"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What I am and what I am not.

I recently took some flak for some comments I made on scribe's blog. Ok, fine. I can deal with that. These comments of mine have been perceived to be an "attack" on his newfound "spirituality." You'd think I was attacking the man's moral character or manhood or some other such nonsense.


DO I regret making them or take them back? NO.

Whenever I make comments like that (where I obviously disagree with something) I am not trying to start an argument. My main goal is and always has been to try and make people be introspective and think about why they believe the way that they do. Maybe perk up a little discussion. But because of the nature of religion and such related topics as beliefs and faith, these prompts are viewed with me in the position of aggressor.

This has led some people to believe that I am a zealot when it comes to my faith. I'm now #1 on Scribe's list of most annoying people, because I'm a Bible Thumper (and sanctimonious about it)!! If these are the labels I've earned, fine. So be it.

Some people may say I'm intolerant of the beliefs of others. That's not true at all. I respect your beliefs as I hope you will mine. But if I happen to ask you WHY you believe something it's probably because I'm curious as to how you've reached your conclusions. This aspect of human nature fascinates me. So please don't automatically assume that I'm jumping down your throat or that I'm going to beat you in the head with my Bible. You should - anyone should - logically be able to explain why (even if only to yourself) you believe the way that you do. Even if no one ever asks you why publicly you still ought to have some idea.

No, I don't expect everyone to believe things the way that I do and I don't have a problem with that. However I AM NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT and have never claimed to be. I'm not going to blow sunshine (you know where) just to see you smile or to receive a compliment in return. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, I'm going to call it a duck. I'm not afraid to throw my two cents in, whether it's asked for or not. If that seems too abrasive or strikes you the wrong way, well I'm sorry you feel that way.

What I do know is this: my Christian faith is grounded in facts and evidence, which I would be glad to share with you anytime you like. If it weren't I wouldn't believe the way that I do. As you may have guessed, I am very passionate about the subject. This faith of mine is solely based on the Bible, which is the inerrant Word of God, and the foundation on which this country and the western world was built.

WHAT I AM AND ALWAYS STRIVE TO BE IS CONSISTENT with what the Bible teaches and how it should be interpreted. Now if you ever catch me being inconsistent in this way, I expect you to immediately call me out on it.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not perfect and I certainly am no expert at understanding everything that the Bible has to offer. That being said, the Bible is the most profound collection of books that you will ever read - if you read it in the right light and with the right attitude.

And yes, there are principles for sound and consistent Bible interpretation. It's called Hermeneutics and Exegesis (see Webster's definitions below). I'll post more about why this is so important at another time.

HERMENEUTICS: 1) the science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures. 2) The branch of theology which treats of the principles of Biblical exegesis.
EXEGESIS: critical explanation or interpretation of the Scripture.

The problems in Biblical interpretation arise when people spiritualize the text or claim it is all allegory. In another post I'll clarify (or attempt to) why interpreting the Bible as entirely allegorical is not good and why it really annoys me when people say they do it all of the time.

More later. I need to go to bed.


At 17 February, 2006 09:24, Blogger scribe said...

Aww, somebody needs a hug...yes him do, yes him do!!!

Don't move, I'll be right there!!! :)

At 17 February, 2006 09:50, Blogger Shelley said...

I agree with what you've said. Good job and post!

At 17 February, 2006 18:18, Blogger ~Deb said...

I know that you and I have clashed with certain views regarding religion on my blog, however you were never intrusive or rude about it. Strong? Yeah- so wha??? But I think anyone who is strong in their faith will come across as crass or closed-minded.

YOU are NOT closed minded at all, because even though you have shared your beliefs with me on my blog (being that I'm a Christian AND lesbian--which some people think is a huge contradiction) ---you have been very respectful to me. I appreciate that.

If people agree with every single little detail that someone puts on their blog--and then leaves those 'cushy' comments, "Great blog, yada yada yada"---then what fun would blogging be?

Keep your strong faith and never let anyone make you feel bad about your views. Keep those strong comments coming! I won't have it any other way! ;)

At 17 February, 2006 18:57, Blogger green said...

scribe: a handshake will do fine thanks.

shelley: thanks.

deb: that's the great thing about talking matters of faith with other Christians. You can agree to disagree on the finer points but still have the bottom line correct.

I am generally not a rude person and never to my friends, of which you are one, even here in cyberspace . SOME people have taken comments I've made the wrong way but as a Christian I try hard to make them with the best of intentions.

But you certainly are right. What fun would blogging be if everyone agreed with you all of the time? Not as much, I'll tell ya!

Don't worry, my strong faith is part of me. Who I am, who I am becoming - each and every day. It's not going anywhere.

