Monday, September 22, 2008

Persecution to Ethical Dilemma to Anticlimax

Yesterday Bible Study with the youth was on the theme 'Persecution'. We focused especially on Acts 7, where Stephen being stoned to death.

After narrating why the early followers of Christ, who had experienced the reality of Christ's enigmatic reappearance after his death, did what they did with their lives, we highlighted on the recent case of 23 Koreans who were being kidnapped by the Taliban.

Someone in the group posed a question on whether can we advance the Gospel at the expense of others' lives? He gave a very tight hypothetical situation where a guy who is being forced to renounce his faith. If he doesn't, a town will be exploded. If he committed suicide, the town will still be blown up.

Later only did I found out that he was actually thinking that if Jesus was the person who is being forced to choose, he will definitely choose to have the town blown up rather than to renounce his faith. That's because he prioritize the greatest commandment than the second greatest. (Matt 22.37-40)

That's of course very very wrong.

First the inquirer is confused over the function of the commandments. He thought that the commandments are mere law to be blindly followed. Second, he is too enthusiastic to put actions to Jesus (as others often put word in Jesus' mouth). He reminds me of Albert Schweitzer's parable of the 'self-reflecting well'. Schweitzer pointed out that many people think that they can find Jesus by looking into the well. Yet when they look into it what they found is the reflection of the person himself. And that is their own "Jesuses".

And I told the person frankly that the Bible is not something as easy as he thinks it is. Hence our understanding of it is not as easy as we thought. If it is that easy, we dont have to have 'Bible Studies' session week after week!

And guess how did the person respond? Very anticlimatic and causes some disappointement. He said that, "Perhaps the Bible is easy and simple to understand and it is us that make it so difficult." A fu@#$*% big 'perhaps'!

If the person is right, Tony Siew, Kar Yong, Kim Huat, and all the contemporary biblical scholars/theologians, and amateurs like myself are wasting our time! All the past great biblical scholars/theologians must be turning in their grave! All the seminaries and theological colleges and publishers and ecumenical councils past and present are nothing but just rubbish! All the Apostles, the apostolic fathers, the church fathers, and Jesus himself were fooling themselves with the Scriptures.

If the person is right, I should tell Amos, our Youth Pastor, to stop having Bible Studies every month, since it is so easy to read.

Good gracious Lord, have mercy.

3 comments:

The Inquisitor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Sim said...

The dilemma sounds like Joker's two ships - who will press the button, who to be sacrificed?

Of course, however hypothetical it may be, the Joker failed to see that the irrational evil is sometimes overcome by irrational love.

And perhaps that's Jesus, who gave himself up for the many. Jesus did not choose to have the whole Jerusalem blown up but to suffer on her behalf. But alas, while taking up their burden, he failed to warn them, at least a majority of them of the impending catastrophe...

Nalika said...

All the more you should conduct bible studies to shift them back to the correct mindset.

Of course with God's guidance.