

Directly from the project’s webpage, The Conservative Bible Project, you see these lines:

Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:

  • lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts introduced by Christ
  • lack of precision in modern language
  • translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one

Here’s are samples of what this project wants to re-write.

Liberal Falsehood:

The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.

Socialism:

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the “social justice” movement among Christians. For example, the conservative word “volunteer” is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word “comrade” is used three times, “laborer(s)” is used 13 times, “labored” 15 times, and “fellow” (as in “fellow worker”) is used 55 times.

Thank God there are level-headed religious conservatives.

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Rod Dreher, of BeliefNet.org, certainly a conservative on both politics and religion says,”…the insane hubris of this really staggers the mind. These right-wing ideologues know better than the early church councils that canonized Scripture? They really think it’s wise to force the word of God to conform to a 21st-century American idea of what constitutes conservatism? These jokers don’t worship God. They worship ideology.” Here’s the rest of his post.

 

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Mark Shea, a writer and devout Catholic, writes, “Right wing dementia marches on apace. Some of this has a grain of sense to it, as ideological madness always does. For instance, the dumb attempts to feminize Scripture are pernicious and need to stop. But seriously: the story of the woman taken in adultery is “liberal”? Free market as Sacred tradition? Liberal wordiness?” More from Mark here.

Assimilating scripture to fit an agenda will not feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and otherwise help the least among us, as Jesus taught us to do.

We would do well to adhere to His teachings, rather than re-write them.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com

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CONTRARIAN

March 20, 2009

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My last name means “contrarian” in Greek. I’m about to live up to it – again.

Most of us grew up with the story of Adam and Eve and how Eve enticed Adam to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge – after she partook – against God’s orders. By doing so, they both committed the ultimate “sin” (disobeying God) thereby committing all of us to pain, suffering and mortality through the curse that God placed upon them which will not be lifted until the second coming of Jesus Christ. (I know there’s a serpent in the story, but I find it more than challenging to wrap my head around the concept of a talking serpent.)

adameve2A couple points need to be made before I go on. First, I realize that although it is absolutely not my intent, I may upset some of my Greek Orthodox, Methodist and Evangelical family members and friends. And second, I want to make it clear that these are my personal thoughts, and not those of my church or our minister.

That said…

The story is an allegory. If you believe the story actually happened, then all human beings on this planet are blood relatives and we’re all born from incest. So let’s stay with allegory, shall we? In addition, I believe we humans are – and always have been – created with free will and the power to reason.

With this in mind, I have some questions. (You’re shocked, I’m sure.)

According to this allegory, Adam and Eve became aware of many things that they did not know or care about prior to eating the fruit. Was their new-found knowledge about good and evil, a bad thing? Did this knowledge really make them less “perfect?” Would God really create beings only to “curse” them and force them from their surroundings?

adamevebanned6I think not.

The idea that God curses people was a man-made concept to control peoples’ religious thinking through fear of His supposed “wrath” and “condemnation.”

This allegory does not represent the God I know. I believe we are born with the ability to choose (again, through free will and the power to reason.) It is, among other things, what separates us from other mammals. Why couldn’t we believe that Adam and Eve’s actions resulted in knowledge that is helpful to mankind, not detrimental? If God did not want them to have the knowledge, why create the temptation?

The answer that is always given, of course, is, “…to test their obedience.” What if it was, instead, to test their free will?

Surely God already knew what the outcome would be, did He not?

He is, after all, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, is He not?

The God I know would not have been at all surprised or disturbed by Adam and Eve’s choice. The idea that all of us are cursed because they “disobeyed” doesn’t make sense if we are to believe that our God is a loving God, as Jesus taught us. Through Jesus, we learn that God is not judgmental, wrathful or condemning. He taught us that we have the ability to walk in God’s light, if we so choose. If we choose not to, so be it. How does choosing not to mean we are somehow cursed?

If I am born in His image and likeness, with free will and the power to reason, then I was born with the ability to challenge religious concepts, such as the one presented in this allegory.

Because of Jesus’ teachings, I live my life knowing I am free, without limits and unyielding to fear.

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How different this world would be had we focused on God’s love all these years instead of man-made concepts about His supposed “wrath” and “condemnation” in some allegory.

Still love me?

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com