Saturday, February 26, 2011

Newsweek on the Bible and Sex

What was the last story Newsweek came forth with that was well done? Newsweek to me seems more and more to be simply one piece of a mounting arsenal of propaganda outlets for the liberal-atheistic political machine.

Any time Newsweek has stepped into the religious ring since I've started paying attention maybe 10 years ago, their attempts have been like a lost 4 year old child accidentally wandering into congress and trying to get everyone's attention.

There is absolutely no depth or logic to the issues Newsweek tries to tackle, but then again, it seems they know that, and it seems that they are simply trying to pull people away from seriously engaging the topics.

On Valentine's Day Newsweek featured an article entitled: "What the Bible Really Says About Sex." Is there any doubt, just from the title, that the article is going to be a journalistic debacle? The sub-title offers even more of a sense of what is to come: "New scholarship on the Good Book's naughty bits and how it deals with adultery, divorce, and same-sex love." Oh boy! Even more impressive is the fact that the "truth" is going to be "revealed" to us in two pages!

It starts out with what everyone already knows - the Song of Songs is erotic in nature. No one disputes that - please move on.

Let's look at some of the quotes from the article "In the Bible, "traditional marriage" doesn't exist." REALLY? So Jesus' words (which the article later quotes) about a man leaving his father and mother and clinging to his wife and the two becoming one flesh isn't about marriage? Jesus' line about what happens when a man divorces his wife and remarries being adultery isn't about "traditional marriage"? Interesting, and, ultimately, false.

"God razes Sodom not because its male inhabitants are having sex with each other, as so many contemporary ministers preach, Knust argues, but in part [what's the other part?] because the men of the town intended to rape angels of God who were sheltered in Lot's house." Got it! Don't rape God's angels is a consistent theme in the Bible (sorry for the sarcasm).

"There is sex in the Bible on every page, if you just know where to look." A full understanding of biblical teachings on sex requires a trained eye." This is the standard line from Scripture scholars used to justify their position in the first place - "You have to be smart like us or you can't understand the Bible" so some of them say. The irony is that the article trashes the Church for saying the same thing - that we need help interpreting the Bible. The Church's take is actually much more liberal; She doesn't say you have to be a scholar to get the Truth that is conveyed in the Bible. Therefore the more exclusive and elitist statement is the one by the Scripture scholar in this story, but the Church is the one that keeps people from the Truth?

The "scholars" quoted for this article have a similar statement later in the article. "A person alone on her couch with Scripture can also come to some dangerous conclusions: the Bible has, at certain times in history, been read to support slavery, wife beating, kidnapping, child abuse, racism, and polygamy." To this the Church would say "AMEN!!!" The Church would also say that just as a person can be led astray on their couch, biblical scholars can also be led astray sitting at their desks.

That the Bible has been used to justify crazy things should not bolster the points these "scholars" are making, it should actually hurt their case. They are saying, basically, "In the past, individuals have stood up and said that the Bible justified their crazy thing that they were in to. Now we're standing up and saying the Bible justifies what we're saying...but we're different than the people who got it wrong in the past" ??? One of the "enlightened scholars" the article quotes even goes so far as to [very correctly but ironically] note that "All kinds of heresies come from people who read the Bible and recklessly believe that they've understood it correctly." Isn't that also EXACTLY what these two "scholars" are saying - "we understand the Scriptures correctly and the rest of you need to see it the way the two of us do"??? Isn't that a glaring case of irony?

The article also states: "Coogan and Knust are hardly the first scholars to offer alternative readings of the Bible's teachings on sex [SEE: David Koresh, Jim Jones, etc.] What sets them apart is their populism. With provocative titles and mainstream publishing houses, they obviously hope to sell books." So... populism and having a publishing house behind you determines what is true? Didn't Hitler have populism and publishing houses on his side?

The article ultimately does nothing new, leaves only questions, which is exactly how people have been fighting the Truth forever - just cause people to have doubts and the victory is won in their mind.

Newsweek, step up your game, get serious, and if you are going to talk theology, please come stronger than this. How about trying to raise questions truly worthy of debate instead of spreading confusion with pathetically poor arguments masquerading as serious theology.