Bible Study

Hey, all!

During the last two weeks, while was at Camp Dodge, IA, for Annual Training, I had the opportunity to attend several sessions of Bible Study hosted by a Baptist chaplain (always a bad idea for me, but what else was there?). I can’t say that I personally grew as a result of the sessions, but I did get some other people to think a little bit.

At one point, after we discussed the Beatitudes, we talked about how the Christ (and boy did “the Christ” raise a few eyebrows) generally avoided healing lots of people; instead focusing his time on His disciples. The chaplain agreed with the general consensus, that he didn’t know why the Christ wouldn’t heal as many people as possible (it was “a mystery”). I proposed the following:

The Christ is both fully human and fully Divine. Consider yourself in His position–you know that in order to fulfill your destiny and save the human race, you must soon face a final temptation between rulership of the Earth, and death. Would it be easier to face that temptation have spent weeks discussing spiritual truths with you disciples and preparing them for stewardship, or having spent weeks being adored as the Son of God by grateful crowds?

Also, we discussed the disciples as the “salt of the Earth.” The other students actually pulled references out of their Bibles that talked about salt as “tasting good” and “useful for melting ice.” (sigh)
Let’s put aside for a moment the idea that “melting ice” was really a big problem in first century Judea: Salt was incredibly valuable. Wages were often paid in salt–that’s where the expression “worth his salt” comes from. Back then, you could grow your own produce, you could raise your own livestock… but salt had to be mined. And unlike precious metals and gemstones, salt was necessary to live.
Today, we can create sodium chloride artificially; we even get too much of it in our diet. Back then, diseases of salt-deficiency were quite common, and even deadly.
As for salt “losing its saltiness” and being “trampled underfoot,” I actually had to point out that “saltiness” is a chemical property of sodium chloride and cannot be lost; the Christ was speaking hypothetically. However, if salt did lose its saltiness, it would just be a rock (not the fine granules we see in the supermarket. It would be trash, and the Jews would treat it like middle-easterners have always treated trash: throw it out the window. It will either rot away, be blown into the desert, or be trampled underfoot (in the case of a rock) until it disappears into the roadway.

Of course, I really raised eyebrows when they started talking about the infallibility of the Bible. Sorry, I don’t worship the Bible, and I don’t need it to be infallible. The group asked me for an example of a contradiction in the Bible: I pointed out that the Christ is not only given two different genealogies, but that they are both patrilineal genealogies. Oh, the aneurisms and logical contortions that ensued. We finally “agreed to disagree.” Ahem.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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