Liberalism Gone Crazy in a Major Denomination
October 10, 2007, 9:25 am
Filed under: culture, denomination, politics

Over the past ten to fifteen years, my denomination has engaged in a discussion of how to read the Bible. This has produced a “victory” for those who favor a view of inerrancy. The Bible is literally God’s word, and is completely without error. Meanwhile, those who take even a slightly moderated view of this position are described as liberals and borderline wack-jobs.

Among many issues that these liberals get taken to task on is a sense in which they approach scripture with an agenda in their back pockets, and read those agendas into the texts in order to get them to say whatever they want them to say.

Given the “victory” of the biblical “conservatives” over their left-leaning conversation partners, imagine my surprise at reading a report regarding a poll recently taken by one of the denomination’s agencies. An outside polling group was contracted to take a survey of our views regarding the use of alcohol. I won’t waste time listing all the questions and responses here, but when asked to respond to the statement, “Scripture indicates that people should never drink,” a full 41% of pastors agreed. Come again? 41%. Ummmm, where exactly did they get that?? I must have a bunch of copies of the Lutheran Bible or something, because none of the ones I’ve read say that.

My point here is that in the middle of our fight to save the Bible, we’ve gotten so conservative that we’ve turned liberal. People have approached scripture with an agenda in their back pockets, and chosen to believe that the texts say what they want them to say.

Look, we all do this to some degree. For example, some use “grace” texts in order to go on with selfish, greedy ways without remorse because the sin’s already covered. But 41%? Of pastors? I just wonder what kind of uproar there would be if 41% of pastors in my denom were found to have a biblical position opposed to the war in Iraq. Or if 41% believed that scripture teaches that women should be ordained.

So perhaps my denomination is more liberal than I thought. No wonder I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable around here.


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