About these guys and their penchant for trespassing outside their own KJB reservation:
I suspect that some Protestant sects are going the way of the Catholic Church…
by which I don’t mean that they’re going the way the Catholic Church is going now
but the way the Catholic Church was going back in the 17th century
when the Protestant communities split off from it.
IOW, they’re tending more and more toward wanting to institute a severe and deep gulf between a priestly class and the laity [sacerdotalism: requiring a spiritual mediator].
As we all know, the impetus for translating the Bible into German and Dutch and English (and so forth) [the Protestant Reformation] was the belief that each individual man (if not each individual woman) ought to be able to act as his own priest and enjoy an unfettered relationship with God [the doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers]. And the project was successful, which means that in any devout Protestant community most community members, men and women alike, now know the Bible most of the way through — though that’s only the official, acknowledged Bible (whichever version of it the community happens to be using).
So, if you want to separate the interpreters of the Bible from its readers and to give the former power over the latter, it’s no longer sufficient for the former group merely to stick to the interpretation of whatever version of the Bible they employ. No, they’ve got to go outside those boundaries and start citing Scripture their parishioners don’t know about and have never heard of, because only that can give the kind of power they’re after –
– which is the kind of power the Catholic priesthood had back in the 16th century and earlier — the power over the Holy Words which the laity can access only by means of the priesthood. (Which is kind of like having a corner on a commodity.)
In fact, the power the Protestant ministers who engage in this strategy stand to gain is even greater than the power of the priesthood because while a priest was-and-is answerable to his superiors a Protestant minister — especially of a non-mainline, runaway sect — need not be accountable to anybody.
If everyone read the Targum [the Aramaic Bible] and the Midrash [Rabbinic writings which “fill in the gaps in Scripture based on oral tradition] the way everybody reads the Bible (though of course I’m only talking about the kind of people who read the Bible in the first place) these guys probably couldn’t get away with this stuff, because somebody would show up and tell them that their interpretation was off. (Somewhat in the same way Orthodox Jews have already appealed to Michael Pearl to stop quoting them and have told him that he doesn’t understand their writings correctly, not that he listens to them.)
But that day is as of yet far off, and for the time being it looks like they have the field to themselves. I guess we’ll have to wait to discover how it all works out in the end.
Cindy is a member of the Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network.
Cynthia Mullen Kunsman is a nurse (BSN), naturopath (ND) and seminary graduate (MMin) with a wide variety of training and over 20 years of clinical experience. She has used her training in Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a lecturer and liaison to professional scientific and medical groups, in both academic and traditional clinical healthcare settings. She also completed additional studies in the field of thought reform, hypnotherapy for pain management, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that is often associated with cultic group involvement. Her nursing experience ranges from intensive care, the training of critical care nurses, hospice care, case management and quality management, though she currently limits her practice to forensic medical record review and evaluation. Most of her current professional efforts concern the study of manipulative and coercive evangelical Christian groups and the recovery process from both thought reform and PTSD.
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