NOTE FROM BB: Matt Kennedy is writing a defense of scripture over at Stand Firm (click headline above to see his posting) entitled, "Scriptural Infallibility and Women in Fancy Hats." It's really really good, Below is my first response to his posting and I thought I'd put it up here as well. Had to. I mentioned Bob Dylan.
Responding to Matt Kennedy's "Scriptural InfallibiIity and Women in Fancy Hats"
Scripture: I Corinthians 11:2-16
Isn’t this passage regarding the clash of culture (whatever they may be) with the heart of worship? Paul is speaking to the prevailing issue that faced the Corinthians, but the underlining point is that worship should be in order - and we ourselves should not be the focus of the worship, but God himself. Obviously there was a lot more going on during the community worship then people coming to be in the presence of the Risen Lord. It doesn’t seem as though these particular Corinthians were as passionate about coming to worship the Lord as they were to exhibit their liberty.
Bob Dylan - of course (would you have expected less) took this the opposite way with his cultural satire of the 1960s in “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat.” There was a time that the church - and the American culture - took the head covering in the complete opposite direction then what Paul is dealing with here, where it became more about the hat on your head then what was inside your head (which Dylan slyly refers to). Even now, we love to exhibit (through hair styles rather than hats) our own personal exhibition of personal liberty - sometimes with the implication that it’s really “all about me” and not about God. But I think it still refers to the point Paul is making. It’s not about us. We are not the center of the universe.
What is amazing here - for the time in which he is writing - is the amazing equality that both men AND WOMEN (sorry for shouting) are participating equally in worship! That’s unheard of! Why don’t the liberals catch that instead of harping about who or who doesn’t have their head covered? Notice too that Paul makes it a point of mutual submission in this passage, even as he speaks to the relationship between husbands and wives or men and women. There are deeper issues that he’s addressing (ones that are still uncomfortable, but necessary - much like Matt’s excellent illustration of getting his computer fixed) about how men and women best relate to each other to bring out the best in each other - based not on selfishness, but what is best for the other. It is true humility he is getting at - and again, I am still stunned that liberals miss this. Someone please get them their pill box hat and let’s move on.
Which I think gets to the major point of Matt’s piece so far. They go into the scriptures with an attitude of distrust and they have a great difficulty trusting what they are reading. One gets the feeling that they really don’t like the Bible very much.
I am a fan of JK Rowling. I get into rather heated (sometimes) but often passionate debates (one really can’t call them discussions) with other great fans of Rowling over her Harry Potter series - especially the mysteries, which are many (remind you of anything?). We can go on and on debating the finer points of the series - but it’s a whole different thing (and why we keep doing it) is because we LOVE the series. We dig into it, looking for nuances and clues and making a case for this, or a case for that and then come back again and again. But we do it because we love the text, we love the story, and we love the characters. We come together because we share that love for the book.
This is not what we find in these “discussions” with progressives who neither seem to love the scriptures (talk about irony when they the make these claims - including, sadly, the new PB - about making the Bible an idol - that is black-kettle irony at its best) nor the story nor the characters. And how can we be Christians and not passionately love the Book?