Sunday, June 24, 2012
Saturday was the third annual Smokin' Railroad St. BBQ Cook-Off here in Elkmont, and Your Humble was called upon again to render judgment. We tasted chicken and ribs, and therein I had reinforced a valuable lesson.
Listen to the instructions.
This is a Backyard contest, smoking and grilling Like You Do at Home. The judging was overseen by Kansas City Barbeque Society judges. There are rules for presentation. Bed of lettuce or parsley garnish: OK. Other garnishes: NO! One contestant (we had the samples numbered, not by name) had his chicken thighs garnished with curly-thin orange slices: pretty, fragrant, and disqualifying. (The sad thing is that their chicken was THE best of our lot.) Came time for the ribs, and the same crew had orange slices AND apple wedges: fruit-salady and disqualifying. (This time, a cruel mercy, because the ribs tasted piggy and dreadful.)
They could have won the chicken easily, had they done it right. They added to the basic rules rather following them (for whatever reason...the Committee must follow the same rules for all). This turns out to be parabolic. When our Creator and Judge instructs us, we truly need to do what He says. Making up reasons Why We Shouldn't, or Why the Rules are Dumb, or Unfair, or (fill in current kindergarten-level complaint here) will not wash on the Last Day, and surely will not help us now, either. They had the BEST chicken, but did not win the prize.The Internet, and especially facebook, is rife with people putting up clever little screeds seeking to discredit five thousand years of covenant history to make whatever their little vice or fetish is to be OK. An example is below (note please, that I am not a homophobe. I am a stupidity-phobe. This is merely the most egregious example to appear of late. I really wish another cause du jour would come along, 'cause I'm bored with this one.)
I am amused at the lack of chapter-and-verse here, especially as he would instruct the church in areas of belief and practice. Thanks to OCR: here is a text version, with cogent commentary interspersed:
(NOTE- my understanding is that if you approach the Bible without an agenda, you come to truth. If you read with an agenda, all you get is your agenda.)
1. If Jesus did not mention a subject. it cannot be essential to his teachings.
Jesus spoke many things that people ignore, like "If you love me, keep my commandments", "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and they shall be one flesh....". Like that. He upheld the true teaching of the Law, without mentioning every Old Testament verse.
2. You are not being persecuted when prevented from persecuting others.
Speaking the truth in love is not persecution. Perhaps more aganda-driven believers should do this. And please stop conflating "Westboro Baptist" with "Christian".
3. Truth isn't like wine that gets better with age. It's more like manna you must recognize wherever you are, and whoever you are with.
Truth is truth. "Like manna"? What are you talking about? Truth depends upon who you are with?
4. You cannot call it "special rights" when someone asks for the same rights you have.
Getting married is not a right. Many areas require a marriage license. This establishes it as a privilege in the State's eyes, not a right.
5. lt is no longer your personal religious view if you’re bothering someone else.
They are still my personal views whether you like my speaking of them or not.
6. Marriage ls a civil ceremony. which means it's a civil right.
No. It is a ceremony. This does not identify it as a "right".
7. lf how someone stimulates the public nerve has become the needle to your moral compass, you are the one who ls lost.
Infinitely clever, this. Yet, it is true. As Christians, we must hew to the truth of God's Word, and follow His instructions. I must not allow public issues to guide me and my faith. Likewise, I must not allow public disdain for the truth to guide me away from God's Very Truth, even if I am persecuted for it.
8. To condemn homosexuality you must use parts of the Bible you don't yourself obey. Anyone who obeyed every part of Leviticus would rightly be put in prison.
No. Romans, First Corinthians, and Revelation provide clear light on the subject. The Christian is not "under the Law" as Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. However, the Law is our "schoolmaster" teaching us our need of Christ. If nothing else, we may derive God's opinion of homosexual practice from Leviticus. "Anyone who obeyed every part of Leviticus" today would be a cultist and a nutjob. OH! Try learning the difference between "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant". You may come across as less ignorant.
9. lf we do not do the right thing in our day, our grandchildren will look at us with same embarrassment we look at racist grandparents.
Right=/=popular consensus. Likely, our grandkids will be embarrassed by us no matter what we do.
10. When Jesus forbade judging, that included you.
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1&2. Jesus did not teach "Do not judge ever.". He taught "Don't judge unless you are willing to be judged by the same standard." Jesus was not a vending machine for pithy aphorisms. He spoke in complete and complex thoughts.
Lookit. If you are going to try to take down millennia of theological thought, try actually reading the source material, rather than just quoting the favorite verse tossed around by your favorite activist.