The Truth and Interpretation

“Water is wet.”

What you have read above is a statement of fact, also known as ‘the truth’.  You cannot change it or else it becomes a falsehood, also known as ‘a lie’ or ‘not the truth’. You may find different ways of delivering this truth, for example:

  • H2o is always wet
  • Hydrogen oxide is a damp substance.

These statements are variations of the truth ‘water is wet’, but they all point to the same absolute truth: WATER IS WET.

Now, some people might try to tell you that they INTERPERET the statement ‘water is wet’ to mean something different. For example they may say that the statement doesn’t REALLY mean water is WET, but that if you read it by THEIR interpretation WATER is actually DRY! Another person may tell you that THEIR interpretation of the statement actually means KITTENS ARE FLUFFY! You may then scratch your head and ask a silly question like, “how did you arrive at kittens from water is wet?”, and that person might tell you that your being legalistic and that your ‘interpretation’ of the statement is archaic and outdated.

In case you hadn’t caught on yet this post is about the bible and translations. Now, I am not talking about the different translations you can buy like the King James, New King James, The Message or, my favorite, Da Jesus Book, but rather I am talking about how people seem to think that all scripture is open to an interpretive meaning. This, to me, is one of the most dangerous and pervasive problems with the modern church.

As I have shown with the statement above, the truth is the truth is the truth. The truth is immutable, it cannot be changed or it becomes either a lie or another truth. How another truth? Well, technically you could say that, if the water were frozen it wouldn’t be wet. In a way your right, but you have changed the truth of ‘water is wet’ into another truth: ‘ice is not wet’. Its not a lie, but it isn’t the same truth, its a completely different thing.

Gods word, the bible, is The Truth (capital t’s on that one). It is immutable and unchanging and says so itself:

Hebrews 13:8
 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

If you claim to be a Christian then you MUST believe this truth or you do not believe in the God the bible speaks of.

When people come to me and tell me that “all scripture is open to interpretation” it makes me angry because they are spreading false gospel. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the scriptures can be interpreted in different ways. It may say that the truth is revealed to us in different ways, but the truth is the truth is the truth. No matter how you get there, its still the same truth. So, when your pastor tells an interesting story to explain that water is wet while mine simply says “water is wet”, they have used different methods to explain the truth, but the truth has not changed.

Some people believe that you cannot read the bible as a literal book. I half agree with that. I would say that you cannot read the bible as a literal book where it is not meant to be literal. When I was in grade school they taught us reading comprehension. Part of reading comprehension is being able to read and determine if a text is literal, poetic, symbolic, etc. GRADE SCHOOL. This means that anyone with a grade school level education should be able to read a book and determine if the passages they are reading within are meant to be literal statements, poetic statements or symbolic statements. If you cannot do this you either have a learning disability, failed to complete grade school or are willfully ignorant.

Now, why would someone want to muck up the truth and filter it through a translation? The simple answer is manipulation. By giving their own translation of a scriptures meaning they have the ability to manipulate those who hear it. Want your congregation to put more money in the coffers? Translate scripture about tithing so that it induces guilt and fear if you are not giving enough. Want to get more work out of your congregation? Translate scripture to induce shame and guilt when people don’t use their ‘gift of service’. I read somewhere in my study bible, in the notes, that in ancient times the priests would avoid writing down what they thought of scripture for fear that their writings would be given more weight than the scriptures they came from. Judging by the number of books out there lending their ‘translation’ to the scriptures, I can see that is no longer a fear in the modern age.

When everyone can interpret the scriptures in their own way the truth becomes irrelevant. Now what is your truth may be different from my truth which is different from their truth and total ambiguity abounds.

I believe much of the problems with the American church today stems from everyone ‘translating’ the truth of God as they see fit, leading to a watering down or complete denial of the truth. The only way to avoid bad translations is for everyone to agree on ONE translation and that translation should be NO TRANSLATION AT ALL! That’s right! The easiest way to avoid ambiguity is to read the words as literal statements where applicable! I say ‘where applicable’ because some scripture is written as poetic or symbolic (looking at you, Song of Solomon). But guess what?! Even those poetic versus point back to the truth.

And The Truth – it doesn’t change.

