Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whence Orthodoxy?

An Unbelievable episode got a little unbelievable...

Two nice young Christian fellas were debating whether or not the God of the Christian bible (or Hebrew scriptures) is a God of Wrath (which is apparently pronounced wroth in the UK). Never mind that bible contains the following passages on the topic:

Psalms 7:11 - God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day.
Ezekiel 25:17 - And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Nahum 1:2-6 - God [is] jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and [is] furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth [WRATH] for his enemies
Romans 1:18 - For the WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Matthew 10:28 - And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
Luke 12:5 - But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 
John 15:6 - If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of God abideth on him.
Revelation 20:15 - And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Hebrews 9:22 - And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 

Thank you
KJV Online!  Emphasis ADDED   

So, according to the Christian's own bible (the KJV, no less) God has wrath, exhibits wrath and anger, and appears also to be big on casting into fire, wreaking vengeance, taking revenge, rebuking furiously, being jealous, shedding blood, and destroying bodies and souls in hell.  

Seems the bible can mean whatever you want it to mean and even not mean what it clearly says...Hmmm.

So I wrote the following post for under the show notes:

Whence Orthodoxy? 
No wonder Christianity has some 30,000 denominations, sects, cults, and spin-offs! Every last one of you sit at your very own private mixing board fitted with dozens, if not hundreds, of sliders with which to match what you choose to believe. From Zero to Ten (and sometimes Eleven) you dial in your feelings, surmises, and conjectures about the following topics (and others) to arrive at your sure and certain faith: 
Number of gods
The attributes of God
The nature of Creation
Predestination to open theism
God as the author of Evil
The nature (and failure) of Omniscience
The power of Satan
Definition of Sin
The effects of The Fall
Total depravity to blank slate
Details of the Incarnation
Attributes of the Christ
Virgin birth
Immaculate conception
Humanity of Jesus
Deity of Jesus
The death of God
The significance of The Cross
Adoptionism to Docetism
Theories of the Atonement
Meaning of the Resurrection
The power of the Holy Spirit
Efficacy of prayer
Importance of the Sacraments
Nature of the Eucharist
Consumption of alcohol
Nature of The Trinity
The existence of Hell
The duration of Divine punishment
The nature of Heaven
The means of Salvation
How many paths to God?
Veneration of Mary
Praying to the Saints
Details of the Rapture
Perseverance of faith
Bible: Curated collection to God Breathed Master Plan
Creationism vs Science
The role of women
Intimate partner violence
Corporal punishment to the death penalty
From color blind to anti-miscegenation
The impact of LGBTQ issues on The Church
If your version of the bible says it you can quote it, harmonize it, or insist on a metaphorical interpretation. If your bible doesn't say it you can infer it, assemble a cumulative case, or please ignorance as needed. You pick, choose, listen, follow, agree, disagree, harmonize, conflate, and confabulate from five millennia of folk wisdom, traditions, the text of your holy book, and the writings of your favorite apologists to arrive at your very own custom version of Christianity, certain in your bones of your correctness and some of you quite comfortable calling those in the congregation across the street heretics. Rather than steering you toward the One True Faith The Church, the Good Book, and The Holy Spirit are offering a self-serve à la carte smorgasbord...