Friday, October 22, 2010

What Matters More

I have nothing to add to the influx of penetrating insights on how we ought to react to comments like those of Juan Williams, but I have loads of insight on this:

You describe yourself as a “Christian committed to biblical truth.” To prevent the Tyler Clementis of the world from jumping off bridges, you have to become a Christian as committed to human flourishing as you are to biblical truth – to walk the hard path of Jesus, not the easier one that the Pharisees are presented as following. There are many ways to read the Bible, and plenty of Christians who follow contemporary biblical scholarship and are both passionately devoted to Christ and completely and fully inclusive of sexual minorities. The Bible supports human flourishing. Jesus supported human flourishing when he healed the man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, even though it went against some verses in the Torah. You could be a healer, Dr. Mohler, but you would have to go against some biblical verses to do it. Think about it. At the end of the day, would you rather say that you hewed to the Bible or that you saved lives?
As tempting as it is to pile on to this admittedly well-executed trolling, I will decline. This Dr. Mohler is part of the problem -- a problem in which people are suffering and dying -- no matter what the Bible says, or seems to say, or seems to mean to say, or means upon a properly nuanced reading, when seen in the proper shades of historical and literary scholarship, with or without a good-faith inclination to arrive at its best, most defensible exegesis.

It's not that I disagree with the rebuttal to Dr. Mohler. The clear truth in the statement is that human flourishing matters more than the Bible's "teachings" -- that, when human flourishing and the text of the Bible come into conflict, human flourishing should prevail, and it shouldn't be a decision to give anyone the slightest pause. Moreover, the rebuttal is right in implying that fools like Dr. Mohler are actively diminishing and spoiling the lives of people who deserve better.

This is not an argument about the Bible. It's an argument about how human beings will interact with one another. The Bible doesn't matter; the kind and quality of human interaction matter profoundly.

Might I recommend thinking through the above while watching this? I might:

(Polly the horrifying doll via Portland Mercury)

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