Ever stared at the sun or a light and couldn't see anything else for a while after that? That happened recently in Venezuela, where the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, Kathrine Jefferts Schori, preached a sermon on Acts 16. For those unfamiliar, this is the passage of Paul in Philippi wherein he delivers a slave girl from a demon and preaches the gospel to the jailer. But I'm astounded at the hermeneutical stupidity it took to do what KJS did with this text.
Her argument was that Paul should've left the girl alone (that is, should have left her with demonic activity in her life and in slavery to her masters) because he should've recognized that she was part of God's creation too, arguing Paul deprived "her of her spiritual awareness. Paul can't abide something that he won't see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it."
Just to be clear: KJS argues that being possessed by a demon is just Paul's intolerance of his own consideration of what is (or isn't) beautiful and holy. Not liberation. Not deliverance. Not miraculous. Intolerant.
It'd be bad enough if she stopped there, but she goes on to argue that the following imprisonment, due to the fact that the girl's owners were mad about their profit-maker being liberated, was in fact just. "That's pretty much where he put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she too shares in God's nature just as much as he does - maybe more so."
KJS is not my target here. The kind of mush-minded thinking that is in love with tolerance but not with Jesus, that is the target. And it's true in the church. It's certainly true in culture.
Truth. It matters these days. Because it determines our allegiance. Whether to tolerance or to the Lord of the Universe.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...
(with a HT to Real Clear Religion)