Scripture is a conversation

by Kim on August 18, 2010

In view of Tim Chesterton’s response to a comment by DH in the thread to my post “Hauerwas on spirituality: ‘the assholes got it’”, here is the first hymn I ever wrote (in desperation, simply because I couldn’t find a hymn in any of the hymnbooks I have that say what I wanted to sing in a service on Bible Sunday).

Scripture is a conversation,
Ezra, Jonah, Peter, Paul;
hidden is God’s revelation,
told to some but meant for all.

Like a conference, many speakers
vie to make their voices heard;
only to the eyes of seekers
is disclosed the living Word.

We are called to be discerning
as we eavesdrop on the text;
not for answers but for learning
may the Spirit richly vex.

Move me from my fixed opinions,
axe laid to the frozen sea;
Lord, I long for your dominion,
liberated from my “me”.

Thus unthreatened by the other,
unconcerned with being wrong,
may we add with sister, brother,
to your all-inclusive song.

Kim Fabricius

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Pam 08.19.10 at 8:18 am

I’ve just read dh’s latest comment on “….and the pecularity of the Christian sinner” and I seriously thought about giving up and reaching for a glass of wine! Then, reading this, restored me (somewhat) to sanity, thanks Kim.

2

Richard 08.19.10 at 10:48 am

Lord, I long for your dominion,
liberated from my “me”

I could sing that.

Sometimes I might even mean it.

3

Tony Buglass 08.19.10 at 11:20 am

“…I seriously thought about giving up and reaching for a glass of wine!”

No, no - don’t give up but do have the glass of wine. Much more fun.

4

dh 08.19.10 at 4:05 pm

Well guys, Scripture does say “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit.” So it appears from God there is a limit to that wine being drunk.

How can one say that we should look for answers in the text when God’s Word says “Be ready to give an answer for the hope of your calling.”? If specific fixed opinions (not all because we are called from Faith to Faith) happen to be truth then how is it that we should move away from that truth?

5

dh 08.19.10 at 4:06 pm

How can one say that we should “NOT” sorry for the missing word. :( :)

6

Tony Buglass 08.19.10 at 4:54 pm

“If specific fixed opinions (not all because we are called from Faith to Faith) happen to be truth then how is it that we should move away from that truth?”

But that’s what you were arguing the other day! I have certain opinions which are demonstrably and empirically true. They are not biblical. You said that I should change to fit biblical ideas - but that would mean moving away from something that happens to be truth!

(Sounds of DH trying to remove his foot from his mouth…) ;)

7

Kim 08.19.10 at 5:48 pm

Proverbs 26:9.

8

Kim 08.19.10 at 5:51 pm

Also Proverbs 27:22.

9

Kim 08.19.10 at 5:55 pm

Also the Bible says - GOD says ;) - it’s okay to get drunk when life REALLY sucks. See Proverbs 31:6-7.

10

Kim 08.19.10 at 5:58 pm

Though, personally, any old excuse will do.

11

dh 08.19.10 at 7:41 pm

Kim, you are not recognizing that it is not a license for people to get drunk but that for those whose hearts are so hard to God as to not have any desire to ever accept the truth of God in any way they might as well get drunk. It is more a satire of those who are foolishly denying God in the extreme if one looks at the few verses before verse 6 and after verse 7. The fact is ““Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit.” is as it says and is not contradicted.

Those other verse refer to people who drink is in reference to fools. So I think the passages point to the passage of not getting drunk more than you realize. The fact is there is nowhere in Scripture that says getting drunk is okay. The Bible references some Godly people who happened to get drunk but Scripture never condones what they did and even if one looks deeper can see the problems they face in relation to God for their actions.

12

Richard 08.19.10 at 9:01 pm

I’m wondering how you arrive at that interpretation of Proverbs 31. It says pretty clearly: it isn’t a good thing for kings to indulge in booze (because it might make them unjust) but kings (OK, a particular king) are encouraged to slip the hard stuff down the throats of those who are struggling to help them forget their misery. If you take it literally, as you usually would, you’d be lobbying Obama for a federal beer programme! (Unless you think that’s a duty that should belong to the States :) )

13

dh 08.19.10 at 9:51 pm

The specific Scripture is in reference to fools. The context is that these people are foolish for not following God through a Godly King who doesn’t drink the strong stuff.

Prov. 26:9 “As a thorn goes up into the hand of the drunkerd so is a parable in the mouth of fools.” doesn’t seem like a positive view of being a drunkard. Seems like a condemnation

If one looks at it as satire as it is then one can see that it isn’t an advocate of being drunk for we are talking about people who have self-inflicted misery. Also one must look at all references to being drunk and one can see the clear condemnation for those who get drunk. Especially if in the NT it says the “be not drunk with wine passage”.

