“Traditional Biblical Values” – Rev Susan Russell Sermon (Video)
In the Episcopal Church (and wider Anglican communion), the next to last Sunday of the year is known as “Bible Sunday”, with a collect that reads:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
At “An Inch at a time”, Rev Susan Russell has placed a video of the sermon she delivered on how to approach the bible sensibly – with respect, and also rationally, with a post titled “On taking the Bible too seriously to take it literally“. Her words are filled with abundant good sense. Watch, listen – and reflect.
Russell is speaking from an explicitly Episcopal/Anglican perspective, but her words will make sense to people from many different faith backgrounds. (One of my earliest posts at QTC was on advice for Catholics by the Pontifical Biblical Commission, which is more formal, but not dissimilar). Rachel Held Evans, writing as an Evangelical Christian on “The Danger of Calling Behaviour “Biblical” makes a similar point on claims about “biblical womanhood”. Her article begins with reference to an interchange in a “Daily Show” interview by Jon Stewart with Mike Huckabee on “biblical marriage”
On “The Daily Show” recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.
When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”
And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.
Noting that the Bible is not a “position paper”, but an eclectic assortment of texts written over thousands of years (just the point that Rev Russell makes), she turns to the abuse of biblical texts by some in attempts to enforce particular views on the place of women in the church.
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