Moral Contradictions

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Consistency... or lack thereof

Reading some articles, comments, and other writings about the SBC and the folks within it, I wanted to get a few things straight as I walk through my journey of faith and learning:

1. Slavery was culturally accepted in Biblical times and accepted in the Bible, but not accepted now.

2. Drinking alcohol in the Bible was culturally accepted, but not accepted now.

3. The subordination of women in the Bible was culturally accepted, but not accepted now... er, wait...

But Nathan, back then water wasn't fit for drinking, so they had to drink alcohol, and now we have clean water so we are to stay away from it. The cultural context has changed.

Then I submit to you back then women didn't have any rights and thus expected to be subordinate, but now they do have rights and hold positions of equality. The cultural context has changed.

1 Timothy 2:12 is the most oft-cited verse for contemporary "Biblical" subordination. As a lay person, if this verse holds water, then why aren't we following verse 9 and requiring women to not braid their hair or wear expensive clothes? The cultural context has changed.

Does this endanger Biblical authority? No. What then does endanger Biblical authority? Only following the parts of it with which we agree and conveniently ignoring the parts with which we don't. Additionally, calling folks who ask these questions "liberals" or accusing them of not believing the Bible helps no one.

Biblical consistency under the realms of Biblical authority that the average lay person can understand is a worthy goal, and one of which I'm striving towards. We must approach these questions with a Biblical view, and then carefully and consistently apply a cultural context - not the other way around.

If the SBC cannot easily and simply say why they throw out slavery and alcohol to the world and everyday believers, yet cling to the subordination of women, then charges of inconsistency will continue to be levelled as they conduct witchhunts and rumor campaigns against people that hold Biblical views as opposed to cultural views.

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