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DT Info

I am trying to assemble a team of people together to help me work on my paper based RPG (I guess now they are considered ‘table top games’) Destructive Tendencies. It is a work long in the making, as I have been working on it and writing its storyline since I was in junior high (btw: I am 40 years old at the moment). It has always been an obsession of mine and I would love to finish it. That being said you may have noticed a new page at the top of the main blog that says Destructive Tendencies RPG. This page, and subsequent pages, will start to outline the story of DT, as well as the story of how I came to create it, its characters and lore. If you have time and find scifi/fantasy of interest, please visit and discuss. Enjoy!

A weekend at Woodcraft and other fine tales.

WP_20160319_14_14_07_Pro
Ventura from the top of the hill @ Grant Park.

Over the past weekend the wife and I headed to Ventura to get some fresh, salt air and so I could visit the Woodcraft store! They were having a weekend demonstration of the Microjig GRR-Ripper, which I have seen several times on YouTube. It was a fun trip, as Woodcraft is an awesome store for both the hobbyist woodworker and the pro. The amount and variety of wood they have is absolutely breathtaking. A lot of the stuff is absolutely unreal in color and texture. Enjoy a few pictures!

The purple looking boards are ‘purple heart’ and are probably my most favorite wood in the whole store. The color is unreal, but apparently it fades over time into a brown/purple mix. I would love to make something out of it, but it wouldn’t be a sword. It is a very hard wood and the store associate said it’s very brutal to your tools, even carbide tipped ones. Also, it’s really expensive!

WP_20160319_004Also, I was able to find this bad boy at the Ventura Goodwill! It was broken, but I was able to spot the easy fix in the store, so I bought it! My kids and I enjoy a good Nerf shootout every once in a while in the house, and this will complete my loadout. I now have a good Nerf six-shooter, a Nerf shotgun and this – the Doominator! Four cylinders of six shots each for a total of 24 darts! Yeah, I’m a Nerf nerd.

Lastly, but not least…ly (is that a word), I finished up the ice brand sword I was working on. I have to admit that I am not really too happy with it because I made some rookie mistakes with measuring some widths, but overall it’s a nice piece. Next time I will probably use half-inch or quarter-inch boards for the side ‘ice’ pieces, as the whole thing seems too thick overall. Also I messed up measuring the brace for the hand guard and the pommel, which caused me to have to cut the cool pommel off (see my earlier post on the sword template and you can see the difference). And, finally, I don’t like the paint job because it looks more like clouds than ice. Next time I will tape off some sharp, ninety degree angles and paint some sharp, white lines on the blade. This is typical for me, though, I make a first run of a sword, learn from any mistakes and then make an ‘improved’ version later. Anyhow, here it is:

Since I’m kind of broke right now I wont be making anything new for a while, but I’ll let you know when things get moving again!

Pastor, there’s a fly in my soup….

Feminism is, unfortunately, the proverbial fly in the soup that is the church. When you see it, it spoils the whole batch, and it sickens you to your stomach. Part of the problem is that no one really sees it for what it really is, so no one really points it out as an issue. I am reminded of this whenever I have a conversation with my wife in which her opposition to something is “because your a man”. A good example would be if I were to make the statement “I don’t think it’s a sin for a man to look at a beautiful woman and think she is beautiful, even if she is in a bathing suit, or even naked.” (referencing, perhaps, art). Her response would be “well of course you would think that, because your a man.”. Feminism has attempted to make men and women equal by saying there are no differences between the two except those imposed by society. If society can delete those differences then true equality can be reached. This same sentiment seems to be rampant amongst the church, as both men and women seek to delete the differences between the two sexes put in place by God.

Christianity is a patriarchal venture, of that there is no doubt. God is our father, Jesus is his son. God gave man dominion over the earth. He made woman for man, and gave man authority over woman (his wife). He says man should not be put under the authority of a woman and the majority of figures He uses to accomplish His work in the bible are men (with some exceptions, of course, but when you make the rules, you can make the exceptions as well).

Modern Christian men and women work hard to eliminate the differences in the sexes by marching out feminist mantra without even recognizing it. Case in point: my wife. Without realizing it she is attempting to negate men and women by building on the idea that men and women have no difference in the eyes of God. Though the bible does say that:

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

but this refers to the kingdom of heaven, as the bible makes clear distinctions between male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free while on the earth. The conversation I had with my wife shown above doesn’t really explain well how this works, but another one of our conversations does – the conversation on male headship. It typically looks like this:

  1. I believe that when the bible says that women are to submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING, it means EVERYTHING. From big decisions to small, from buying a car to what color to paint the walls: EVERYTHING means EVERYTHING.
  2. My wife believes Paul (who wrote the instruction for wives to submit to their husbands) hated women and that EVERYTHING does not mean EVERYTHING.
  3. I tell her that her belief does not coincide with scripture.
  4. She responds: “Of course you think that, your a man.”

