Something Smells Fishy Here!

If your going to read any of my posts – Read this one.

But I warn you, it is offensive. Mike Semmler talks about Law and Gospel.  He tells us that although this is likely to cause offense we need to stay true to the Gospel; call sin a sin and offer grace to the sinner. In a dot point he says:

“God’s Word is counter cultural (P10) – ‘For the message is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God'” 

Something smells a bit fishy here!

Something is not quite right.......

Something is not quite right…….

I am in a dilema here – if I say nothing, nothing will happen. If I say something I am told that my message is in line with that of the world. If I say it loudly the church says ” What a privelige, we are getting persecuted for our faith”

It didn’t take me long to figure out what the fishy smell was. His message is offensive because it is wrong to manipulate God’s Word to meet your own end. Remember church we are claiming to know the voice of God! To use that voice to harm is no laughing matter. I’ve heard it called “tough love”, I have an other theory – well Rene Girard forms my theory – A French historian, litery critic and philosopher of social science writes:

“It is easier than in the past to observe collective transferences upon a scapegoat because they are no longer sanctioned and concealed by religion. And yet it is still difficult because the individuals addicted to them do everything they can to conceal their scapegoating from themselves, and as a general rule they succeed. Today as in the past, to have a scapegoat is to believe one doesn’t have any. The phenomenon in question doesn’t usually lead any longer to acts of physical violence, but it does lead to a “psychological” violence that is easy to camouflage. Those who are accused of participating in hostile transference never fail to protest their good faith, in all sincerity.”

Girard is talking about human nature which as a society tends to “scapegoat”. That is to blame someone else for the ills of society – for example I believe we do this with the boat people today. How often do you hear about how much they are costing us, how they will ruin the Australian way etc. How oftern do you here that homosexuality will destroy nations, destroy families etc. Notice the last sentence “Those who are accused of participating in hostile transference never fail to protest their good faith, in all sincerity.” If you want to read more about scapegoating I found this exerpt here.

There was one person in history who religious people used as a scapegoat.

“Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.” John 18:14

Can you see, Jesus is the scapegoat, he is the black, the Jew, the boat person and the homosexual. Therefore Matt. 25:41 could well read:

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For when I was hiding in fear and shame you told me to stay there. I was in a detainment centre and you didn’t visit and told me to go back to where I came from. I was a lesbian and you did not invite me in, I needed help and you were disgusted with me, I was in your church and you did not look after me.”



4 Responses to “Something Smells Fishy Here!”
  1. lcamyopinion says:

    Thanks for this. Girard is challenging.

    So many things make sense when one is willing to stare ones fears and insecurities in the face and recognise them for what they are. That fear, the fear of the other, the different one, is what motivates us to declare some people as threat, unholy, sinner, un-australian or whatever label we put on them. And when we identify them as the problem, disparage them, drive them out into the wilderness or onto offshore processing plants or into closets we somehow feel a little safer, a little more right, a little more at ease with the world and a little more bonded to those around us who are of similar mind. It really is, in a nutshell, the same dynamic at play when we somehow feel close to our likeminded neighbour and elevated in each others eyes when we join together to gossip about someone else.

    But into that mix comes THE victim, THE other, THE scapegoat… or…not a goat, a lamb, THE Lamb of God who is victimised and is killed at the hands of the many.

    Allow me to change metaphor… Ps 118…He is THE stone the builders rejected.

    Then . surprise twist, the rejected stone is precisely the stone that will form the new building (temple, church) of Gods design. In a very real sense the gay couple and the refugee… they are the ones who fit neatly into this new building because they are the rejected ones and they are particularly close to the heart of God.

    If Mike Semmler is asserting that this battle about the fundamental rights of and compassion for the homosexual is a battle for the gospel.

    I think he is right.

  2. Tapman says:

    Well said, it is a battle for the Gospel, thanks for comment.

  3. Thanks for your blog Tapman. I appreciate your thoughts.
    It seems to us that scapegoating also happens in the LCA to those who hold different theological positions. One of our correspondents seems to take pride in isolating himself from society in the name of purity. As persecution is seen to be expected for Christians, this anti-evangelical behaviour (ironic isn’t it) becomes a self-reinforcing position. This stance allows no toleration for diversity of practice when it comes to women’s ordination, which seems to guarantee that schism is just a matter of time.

    • Tapman says:

      Thanks… Sr Joan Chittister said: “To suppress the question now can only delay its coming and, at the same time, increase its impact when it does.”

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