Monday, February 13, 2023

Faulty Theological Interpretation Could Turn Deadly

It is not an historical or theological overstatement that a faulty eschatology can turn deadly.

Usually such a conclusion is deduced by reflecting upon sectarians that construe the passages regarding the End Times as being not only imminently literal but having to be implemented by believers themselves rather than by directly through the manifest actions of the Almighty Himself.

For example, the prophetic beliefs of the Branch Davidians played a role in the fiery raid that has become synonymous with Waco, Texas.

Earlier in American history, in what became known as the Great Disappointment, those that put their trust in the speculations of William Miller often rid themselves of their possessions in the hopes of the Second Advent that failed to materialize by the predicted date.

Yet those with a more secularized version of Christianity hoping to realize a number of Biblical promises this side of supernatural intervention should not conclude this era is no longer prone to such errors.

An article published 8/10/22 by the Religion News Service titled, “Faith leaders attend celebration of gun control law” discusses how a number of religionists were put on display by the Biden Administration to propagandize on behalf of the Safer Communities Act.

Listed among the duped lacking discernment was Shane Claiborne.

Given the length to which Claiborne has traditionally kept his hair for many years, his Biblical ignorance has often been on display for all to see.

I Corinthians 11:14 admonishes it is shameful for a man to have long hair.

However, Claiborne's lack of exegetical prowess now literally endangers the lives of individuals that may need to be protected by the literal use of force.

In the article, it is pointed out that Claiborne is “leader of an effort that melts down guns into garden tools in observance of the Biblical call to turn swords into plowshares.”

This is a reference to Isaiah 2:4 which reads, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. “

The passage is prophesying or foretelling of the time of the Millennial Kingdom following the return of Christ.

The text is descriptive; it is not telling the reader to do anything in the form of a categorical imperative reminiscent of Kant.

The Book of Revelation also expands that there will one day be a divine army that will destroy those at the Battle of Armageddon where the blood will flow so deep it will reach the bridles of the horses.

Would Shane Claiborne care to preemptively assume the responsibility upon himself implementing this particular Messianic undertaking as well?

The swords are beaten into plowshares in that blessed era because there will no longer be anymore need for them when Christ returns and sets the crooked paths straight.

There is not a single soul apart from a deluded lunatic that will insist we are anywhere near such a utopia.

One can make an argument that there are firearms in the hands of those that ought not to have them.

Yet it does not logically follow that those that have not been deemed incapable of handling the solemn responsibility of properly handling these tools should be denied access to ballistics technology.

Scripture allows for the right of self defense.

Luke 22:36 says, “...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. “

Thus, any effort designed to compel the morally conscientious to surrender the armaments to which they have been granted a divine right could result in a number of lives lost equaling and eventually surpassing in the long run the most shocking of cult tragedies or mass casualty incidents.

By Frederick Meekins