Listen up people. Violence is not the answer to dealing with Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the so-called Religious Right in the United States. We do not know what the motivation was for the shooting mentioned in the post below. Regardless of the reason, we here at the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog officially and publicly denounce this act of violence at the nondenominational Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
You have no doubt read the up-to-the-minute news item about the murder attempt against the pastor of the nondenominational Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This pastor offered a public prayer for Ted Cruz and his campaign for President of the United States at a political gathering on Saturday. He was shot multiple times in his church parking lot the next day. If you are one of the few people who have not read that breaking news story, you may do so at the following link:
I have become a bit jaded over the years when any church puts up a glitzy website; declares itself to be a nondenominational church; and adopts a soft-pudding name like Faith Promise Church. Such churches are often Christian fundamentalist churches disguised to look as if they are not fundie churches. I thought it would be interesting to visit the website of the Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene and sneak a peek at some of what this church believes. I was not surprised. To my way of thinking, it is indeed a fundie church. Take a look at this item from their list of core beliefs:
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority on all spiritual matters. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their historical, practical, prophetical, and literal meaning. To avoid confusion, and promote unity the King James Version of the Bible shall be the preferred translation used by this fellowship. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
The part of this statement that really caught my eye is the sentence highlighted in blue. Notice the use of the word complete. In my opinion, this is a typical fundie expression of spiritual arrogance wherein ordinary men attempt to shackle the Holy Trinity with chains and dictate to God that He cannot and must not communicate with human beings or reveal anything new to human beings outside the already existing pages of the Holy Bible—and the King James Version of it no less.
Never mind that the Bible, as we know it today, did not exist as a unified book in ancient times and that God did a great deal of his communicating with human beings outside the pages of scripture. For example, in the Book of Genesis, none of the books that make up our current Bible had even been written, yet God communicated directly with all sorts of characters such as Adam, Eve, Noah, Cain, etc. Indeed, throughout the Bible, God comes directly to people in extra-scriptural ways or sends messengers when He wants to communicate something or reveal something to human beings. Moreover, I am reminded specifically of the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:26:
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
God is bigger than you can possibly imagine. He has no limits—not even those He might place on himself because he has the Holy prerogative to change his mind—which He often does in the pages of the Bible. Christian fundamentalists have no right to shackle God with chains and dictate to God what He may do and what He may not do. God does whatever he pleases, and no fundie is ever going to stop him. This includes the manner in which He chooses to communicate with human beings, and this communication can easily be outside the words of the Bible. With God, all things are possible.