The implication, of course, is that me, being a man, would benefit from MY interpretation of scripture (a literal interpretation) so naturally I would say that MY interpretation (which is not an interpretation at all, but a literal reading) is correct. In her mind it has nothing to do with the fact that I am reading THE EXACT WORDS FROM THE SCRIPTURE. Unfortunately a lot of Christian men would tell me the same thing, or give me some excuse as to why any scriptures placing men above women are no longer relevant. By doing this they are doing twofold damage. Not only are the disregarding the word of God, but they are essentially dropping their responsibility of authority. If we look into the word, we can see how God views those who shirk their authority:

Matthew 25:26-30

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

We see here in these verses a servant who was given responsibility and authority over the money his master had given him. Rather than use that authority as he was supposed to he squandered it and took the easy road by burying what he had been given, thus ditching his responsibility and the authority given him. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather hear “well done, good and faithful servant’ rather than “you wicked, lazy servant!”.

What then is the solution? How do we combat the rising tide of feminism in the church when those who are supposed to be fighting it don’t even see it! Even if it were exposed, these men and women would likely have you thrown out on your ear before believing that the word says what it means, and doesn’t need an ‘interpretation’. They get indignant at any mention of women being subject to men in ALL things. An interesting little story to go with that is this:

I was recently at a Tuesday night men’s group and we were discussing Abram and Sarai and their travels through Egypt. Now our group isn’t very big, maybe six to eight guys, but there is one guy who I am slightly familiar with, who is very quiet. I have spoken to him before during his very first visit to the men’s group (I had actually not been visiting the group for quite some time. This was, maybe, my second or third visit since returning, but my first time seeing him again in over a year or so) and I know him to be a somewhat meek person.

Anyhow, as we were talking we, naturally, arrived at the part of the book where Abram tells his wife to lie and tell everyone she is his sister so he doesn’t get killed. The pharaoh of Egypt takes a fancy to her and takes off with her to become his bride. He gives Abram a bunch of gifts (likely to pay for Sarai, as he thought she was Abrams sister) and is very likely on the way to marrying her when the Lord inflicts him and his household with ‘serious disease’. It doesn’t say how the pharaoh finds out, but word gets out that Sarai is Abrams wife and pharaoh, naturally, gets bent out of shape and tells Abram to get his things and get out of dodge.

During our discussion on this I had mentioned that during the entire story we never hear anything about Sarai spilling the beans on her husband (though now that I think about it, it may have been her that eventually told the pharaoh, but it doesn’t say for sure). She goes along with his plan in obedience even to the point that they pharaoh had paid her dowry and NOWHERE DOES IT SAY SHE SPOKE A WORD. Being held up in the new testament as a example of faith and obedience I stated that she did as her husband had told her, likely relying on her faith in God to resolve the situation, but still maintaining her obedience to her husband as she should.

Well the quite guy couldn’t handle that. Despite having not said a single word the entire evening beyond ‘hi’ he immediately spoke up in her defense, stating that there was no way he could see a woman behaving like that.

Now before we could go further the group leader moved us on to the next set of verses, but I tell this story as an example of the reactions received from people in the church when you even hint at a woman being THAT submissive and obedient to her husband.

I guess it depends on what your definition of EVERYTHING is. Everything being everything, or everything being everything EXCEPT that.

“Yes,” the pastor replied, “and it looks like it’s doing the backstroke.”

 

Final Fantasy VI – The Phantom Train

Was listening to this album this morning and thought someone out there might like to hear something unique and beautiful. Grand Finale is one of the best Final Fantasy arrangement albums out there, and each song is wonderful in it’s own right. Ah, the memories.

Final Fantasy VI – Grand Finale: The Phantom Train

Murder was the punch line….

Why do some Christian women think its funny to joke about murdering their husbands? I know country music and the TV has made it all the rage to kill your lying, cheating man, and society has literally all but absolved women of the crime so long as they cry ‘abuse’ afterward. And I know that society has also turned EVERYTHING into abuse (see the Duluth model ‘power and control’ wheel), but Christian women should not be threatening to murder their husbands. If you do this you should seriously reconsider whether or not you are a Christian and your husband should seriously reconsider getting rid if you.

I thought about posting a proper response for husbands to deliver their wives should they do this, but it would likely be considered ‘abusive’.