At 18 February, 2006 05:50, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"Some people may say I'm intolerant of the beliefs of others. That's not true at all."

Sorry old friend, but you really are, and not just on religion. To quote the green one himself (from the comments on when you revealed the 'plan'): "Yes, I have spoken to my family about this ... Even so, if they do object, their objections will be noted and overruled." That sounds pretty intolerant to me.

At 18 February, 2006 05:53, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"This faith of mine is solely based on the Bible, which is the inerrant Word of God, and the foundation on which this country and the western world was built."

No. Yet again I'll remind you of a wee bit of history. The dead white guys were on the whole chritian and quite strong in their beliefs, but were explicit about the fact that they weren't building a christian nation. Many of them had seen the dangers of mixing church and state in the old world and were determined to avoid it in the new.

At 18 February, 2006 05:58, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"WHAT I AM AND ALWAYS STRIVE TO BE IS CONSISTENT with what the Bible teaches and how it should be interpreted. Now if you ever catch me being inconsistent in this way, I expect you to immediately call me out on it."

Attention! Attention! Attention! I have personally known you to wear clothes made of mixed fabric, and having shared a meal with you on more than one occasion, know that you don't keep kosher.

And no using the 'well the old testiment was written for a different people' bit, or whatever ruse you've tried before. If it's god's law, it's his law and you shouldn't be commiting even a misdemeanor. Consider yourself called out.

At 18 February, 2006 05:59, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

"HERMENEUTICS: 1) the science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures."

Does Webster's really use the word 'science' in this context? That's worrying.

OK, no more commments from me on this one.

For now.

At 18 February, 2006 09:43, Blogger green said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 18 February, 2006 10:18, Blogger green said...

AG- ON intolerance: That's intolerant to you? My listening to my parents concerns, noting them and then doing what I need to do?

Don't tell me you've never told your parents something that you were going to do, listened to their objections, and did it anyway? Of course you have.

That's a pretty wide definition of intolerant that you're using, which makes everyone intolerant to some degree.

When I'm talking about intolerance of beliefs, I'm talking about deeper issues than just disagreeing with someone on a course of action. I'm talking about differences like you and I have. I respect your beliefs about being an atheist. (Still can't understand HOW a smart guy like you reached those conclusions, though). I respect the fact that ~deb (and my sister) are leading a lesbian lifestyle. Do I agree with their choices? No. Does it mean that I don't still love my sister? Or that I don't consider ~deb my friend? Of course not.

On history: Don't for a minute tell me that Constantine's acceptance of Christianity in 313 AD didn't change the course of European (and by extension American) history. The founding fathers of the United States seeked to separate church from state in the sense that the church wouldn't run the government (as it was in the medieval days of Europe with Catholicism) and that the government wouldn't run the church. They were very successful in this. But to say that Judeo-Christian principles of how society should work and how people ought to interact with each other hasn't had any influence in America and the Western World is simply ludicrous.

ON the Definition of Hermeneutics:

Yes, I copied that directly from Websters.

Regarding your other comment about the mixed fabric- that will be covered in a future post.

At 18 February, 2006 10:29, Blogger scribe said...

I was gonna come in here and respond and stuff, but apparently american guy's got your number LOL


How 'bout dem Bears?

At 18 February, 2006 10:53, Blogger green said...

scribe: respond away. this is an open forum after all.

AG certainly does not have my number!!!

At 18 February, 2006 11:20, Blogger scribe said...


At 19 February, 2006 01:42, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

no, you said their objections would be noted and overruled (your words) - that doesn't sound like you intend to listen to them at all. Sounds like no matter what they say, you'll be intolerant of an opposing view.

At 19 February, 2006 05:34, Blogger green said...

AG: of course I'll listen to my parents concerns. I'm not that insensitive.

The way I phhrased that line is actually a movie quote from "A Few Good Men".

At 19 February, 2006 17:29, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

in that case, I'll tell you what i see as the fundemantal truth about the plan.

Abandoning your kids to go on some god quest to the other side of the country for four years is a really bad idea.

But of course "You can't handle the truth"

At 19 February, 2006 17:50, Blogger green said...

Good line from the movie. :>)

Yes, not being around my kids will be extremely difficult and I know that, which is why I also have a backup plan. Who knows, I may not even get accepted into this school.

However, I really didn't expect you to think it was a good idea, simply because you cannot understand the motivation or the calling.

At 19 February, 2006 20:45, Blogger An American in Melbourne said...

i unsderstand your motivation and i did say right from the start that i think it's a great idea that you want to do further study, especially since its something for which you have such an obvious passion. It's the moving to the other side of the country bit that's a bad idea.

This woould be true, and I'd feel the same way, even if you were studying accounting or biochemistry.


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