Scripture for the masses.

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Elmud
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 05:35 pm
I think it was Pope Innocent the third who pioneered the resistance to the reformation and the publishing of scripture, Didymos, correct me if I am wrong. My question is, seeing as how so many have fallen into the mistake of taking scripture literally, was Pope Innocent wrong? Many think so. But, was he just of the mindset that the masses were too ignorant to understand scripture, or was he trying to protect them from themselves?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 06:24 pm
@Elmud,
Innocent III was too early for that. Pope Paul III is the one who called for the Council of Trent; but... eh, my history is beyond fuzzy on this one.

Whoever it was: yeah, I have to disagree with that Pope. Though, I do understand the concern. It's a valid concern, and there is a great deal of truth there: people have this book on their night stand, read it religiously, and misunderstand all they see.

I think the real issue this confusion highlights is the importance of qualified spiritual teachers. Let's face it: Jerry Falwell and his peers have no clue what they're talking about. When these people are the spiritual leaders, the teachers, we are in big trouble.

A good teacher solves the problem.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 07:53 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Let's face it: Jerry Falwell and his peers have no clue what they're talking about. When these people are the spiritual leaders, the teachers, we are in big trouble.


Good thing that Jerry Falwell is dead--even though, in a sense he lives on through his university, Liberty. Unfortunately, Pat Robertson (also has a university, Regent), James Dobson, and other fundamentalist preachers are out there carrying on the tradition of using religion as an evil political tool in the United States. Remember Ted Haggard? He was another good one. Good thing buying meth from a gay prostitute ended his career as a evangelical preacher.
 
Elmud
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 10:55 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:
Good thing that Jerry Falwell is dead--even though, in a sense he lives on through his university, Liberty. Unfortunately, Pat Robertson (also has a university, Regent), James Dobson, and other fundamentalist preachers are out there carrying on the tradition of using religion as an evil political tool in the United States. Remember Ted Haggard? He was another good one. Good thing buying meth from a gay prostitute ended his career as a evangelical preacher.

You're probably too young to remember the fictional character Elmer Gantry. A movie was made about him many many years ago. Burt Lancaster played the lead role. That is why I like to call it the "Elmer Gantry Syndrome".


Quite a few years back, there was a child preacher by the name of Marjoe Gortner. When he became a young man, he made a documentary about tent revivalists. Exposing them for what they were. I guess his conscience got the better of him.


There probably aren't many things more evil, than to take a thing that people look to for hope. For comfort. Something to believe in that enhances their otherwise mundane life, and use it for personal gain. We have had this type of thing exposed again, and again, and again over the years. And innocent people are still taken in. Why? Because people still hope.


Didymos, my memory is a little fuzzy too. I'll have to check my reference material. I don't know what Pope it was actually, but there is this thing in my memory that says, Pope innocent the third. something I read about twenty years ago when studying the development of the English bible.


I had this thought at that time, that the persecution and cruelty of the people responsible for the reformation was justification, to me anyways, that they were doing the right thing. But now, with all of the willful ignorence of those who refuse to see the remarkably brilliant style of literature in the bible such as allegorical stories that illustrate a simple message, the poetry, the hyperbole. I just feel that maybe the Pope could have had a point, even though the method was cruel. Historically.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2009 11:11 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud wrote:
You're probably too young to remember the fictional character Elmer Gantry. A movie was made about him many many years ago. Burt Lancaster played the lead role. That is why I like to call it the "Elmer Gantry Syndrome".


You are right, I am about 20 years too young to have heard of the movie. I do remember seeing a book by Sinclair Lewis with the same name, but seeing is not quite reading or knowing anything about it.


Elmud wrote:
There probably aren't many things more evil, than to take a thing that people look to for hope. For comfort. Something to believe in that enhances their otherwise mundane life, and use it for personal gain. We have had this type of thing exposed again, and again, and again over the years. And innocent people are still taken in. Why? Because people still hope.