Proverbs 20:1, Isaiah 5:11, Isai 5:22, etc, even condemns the drinking of strong drink.

If one claims to follow Jesus, the prophesy of Jesus in Luke 1:15 which proves the point. To those who say John the Baptist (the one who Jesus said was greatest among those born of women alone) drank wine are wrong as well for Luke 1:15 says, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” I would venture to say that if John the Baptist didn’t drink wine nor strong drink that Jesus would do the same as him.

14

Richard 08.19.10 at 10:15 pm

Sorry DH, but this is another case of you picking and choosing when to take the text literally. I don’t have any problem with that as such. Picking and choosing, as I’ve said before, is what we all do. But you won’t or can’t see it.

15

Pam 08.20.10 at 9:06 am

I did have one glass of very nice Merlot!

16

Kim 08.20.10 at 10:08 am

Context of Isaiah 5 (which begins with the great parable of the vineyard=Israel, and which Jesus will take up, re-contextualise, and build on in the parable of the wicked husbandmen [Mark 12:1-9]): Isaiah’s diatribe against drunkenness isn’t a tract for teetotalism, it is a “Woe!” against the leaders, nobility, upper classes, and proto-capitalists of Israel who are living a luxurious and debauched life, extending their own power and prosperity by snapping up land and manipulating the legal system at the expense of small house- and property-owners, and abandoning altogether the urban and peasant poor. Isaiah 5 is about justice, not abstention. And so too was Jesus, who cursed the wealthy, the corrupt, the rapacious, blessed the poor and oppressed - and who got quite a reputation for excessive potation.

17

Richard 08.20.10 at 10:53 am

Potation.

Now there’s a word that deserves to be used more.

18

Kim 08.20.10 at 1:34 pm

I thought it rhymed nicely with “reputation”. :)

19

Tony Buglass 08.20.10 at 2:21 pm

Yup. I keep explaining to people that Methodists aren’t really abstainers; it’s just a rumour we spread about so no-one expects us to buy a round.

20

dh 08.20.10 at 4:08 pm

Kim, I didn’t mention teetolism just drunkedness, I do see it as an advocate again being drunk why else would there be a woe and why all the other passages regarding drunkedness that are rebuked by Scripture that mention that as well?

While I personally don’t drink alcohol, except on extreme rare occasions at a wedding, I don’t consider a problem for people who do except on the concept of drunkedness. However, the passage regarding John the Baptist has made me rethink that position and to support a little more toward teetolism but I’m not going to sit here and say it is wrong to drink a glass of wine aka analogy from the “meat passage” from the Apostle Paul.

21

dh 08.20.10 at 4:10 pm

againS’T being drunk. sorry for the typo. Man I can’t wait for the weekend.

I do agree with you Kim that it is about justice but it is also the individual specifics which includes being drunk as well. I don’t deny the context but the context doesn’t contradict the view I have as well. We are both right except you not saying it refers in addition to being drunk as wrong. Especially in light of all the Scriptures condemning it.

22

Richard 08.20.10 at 5:16 pm

It rhymes so well I expect to see it in a hymn before much longer!

23

Kim 08.20.10 at 6:58 pm

The church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
he’s lavish in potation
and serves an ample board…

24

dh 08.20.10 at 7:03 pm

We’ll since Jesus Christ followed His cousin John the Baptist then I suspect He wasn’t lavish in potation.

Question (humorous): Can a person be lavish in potation without being drunk? I suspect not. :)

25

Tony Buglass 08.20.10 at 7:08 pm

“We’ll since Jesus Christ followed His cousin John the Baptist then I suspect He wasn’t lavish in potation.”

But his reputation was that he was.

“Can a person be lavish in potation without being drunk?”

Yup. Do it over a long period. Drink non-alcoholic drinks as well. Simples!

26

Tim Chesterton 08.20.10 at 7:11 pm

Tony, Richard, Kim - next time I’m in England, you pick the pub! My parents live in Oakham, though, so it’s a long way to Wales!

27

dh 08.20.10 at 8:02 pm

Tony, John the Baptist wasn’t lavish in potation if one reads this prophesy about JTP for Luke 1:15 says, “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”

potation: 1 : a usually alcoholic drink or brew
2 : the act or an instance of drinking or inhaling; also : the portion taken in one such act

(humorous) I’m looking at the main definition like you typically do in our conversations. You guys are following my lead looking at the secondary definitions. (more picking at myself) :)

Wow, Tony, your great. The jokes on me. Great to end on a funny tone at the end of the week. The same goes for you Kim. :)

28

Richard 08.20.10 at 8:27 pm

The church’s one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
he’s lavish in potation
and serves an ample board…

That’s a great start! We should finish that one. It’d be better than the original.

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