Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Untheologicalism of the Church of Scotland

To what country does this New Testament verse apply?

Was it an Arab country?
Perhaps Palestine?
Or was it the Land of Israel, the country of the Jews?


But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

And it what country did this take place?

John baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  And there went out unto him all the land of Judea and those of Jerusalem; and they were all baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins.
And these events occured in what country?
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  And they said unto him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel.’”
It was the Land of Israel.
As it is written there, verses 19-20
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel, for they are dead who sought the young Child’s life.”
So why is the Church of Scotland being so contentious?  So non-Biblical?
An Arab country?

The theology they express resonates this travesty:

“The Palestinians [are] Jesus' descendants" and "Jesus' story is his [Palestinian] people's story"

What can we learn in that connection from the Old Testament?
Well in 2 Chronicles 21:16, we see that Arabs were a faraway people:

Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and of the Arabians who were near the Ethiopians.

When King Solomon presented gifts to the Queen of Sheba, even from Arabian kings, they came from far away:
And King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, besides that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants...besides what he had from the merchants, and from the traffic of the spice merchants, and from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country.
And as confirmed in Galatians 1:17, when Paul describes his travels to the Gentiles, not the Jews:

I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.

My concern for the Church of Scotland which, despite protests, has decided that its report will be amended but still instructs that

Christians should not be supporting any claims by [Editor's note: “Jewish or” was here in the original version] any people to an exclusive or even privileged divine right to possess particular territory. We believe that is a misuse of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land.

and that

the Church of Scotland does not agree with a premise that scripture offers any peoples a divine right to territory, and that the current situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory is characterised by an inequality in power.

   As Ben Cohen notes in Ha’aretz, the Church is:
influenced by Sabeel's theology [and]... elevates the situation of the Palestinians, reinvented as Jesus's own people,

If the Church continues in this nonsensical direction, in addition to a problem of untheologicalism, they may be faced with another problem, one of expense

THE Church of Scotland is to investigate the spiralling cost of burials...The Kirk’s Church and Society Council is to address the issue of so-called “funeral poverty” caused by the sharp rise in the cost of burial plots and other associated charges.
but that burial may be a figurative one, that of the sense of religion the Church purports to represent.


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