Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My Spiritual Journey

Last three years -

It started with a reevaluation of eschatology (last days study). Consider this verse from I Cor. 10:11: "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." Now, Paul believed he was in the time of the end, or "fulfillment of the ages." He did not speak these words to us in the 21st century, but rather to the Corinthians in the First century. That's plain. If he was wrong, then the information was recorded in the Bible correctly, but the information itself is wrong. On the other hand, if Paul was correct and the words are correct, then we have to look at 70 AD as "the fulfillment of the ages," since most people living during this time would have seen this momentous event take place - the physical destruction of Israel and the entire Old Covenant system. Where do we go from here?

Did Paul and the apostles believe they were writing Scripture? I don't know. Would they be horrified that we have collected their writings and call it "The New Testament" today, treating it as God's Word? I don't know.

Most Christians, while saying they believe the Bible is God's inerrant word, do not really believe that. Jesus said divorcing and remarrying is adultery, period. Yet how many pastors, elders, deacons, et al, are on their second, third, or more marriages? We seem to give light credence to that particular condition (right out of Jesus' mouth), yet get in a frenzy when someone contradicts Paul's words. Interesting.

We also know that Paul preferred the single life to marriage, and recommended it (I Cor 7:1). This sure flies in the face of "be fruitful and multiply," yet there are many Christian leaders who go so far as to say it's practically sinful to limit your children to a fixed amount. Here, they seem to favor the Genesis admonition to Paul's advice. So, I guess it works both ways.

Bottom line: we all pick and choose our Bible verses, which to believe, which to overlook. To paraphrase the late Pope John Paul II, we practice cafeteria-style Christianity. All of us.

What's the answer? Beats me. I just default to knowing nothing else but "Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My View on the Schiavo Case

First of all, it's pronounced "shee ah vo" or "ski ah vo," depending on geography. Just like it's spelled. I have a hard time listening to anyone's view if they can't get past the pronunciation. It tells me they aren't thinking clearly to begin with.

A feeding tube for a temporary condition is one thing. A feeding tube for 15 years and on is just...well, it's artificially keeping someone alive. Frankensteinian.

With electrical impulses you can make a heart beat outside the body. Should we keep the heart hooked up forever?

We have these powers and we are using them to prolong death, not life. Like with everything else, we have a choice. I subscribe to the "Prairie Rule." Let me explain.

If you were living on the prairie during the 1800s, and you were conked on the head or likewise had some injury that left you unable to eat or drink, with limited mobility, unable to other words, brain damaged...what would happen? Would you think God would wish for some grotesque, unnatural way to keep you alive, just for the sake of saying "Look! We are keeping her alive!" Or would you just pass quietly, when it was your time? Is that not God's timing?

I believe Terri should be left to go naturally, if that is her caregiver's choice. No one can say for certain what her wishes were or are. She is under the care of her husband. So, I say he is within his rights. If he wished to prolong her life, then fine. But if legally he has the choice, then I am fine with whatever he chooses.

Certainly, I would be thrilled beyond measure to see Terri sit up, be restored and declare that God had healed her. Let it happen. God can do it. If it doesn't happen, then if/when she expires naturally, I will be at peace knowing it was her time to go.