Gay Angels are a sign of the Apocalypse?!?
Joel Watts posted an article recently, Gay Angels are a sign of the Apocalypse, where he plays around with some polysemy and applies ” a backwards translation technique to Scripture… one where the vernacular of the day, informed by our culture, determined what Scripture meant.”
His main point is that “one shouldn’t allow current understanding of a word to actually dictate what the word meant. Dig deep, or else you may come off looking a little absurd.” I would take it a step further. Often the very weakest sermons I have seen, and perhaps the weakest theological arguments I have heard, are when someone tries to stretch the meaning of an English word beyond any connection to its source material or logic.
I once posted an article about Rev. Robert Whipkey after an off-duty officer spotted him walking down the street naked at about 4:30 in the morning. Whipkey told police he had been jogging at the Frederick High School track.
His reasoning? “I’m a heavy man and wearing clothing while running makes me sweat profusely.” Seems legit!
Sometimes, over-the-top examples show us best what can happen subtly when someone over-stretches the ‘meaning’ of a word to make some sort of ‘point’ in their sermon. Often this happens in very subtle ways.
So let’s use this situation as an example of how some preachers stretch the literalness, grammar, and logic of a text to make some sort of ‘point’. I hesitate to call it a point, but it is their intent. And then they follow it up with the four words that should alert many parishioners that it is time to do some serious study, and maybe not take everything out of this guy’s mouth at face value:
It’s a biblical principle.
I just threw up in my mouth a little bit remembering some of the times I have heard these four words manipulated to convince an audience that what was being “preached” was biblical. Some sort of stretched interpretation, which when examined closely completely falls apart, but then those four magic words to give it some sort of false legitimacy: it’s a biblical principle.
I’m guessing this priest’s life verse might be Mark 14:52, “but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.”
[Setting the scene: Scott hushes the audience as they prepare for his powerful oration, which will give the people the direction and energy they need as they face their ordinary lives during the upcoming week, until they can return again next Sunday and all eyes will be focused on him once more, for even more powerful words straight from the throne room of God himself!]
Mark 14:52, “but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. ” Brothers and sisters the text clearly states that when the man was running he was unclothed. The Greek word used here is gumnos, it means literally “naked, bare, unclothed,” and all six times it appears in the NT it is used in this sense. Also, the Greek word that means he “ran off, or fled” is in the active. So hear we have clear biblical precedence of a person actively running naked.
But he left the linen cloth and ran off naked… ran off naked. I’m wondering this morning how many people in our church like to go out for a run on a consistent basis. Maybe you are training for a marathon, or maybe you just like to go out for a light jog. What really concerns me, however, is that we like to say that we are a Bible believing church, and yet every time I see someone from our congregation running they have clothes on!
Saints, how do you expect to have the blessing of the Lord if you won’t even follow his Word? We find this man in Mark’s Gospel and when he runs, he runs naked. Are you willing to run naked? Are you willing to trust God’s Word? When you go for your run this week, run naked: It’s a biblical principle!
The reason this sort of preaching bothers me so much is that most likely anyone can see through the silliness of my above “sermon,” but far fewer seem to notice this sort of manipulation when it happens in far subtler forms, and that makes it way, way, WAY more dangerous.
How do I know that? It’s a biblical principle of course.
For the sake of fairness: I have posted a myriad of bad, very bad, and horrendous videos from various places aimed at Christian children.
This is not for Christian children. It is from a Fantastic Four cartoon, and it is as bad and horrifying as any video I have posted in awhile.