Wednesday, March 29, 2006

There Won't Be Soda Machines in Heaven...

I remember the great debate at bible college in the years of 1995 through 1997. No, it wasn't if the elect were the Jews, Angels, or disciples, or even Christians. No, it was also not whether God was first one person then three, or three persons than one. It wasn't even who actually wrote the book of Hebrews.

It was "Is it soda, or Pop?"

Yes, we students of the bible really knew how to get down to the nitty-gritty of a subject. The two most represented states were West Virginia (where the college was located) and Pennsylvania. Anyone from the east side of PA knows it's called soda. End of story. Any one from West Virginia, and even western Pennsylvania called it Pop, no ifs, ands, or buts. Then there was the one girl from Spain who always called it "Coke." It could have been Pepsi, Slice, or RC Cola, it was all "Coke" to her.

I don't know why this was going through my mind today, but it got me thinking, what kept us, as professed Christians at the time, from debating the real issues? Why did we avoid real in-depth bible study?

I was reading a post on Debunking Christianity called No Such Elective Offered. In it, the author talked about how Christians, while attending church all sixteen hundred times each week a service, worship group, or prayer meeting is offered, the Christians are there, but they are so busy agreeing with what they think they know about the bible, but they aren't learning about how the bible actually came about.

And, I almost hate to say, in all my two years of attending Appalachian Bible College, there was really no course on teaching actual bible history. And do you know why? It's not really that conservative's don't care, per se, but they use their bible as history. I know, I know, it's not the same thing.

But I think the mind-set goes something like this (having been there myself my whole life, I think I have a better clue than atheists and agnostics who haven't been raised and surrounded by conservative Christians). There really is no need for Christians to study how the bible came about, cause the answer lies in these passages:

  • 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
  • 2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

I won't even get into how many private interpretations there actually are of the bible, since apparently Paul and Peter never considered a country with 1,800 different branches of Christianity (just a guess...).
Following these passages, therefore, if the word of god is so good and perfect and inspired by god, it meets all their needs, as well as tells them everything they need to know. But these next verses, I think, seal the deal for most of them:

  • Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Timothy 6:3-8 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

And even now, I won't go into just how many people have been killed in wars, murders, and such in the name of religion, let alone Chriistianity.
So why does a Christian not want to hear about evolution? Or carbon dating? Or even other religions? The bible tells them so.

And even at conservative Appalachian Bible College, our great debate? What do we call what we drink. Because apparently, we only need be satisfied with the clothes we have and the food we eat. Sounds like a perfect set-up for a cult. Unquestioning followers, no thirst for knowledge, no need to ever think about anything but what to wear, what to eat, and what the bible has to say.

So whether it's soda, pop, soda-pop, or coke, it doesn't matter. As long as you show up for church on sunday, god will take care of everything.

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