Interestingly enough, Jesus tells the blindly religious:
"You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me!"
John 5:39, The MessageJesus places himself above Scripture more than once (Imagine that!). It's funny. As soon a religion overwhelmed relationship, we began to use Scripture to explain Jesus, rather than Jesus to explain Scripture. When we do this, we get funny.
We burn witches. And Protestants. And Catholics. And Mormons. We persecute homosexuals. If Church leaders are capable of something as asinine as the Crusades, surely they are capable of a couple of theological errors. Paul, Mr. Gung Ho Off the Freaking Chain, speaks to the fact in 1st Corinthians, when he holds forth on what he and God think about marriage and divorce, making it a point to mention that his ideas and God's are separate. What a concept. I have never heard any mention of this from a pulpit. Another troublesome verse in Acts speaks tellingly to the fact that even Peter and the Jerusalem Apostle's Association don't know where God stands on doctrine. Peter even goes so far as to put this in writing.
One passage of Acts tells us a story of some new gentile Christians. They have been relaxing in euphoric generosity (Old school Christians would sell their shit and give the money to the Church to parcel out to the needier Christians), because they don't have to go to Hell and Burn Forever. Hell Yeah! (hell, no?) Of course we love Jesus! Have some money, and lets eat together!
Often, just as we are thinking how cool Jesus is some religious guy comes over and has to ruin it. God wanted to make sure we knew this has been happening since the very beginning, as we see from Acts of the Apostles. Some ultraspiritual dudes pop up and tell the newbies "Ah, You need to cut off part of your dick to do this Jesus thing, and not go to Hell and Burn Forever."
There is naturally a stunned silence. (Ya gotta love Luke. His Gospel, and the Book of Acts are fascinating.)
The Committee Representing Those Who Read the Bible and Know What God Wants continue: "Not all of it. Just part of it. And not even the most important part. We just want you to cut off the skin that keeps the head sensitive. So sex is more fun. Cut that part off. We had to do it. Don't you love Moses? Jesus did this. Jesus loved Moses."
This seemed like a big step. These new Christians wanted a second opinion. Even the girls. (I'm sure this was the talk of the congregation, even though Luke doesn't explicitly state this).
They send Paul's Posse to confer with Peter and The Jerusalem Apostle's Association. (This had to really annoy Paul, who thinks he is an Apostle...good stuff, the Bible.) They Have A Meeting. Never known for verbal restraint, Peter begins to preach. Then they write a letter. A letter where Peter makes clear that apostolic opinion on doctrine is only that. An opinion. This is special. We'll take a look at the letter next week.