I agree that using something people look for to comfort as a tool for social manipulation, economic gain, and political purposes is very evil. The documentary Jesus Camp gets into how fundamentalist evangelical churches recruit children to fight the war against secular society. It even features my favorite failed preacher, Ted Haggard. It is actually quite disturbing how scripture is twisted in order to make it seem like there is a battle between good and evil that can only be won through taking church dogma a absolute fact, and through the idea of "saving people."

Here are the "highlights" of the movie. I feel bad for these children. You can also watch the whole movie on YouTube if you want. It looks like it is in nine parts.
YouTube - Brain Washing ( Jesus Camp ''Highlights'' )
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 05:29 am
@Elmud,
Elmud wrote:
I had this thought at that time, that the persecution and cruelty of the people responsible for the reformation was justification, to me anyways, that they were doing the right thing. But now, with all of the willful ignorence of those who refuse to see the remarkably brilliant style of literature in the bible such as allegorical stories that illustrate a simple message, the poetry, the hyperbole. I just feel that maybe the Pope could have had a point, even though the method was cruel. Historically.


"the remarkably brilliant style of literature..." This is sarcasm, right?

Anyway, I'm not recalling the historical sequence, but my impression is that the reformationists were trying to reform some seriously bad practices in a church that had become a whore of the political system, and that the reformationists wanting the people to have the Bible in their own language was a perfectly logical and appropriate thing to do. Whether or not the various reform movements went in good or bad directions is another (and very complicated) issue, but if you have this book that supposedly contains the foundations of your religious tradition, it can't make sense to not let people read it in their own language.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 02:10 pm
@Dichanthelium,
The Papacy of the time was like Microsoft, but unlike current times there was no Linux.

As for the subject at hand it is very personal how one relates to a set of scriptures in whch they happen to believe. My relationship with my scriptures is one of personal revelation and a personal relationship with God.

The current popular myth (and i say myth because history really cannot prove motive) is that the Papacy kept the masses from scriptoral literacy to maintain power, and only to maintain power. This may have been part of the motive equation. Yet we also have to remember that the Church of the time was part of the larger sociocultural system. Classism, Nationalism, and all sorts of isms were functional influences in this system, just as they are in different qualitaive ways today. Within the system of the time it may have been perfectly logical to keep those who were marginalized by certain isms ignorant of the scriptures.


All scripture, history, myth and prophecy have had literal and interpretory camps, sects, and religions. The Original question in this post shows that the thread creator may be of an interpretory sect/camp/religion, which is cool, however it biases the question. It is not a question of the validity of interpretation versus literalism. It seems more of a rear door approach to literalist criticism.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 03:39 pm
@GoshisDead,
Dichanthelium wrote:
"the remarkably brilliant style of literature..." This is sarcasm, right?


I doubt that was sarcasm. Many parts of the Bible are widely held to be literary classics. The Book of Daniel and Revelations come to mind.
 
Elmud
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 05:08 pm
@Dichanthelium,
Dichanthelium wrote:
"the remarkably brilliant style of literature..." This is sarcasm, right?

Anyway, I'm not recalling the historical sequence, but my impression is that the reformationists were trying to reform some seriously bad practices in a church that had become a whore of the political system, and that the reformationists wanting the people to have the Bible in their own language was a perfectly logical and appropriate thing to do. Whether or not the various reform movements went in good or bad directions is another (and very complicated) issue, but if you have this book that supposedly contains the foundations of your religious tradition, it can't make sense to not let people read it in their own language.

No. It is absolutely not sarcasm. I meant what I said.
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2009 06:44 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud wrote:
No. It is absolutely not sarcasm. I meant what I said.


Okay, thank you. I may be a bit jumpy over this because I do see quite a few posts that clearly belittle the jewish and christian scriptures.

Personally, I find them fascinating and inspiring. Interpretation and application by fundamentalist types create the problem.
 
 

 
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