Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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A little Bible study for this community (or, something the Dominionists overlooked???)...


I'm just tossing out random verses, their relation being that it seems to go against the Dominionist line of thinking. However, I may be taking things out of context, and Dominionists may have ways of maintaining their position (although, they may sound absurd in the process (well, like that's anything new or shocking)).

Non-Christians may see some of these verses and thus be turned off by Christianity even more, but the purpose is not to convert anyone to Christianity. Rather, the purpose of this is to show that Dominionist Christianity is guilty of misinterpreting the text - which even they should recognize as an egregious sin to Christianity (Bible-idolatry and Bible-mistranslation issues aside, of course).

Let us begin (I'm using the New International Version):

Phillipians, Chapter 2, verses 1-4
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Phillipians, Chapter 4, verses 4, 5, 8, and 9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me*--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
* - the "me" in this verse refers to the apostle Paul himself, as this is a letter from him to the church in Phillipi

Colossians, Chapter 2, verses 20-23
20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:
21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?
22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.
23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians, Chapter 3, verses 8-17
8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians, Chapter 4, verses 11-12
11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

* Personal Note: Most of 1 Timothy is almost purely Dominionist fodder (as in I can't seem to interpret them any other way by itself, while the rest of the Bible seems open to myriad interpretations) and is prone to dogmatism in general. Non-Dominionist Christians: be forewarned, and be prepared...

1 Timothy, Chapter 4, verses 1-5
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Titus, Chapter 1, verses 7-16
7 Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
8 Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.
11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
12 Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."
13 This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in their faith
14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.
15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
16 They claim to know God, but by their decisions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Admittedly, there's a lot of things I've caught that seem... paradoxical, to say the least... as well as equivocation of terms, both of which beg for context and interpretation. However, in context with other unmentioned passages of the Bible and such, I feel that these passages are to be taken literally. Really, one project of Christianity should be taking the entirety of the Scripture to heart and not just bits and pieces isolated to suit ones devices.

On top of this, though, there's the problem of excluded gospels (most notably, the Gnostic gospels) and holy books as well as the problems of mistranslation over the years. Considering this, I personally don't feel that one can truly be considered "knowledgable about Scripture" without at least understanding what is indicated and implied in the original languages. There may have been other gospels and holy texts that have been irretrievably lost in time as well (through unfortunate accidents or, worse, with devious intent). One can't exactly call the Bible "infallible" per se, since the way the decisions about which books to include and exclude were made by man...

...and it is agreed that man isn't infallible. However, what's left is what's left. One may have something of an understanding of God and Christian doctrine with what is left, but it would be arrogance to claim that what is left to us now is the true, infallible understanding of God, Christ, and Christian doctrine.

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