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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Dennis Says: "You In Your Small Corner...And I In Mine"
You In Your Small Corner...And I In Mine
I really enjoyed the responses to the Grain of Sand article. It is not that we can all agree on the deep things of science, quantum physics and cosmology, but it is that many with a COG background have grown up to know that these things are there to be studied , observed and understood even if it also ends up being opinion. It is informed opinion! Being informed about anything besides Bible reading is not one of the COGs greatest strong points.
As a pastor, I cringed, even back when, to hear someone say, "Well Eve...." or "Adam said...", along with most pronouncements from "God" when it was really an author of Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel who "said." Church of God pastors, much less laity, know virtually nothing outside of their very small world of "God said..." If they do, they are terribly quiet about it. They don't know about anything such as "action at a distance," parallel universes, string theory, Brane theory, the bi-cameral mind, or the information over the last 20 years about human origins that has demolished "A Whale of a Tale" or "A Theory for the Birds." That modern birds are most likely the descendents of the dinosaur , feathers preceded flight for other reasons than flying or that modern whales have the remnants of pelvis and hind limbs eludes them. All quite wonderful stuff actually. It matters little if the universe is plasma based, full of dark matter that explains the push apart of space and time or holographic in nature. It is that one knows the possibilities in an age where excellent knowledge, and I hesitate to say this....is increased!
I like the idea of parallel universes that other flat universes like our own may be just out of reach. I like the idea that perhaps when they touch at times, they produce a new universe in the resulting explosion and big bang as we might say. Can I prove it. Hell no! Physicists can't and I'm no physicist.
But the possibility exists which is all that matters. The math seems to work until it doesn't.
The point is that the COGs have yet to put aside childish things which include everything from real human origins versus why the story of an Adam and Eve is told, to the false perspective that all the New Testament characters loved and all believed the same one thing. They did not and if you now where to look, within the text of the NT is the sarcasm and face punches that each deliver to the other to send the message of "follow me, not him," much as we see today. Truly nothing new under that sun.
I have learned that discussion with differing views is great, but arguing is fruitless. Never in the history of this blog, and most others I expect , has just the right argument been offered for this or that view where others said, "you know...you are right." Never happened far as I remember and never will. Each wants their own view to be the truth which is hangover from WCG days of wanting to know "how did you come into the truth." It would have been better asked, "how did you come into the present truth," but too late now.
No one can be in their perspectives where they are not. I can't be where some are because either I used to be there and moved on or never want to be there in the first place because it makes no sense to me. Group think does not work in the pursuit of real truth and individuals, not organizations produce real truth, painfully and often after ridicule and scoffing have run their courses. Being ahead of one's time never worked out well for the theologically or scientifically curious. Hierarchy must demolish individuality quickly or it will cease to be organized. Oh to have a church where what you study, believe or see for yourself is encouraged and not crushed. The crush factor in the COGs is an art form by now.
Pot shots at others is a skill and need of the insecure. Name calling or abusive challenges mean nothing in reality. They speak little of the one who causes them and volumes about the one that inflicts them. No one likes the feeling of being ill informed or outright wrong. But as I have said in the past, I have never met anyone who belonged to the false church or believed the wrong things. It is where one is when one is there.
I think we hold our ground out of the utter insecurity of relinquishing it. I had it all figured out and someone tells me I don't? The way I see science matches how I see the Bible and you dare tell me they don't match and I am kidding myself? You say I can't believe in both Adam and Eve and Genesis and science well done when I know I absolutely can? How dare you tell me what I can't mix and match.
For example, I have never had a good answer from a fundamentalist as to why Jesus death was the most hideous and sacrificial of all deaths ever. When one calmly looks at the story, it seems merely an weekend inconvenience for God the Father and Jesus. God knew he would bring him back and Jesus seemed to know he would be coming back...in a mere three days and better than ever. That is a far cry from the kind of death and sacrifice portrayed even in the Bible. Every sacrifice in the OT stayed dead. They didn't just seem to die. They actually died and have not been seen or heard from since. Jesus, if you read the news and history, did not die the most awful death "above all men." General Crawford captured by the Wyandot's in Ohio trumps Jesus by a long shot. A burning tire around your neck or being buried alive after digging your own grave in Nigeria or Somalia seems a bit more awful to me. And I bet those men and women cried out to their God to be saved and heard nothing back. No one to date has explained to me how Jesus death was the most amazing thing and that God "gave his only begotten son," and not add on , "for a mere three days getting him back better than ever." Everyone I ever buried is still dead. Shouldn't a real sacrifice stay dead to be a sacrifice?
Part of the answer is that if the doctrine of Jesus kept Jesus dead, you have no way to make a religion out of that. You would have no way to prove that dead was different from any other dead we all experience. You must get a god resurrected and available if you are going to have a Church. But in fact, it makes no sense to say that Jesus died the worst and most sacrificial of deaths. He was gone three days and back better than ever. Even as far as being crucified is concerned, he died in a mere six hours when that kind of death that tens of thousands experienced at the hands of Romans took days and only when your body fell off the cross and was eaten by dogs were you done with it. Ministers are so used to exaggerating and emotionalizing Jesus death as presented contradictorily in scripture habitually. They don't think it through. Or maybe I'm nuts. :)
At any rate, good on all you who have expanded your thinking to include science well done. Even if proven inadequate or wrong, real science has the habit of admitting or catching mistakes or wrong theories and moving on. Religion thinks there are no mistakes or if they find one, kill the person who brought it to their attention and bury it in double talk. (Read The Surprising God Log for excellent examples of this kind of doublespeak. http://thesurprisinggodblog.gci.org/ )