So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Guess Who's Back?

Nope. It's still not Slim Shady. It's not Slim anything. It's me honey. I'm back. After a week of running out to Waterloo and driving 3,300 km's back in my new Civic, that is. That's a lot of driving. I'm not kidding you. Interesting trip too...what with being the Armchair Theologian and all. Everybody wants a piece of this action, or so it seems. Had some crazy-go-nuts talks with some crazy-liberal people. I don't really argue much anymore, but I definitely am a question asking jerk.

One friend, who goes to a fruit-loop church, and I had quite a talk. We were talking about life and she was basically bragging about how her church was so 'tolerant' and whatnot and how she went to a 'multi-faith care group'. I was bumfuzzled at that comment, so I asked "What's a 'multi-faith care group'?" Well, apparently there are a few 'Christians', a Catholic, a few people of 'general spirituality' (aren't people with 'self styled' spirituality called "Pagans"...?), a muslim and a Jew. Isn't that great? Reduce the gospel to something along the lines of "God is love" and we can all get along...though that idea is foreign to Muslims...God can love things, but he cannot be love. How can a monad be love? Who did he love before man was around? Anyway, after a while of talking about church, it turns out that her 'tolerant' church 'ran off' a homosexual couple, because around half the church "was uncomfortable with their lifestyle". No biblical reason. It turns out that some people were just homophobic. HILARIOUS.

Even better was the Sunday school that I went to at a random church stop when I was travelling. Sunday Morning at a Mennonite Brethren church somewhere in Manitoba (a historically conservative denomonation). College and Career there were studying the book of Exodus, and on chapter 3 that week. Sounds good. The guy leading gave out photocopies of Ex. 3 to everyone so they could all follow along. Everyone read along and everything was interesting and even stimulating until they got to verse 6, where God introduces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The guy leading then juxtaposed that passage against verse 14, where God says his name is "I Am who I Am". Apparently the teacher had a tremendous problem with this contradiction in the Bible. God apparently had TWO names? And then he went on...But apparently the problems didn't stop. What's more, Jethro was a priest of Midian. "How could this be?" he asked? The priesthood hadn't been given yet? Plus, what God was the god at Midian?

In the end, after a whole lot of questions about psuedo problems (and he missed 2:18 the priest of Midian's name was Reuel and in 3:1 the priest's name was Jethro. I didn't bring that up, I figured his head would have exploded.) and trying to sound 'intellectual', this was the 'answer' that he told the class:

Moses learned about the god (small "g") of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while in Egypt. He then went out to Midian and met the god of Midian and got confused, thinking they were the same god when in reality they were two seperate gods. He had some crazy-go-nuts Hebrew gymnastics with verse 6 to make it say that MOSES said that this god's name was "The god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" but this god straightened him out in verse 14, telling Moses his real name. So the early Hebrews were polytheists, and they had multiple gods.

Wow. Wow. Wow. At first I was entertained, then I was angry, but then I felt really sad for him. Talk about missing the boat. I even questioned him on "who was Midian and why could there be a priest there"? He thought that was a good question and didn't have an answer. He just thought this crazy bible was full of contradictions and he, in his infinite wisdom, could sort through it all. A guy who thinks he's smarter than God is going to have a really frustrating life with a really shocking end. Without any sort of sovereign God or perspicuous scriptures (perspicuous means 'straightforward in content' 'it means what it says' allegory), you may as well be a witch-doctor or a Ba'al worshipper. How the heck can you know anything about God when the bible is that untrustworthy and you approach it assuming it's deceiving you? I tried to talk to him about the passage, but he had a degree from some jackass school and he knew Hebrew and laughed at my questions. I had a 'presupposition that blinded me from a clear reading of the bible'. I wish we woulda had another hour together...that comment gave me an open door but the Sunday school bell rang and everyone left, including him. Man! Education often breeds intellectual arrogance, ie pride. We all know what that comes before.

Just for the books, here's my answer to that problem. Midian was the fourth son of Abraham and Keturah...and it stands to good reason that just as Isaac had knowledge of the God of Abraham, so did Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah - Abraham's other sons. We forget that he actually had 8 kids, counting those 6 with Keturah and 1 with Sarah and 1 with Hagar. Is it possible that seeing that all 8 knew God (including Ishmael, who had a promise to become a great nation - Gen. 23:18), could there have been some that were fervent worshippers of Abraham's God? Most definitely. Look at Job; he was around long before Abraham and he knew God well and was considered the most righteous man on the planet in his day...

Secondly, were there priests before Aaron? Yes. Doth we forget Melchizedek? He was a priest of "God Most High" and he officiated in Jerusalem, in Abraham's day (500+ years before Aaron). Is it possible that he would have had kids or followers who would have learned about this "God Most High"? Uh...YES! In fact, Melchizedek is spoken of in the book of Hebrews (chapter 7) as having a priesthood that preceded that of Aaron. (Now I won't suggest too much here, seeing the uncertain nature of Melchizedek...needless to say some people would've learned about God from him...) Only a fool thinks that the people who left Egypt with Moses had the only priests of God, ever. God had other followers, before and long after Moses and other priests outside of the Levites. Is it realistic to think that a descendent of Abraham could worship God, and even be a priest? Of course not. It's perfectly reasonable to say such things.

And as for God's two names? Uh, I don't know if he realises, but God is given multiple titles in the Bible. God is also known as:

El Shaddai (All-Sufficient One, Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (he Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner, The Lord my Miracle)
Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord that Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord our Righteousness)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord who Sanctifies You, The Lord Who makes Holy)
El Olam (The Everlasting God, The God of Eternity, The God of the Universe, The God of Ancient Days)
Elohim (God, Judge, Creator)
Qanna (Jealous, Zealous)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide)
Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord is Peace)
Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts, The Lord of Powers).

Are these all seperate gods? If you think that, you're going to be very confused seeing that in many passages, God is called by multiple names within a span of 10 or less verses (I mean, which one is talking in Exodus 20, seeing that there are 3 different names mentioned multiple times in that passage? Who gave the law to Israel? Did all three? Which one is the one to serve then? Is one of them jealous and the other two uncaring about fidelity?). Does this mean that there is a pantheon of gods that Israel serves or one God who has multiple titles? What kinda clown cannot understand that God may have more than one title? I mean, most people these days do..."Doctor", "Mister", "Sir", "Professor"...are these all seperate people? Sheesh! The lengths some people go to in order to supress the truth is astounding. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian


Anonymous DRDay said...

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11:11 AM

Anonymous D. Day said...

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9:36 AM

Blogger 4given said...

"The lengths some people go to in order to supress the truth is astounding."

It's disheartening. Makes me want to weep sometimes honestly.

Hilariously satirical writing style with excellent points. Excellent... but sadly true.

2:24 AM


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