deird1: a cross, on a rainbow flag (believe out loud)
[personal profile] deird1
Posting this purely so that it's not lost in a long-forgotten comment thread...

The discussion in question began with someone saying that Christians with tattoos are hypocrites, because they're not "following the Bible".




Let's see if I can explain this clearly.

1) I believe that a lot of flawed humans (because there isn't any other kind) wanted to understand God and his creation, and wrote a lot of discussion about it.

2) Some of them were responding to each other. Someone would say "I think God is like X," and someone else would say "no, God's more like Y". Hence there are occasionally contradictory ideas about God in the Bible.

3) These writers were, again, human and therefore flawed. Therefore there are quite a few factual errors in the Bible.

4) Nevertheless, there was a lot of good stuff in there too. Enough so that God went "yeah, guys, I really like this", and blessed it for use by his people.

5) Therefore, if something is in the Bible, it is worthy of my time and attention, and should be given serious consideration rather than dismissed out of hand.

6) However, since there are errors, it shouldn't be embraced with no thought, either. The standard tests for any part of the faith are: Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason. (i.e. What the Bible tells me, what the church tells me, what my life tells me, and what my mind tells me.) If one of these appears to be contradicting the others, I probably need to re-examine it.

7) As well as that, I tend to use what is called a "Christo-centric hermeneutic". This means that every part of scripture should be assessed by how it relates to Christ. If Jesus said something, and something else in the Bible disagreed, I think Jesus' opinion is the more important one. And if something is about Christ, it's more important than something which has little to do with Christ.

8) On the specific issue of tattoos:

a) It's from the Old Testament, in a set of rules given to the Israelites.

b) The New Testament has a passage that explicitly says these rules don't apply to Gentile Christians.

c) I don't see why the NT passage would be incorrect.

d) Scripture is divided on it (OT says no tattoos, NT says "meh"), Tradition says it's fine (the church hasn't been against it, as a rule), my Experience has been that tattooed Christians can be just as "fruitful" as non-tattooed ones ("does it bear fruit?" being a standard test given in the Bible), and my Reason can't come up with a reason why not. Therefore I reckon it's okay.

e) The rule in question is pretty far removed from anything Christ-related. Therefore, under a Christo-centric hermeneutic, it's not really a big deal.

9) The reason I would never say "following the Bible is important" is not because I think the Bible isn't important (it is), but because I really have no idea how to define "following the Bible", or what it would entail. As it is, I don't think it's a rulebook, so I don't think coming across a rule in the Bible means it's definitely something I should obey. I would instead examine the rule, see who it was given to, think about why it might have been given, and try to determine what God would like me to do about it.

...clearer?


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deird1: lilac flowers, with text "how do they rise up" (Default)
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