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Re: Excerpts from the Fundamentalists' Bible



Note: the excerpts to which the author is referring appear on my Anglican 
pages, currently below the menu at http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html

> >On Jan 12 6:48pm XXXXXXXXXXX wrote:
> >
> >>  Sir,
> >>
> >>  As I consider membership in the Episcopal church, I am reading as much
> >>  as I can from books and websites, both official and unofficial.  Since
> >>  your website contains a great deal of information about the Episcopal
> >>  church, I do check in on occasion.
> >>
> >>  Before I moved to my present location I was a member of an independent
> >>  Bible church, the pastor of which proudly identified himself as a
> >>  fundamentalist. His first Th.D. was earned at Dallas Seminary, where he
> >>  was a roommate and pal of some of the great teachers, missionaries, and
> >>  preachers of the past 60 years. His congregation is the warmest, most
> >>  loving, and most challenging church I have ever joined. Even more so
> >>  than the precious Episcopal parish where I now worship.
> >>
> >>  The first Sunday I visited there I was greeted  by two members, one
> >>  white, one black. The organist was a female Japanese student. The
> >>  pianist was a male Chinese student.  A men's quartet - two white, two
> >>  black, sang. The pastor wasn't in town, as he spends several months
> >>  every year in South Africa, where he has a nearly half-century teaching
> >>  ministry and where he established a Bible school.
> >>
> >>  The pastor, son of a Jewish father and a Swedish mother, earned his
> >>  second Th.D. while I was there (he was then in his early 70's).  Now,
> >>  in his 80's, he continues to have a special ministry to university
> >>  students. Dozens of  students have left this congregation for seminary
> >>  and full-time missions work.
> >>
> >>  The church was diverse - in a segregated community the membership was
> >>  about 35% African American, 45% white, and the remainder international.
> >>  Auto union reps prayed with nurses, an emergency room surgeon, retail
> >>  clerks, professional musicians, factory line workers, bankers,
> >>  students. Social class was simply not a factor in relationships. The
> >>  most well-educated, well-to-do members lived humbly, sharing generously
> >>  their time and resources. Unity was strong because it was centered on
> >>  knowing and serving Christ.
> >>
> >>  During my four years in this community I was visited numerous times by
> >>  the pastor and his wife. What I remember most fondly is that Pastor
> >>  would get down on his knees, on a hard-wood floor, and pour his heart
> >>  out to the Lord on my behalf.  Now in their eighties, they continue to
> >>  drive several hundred miles once and often several times a year to
> >>  visit me and encourage me.
> >>
> >>  This is love. This is the love of a fundamentalist.
> >>
> >>  Please don't set them up as caricatures.
> >>
> >>  XXXXXXXXXXX, Ph.D.
> >>
> >>

I replied: 


I am impressed with the congregation you describe.  My first cousin
graduated from Dallas Seminary, and until his death a few years ago,
served in another such loving congregation.  I knew some of the fine
professors there when I attended Baylor during the 1950s.

None of these would fall into the trap that I am exposing, but
thousands do.

I'll be happy to consider alternatives to "Fundamentalists" that you
might suggest as more accurately label the abusers whom I am
parodying.

I know very few Episcopalians who would describe themselves as
fundamentalists, but many who would describe themselves as orthodox.
They don't have a corner on that word either, though.

Thank you for your interest in my pages.  I look forward to your
suggested alternatives.

L.

On Jan 12 8:39pm XXXXXXXXXXX responded:

> Quite frankly I would prefer that you not parody other Christians.
> Somehow I've come to expect more from Episcopalians.

and later that evening I replied:


I am disappointed by your response.  I hoped that you would help me
come up with a more accurate label.  Instead, you seem to suggest that
no Christian abuses scriptures in these ways, or that if they do, we
should be polite and not call attention to the abuse.

If I were not hitting home in this parody, no one would recognize
anyone in them.  Almost everyone familiar with Christians can see some
of them in these parodies.

I am parodying Christians who are behaving badly.

Christians in Scripture do not refrain from disquieting candor. Jesus
described some of his religious colleagues as being 'whited
sepulchres.' Paul told the Galations, who were being besieged by the
followers of Peter, "I wish those who unsettle you would castrate
themselves!" Galations 5:12.  There are dozens of other examples.

Luther, Milton, Calvin....  indeed most of the great reformers did not
hesitate to use humor to provoke insight.

Christianity will die of boredom long before it will die of candor.

Again, thank you for your interest in my pages.

L.




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