The Fundamentalist Interprets Scripture (Sheep and Goats)

The Fundamentalist Interprets Scripture (Sheep and Goats) August 31, 2015

On the day of Biblical interpretation, the fundamentalist sits on his glorious throne, and separates Bible passages before him, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And to those on his right, he says, “Come, things the Bible clearly says! For I was confident, and your fostered my arrogance; I was certain, and you gave me no reason to doubt; I hated others, and you assured me that God hated them too.”

And the Bible said nothing in reply, because a book cannot talk, and to hear what it says, one must read it with ears willing to hear.

And to the passages on his left, he says, “Depart from me, things the Bible cannot possibly mean! For I was confident, and you spoke of humility; I was certain, and you sought to put me in my place; I hated others, and you spoke of love even for enemies.”

And the Bible said nothing in reply, because a book cannot talk, and to hear what it says, one must read it with ears willing to hear.

And so it was that the passages on his right remained in his presence as “what the Bible clearly says,” while those on his left were sent away into everlasting forgetfulness. And there was weeping and gnashing of teeth – not from the Bible, which has no teeth to gnash, but from those who encountered the misguided fundamentalist, and found that even the teachings of the Bible could not get through to him.




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  • Phil Ledgerwood

    “Depart from me, thing about the early church selling what they had to care for the needy among them! Depart from me, parts of Leviticus that sound Jewish, but other parts of Leviticus, come, sit at my right hand.”

    • “And surely depart from me pretty much all of the prophets, except for the bits that I make sound like they might be messianic prophecy, because you’re all manner of confusing and make it sound like Judaism was more than a system of laws long before I believe that was the case.”

    • R Vogel

      Depart from me, Amos! With your progressive rants and tasty cookies….

  • Brilliant comparison! I like the Christians who respond to unpleasant passages about genocide or slavery (say) that we simply don’t know for sure what that means but then are certain that God agrees with them about abortion and the gays.

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      you are not serious I hope! hey what are you doing on our turf anyway I thot you were a florid athiest! Anyway welcome but try not to mock.

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    victimhood, entitlement, denial, black and white thinking, groupthink, scapegoating, Stockholm Syndrome, narcissism, sociopathy, structural violence;
    this is my short list!
    I would like to have discussions about these things as per the topic separating the sheep from the goats. there are reasons & wisdoms fundamentalists, of every stripe and character, are obsessed, compulsive and addicted to staying in control of their self-appointed gate-keeping protocols (protecting their turf). IMO being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can mean the difference between judgmentalism and discernment.

  • arcseconds

    The bits about books not being able to talk, and things not having teeth to gnash, reminds me of Plato 🙂

  • Yalesha DeSofia

    Beautifully done, Mr. McGrath!

  • ccws

    This is BRILLIANT.