I was interested today to read of the experience of the young adult owner of a local independent men's clothes shop who had come under some pressure from a PC local authority because of his insistence on selling and window displaying " union jack" clothes because they might encourage right wing tendencies within the community.
His response I think was excellent in his insistence that he was actually trying to achieve the precise reverse - by encouraging people to wear the Union Jack with pride he was ensuring that it did not become the preserve of a particular view or the "uniform" of a particular racist minority group.
I wonder whether within The Church the same issues don't arise over The Bible.
The current dispute within the Anglican Communion although ostensibly about issues of human sexuality is actually about how we understand and interpret our Holy Scriptures. The danger is that the self-styled "biblical" Christians with their own particular interpretation deny others with a different understanding or view of Scripture the space to make the Bible their own.
I suspect that the reality is that most Christian traditions don't actually treat or regard the Scriptures according to their own standard. My hunch is that those that " preach the bible" are just as guilty as those who "stand for the Holy Gospel" in the Eucharist in not living up to our own self-declared standards.
Ben Quash writes powerfully here about how we really value scripture (and there is a PDF link to the full article at the bottom of the page).
I remember debating during an Iona Retreat with one eager minister about the importance of "preaching" Scripture to the minister's task (he assumed that as Anglican I needed convincing), and I was able to remind him of the words attributed to John Knox about a preachers task in approaching Scripture which run along the lines of:
"May my heart be moved, my mind be challenged, my soul be warmed, - and my lips be sealed until the previous three have been truly earned". I guess in many Church situations the process has been reversed in many sermons, home groups and bible study groups.
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