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"MISINFORMATION" by Rembert Truluck

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  • U.M. Cornet
    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE MISINFORMATION By Rembert Truluck. Update for October 5, 1999 Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse http://www.truluck.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 1999
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      CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE


      "MISINFORMATION"
      By Rembert Truluck. Update for October 5, 1999
      "Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse" http://www.truluck.com
      Thanks for passing this on. Feel free to print and mail this. Please
      put a LINK to my web site on yours. Tell me if you have a web site.

      When I taught Bible courses at the Baptist College of Charleston, SC,
      from 1973 to 1981, my first priority was to help the students "unlearn" some
      of the misinformation that they had been given about the Bible. I usually
      had about 300 students in one big class of Bible Survey. A semester of Old
      Testament Survey and a semester of New Testament Survey were required for
      graduation at that time.

      My classes included a great diversity of religions, races, culture
      backgrounds, ages, and levels of education. The college offered
      government funded scholarships to all who qualified, and that required
      compliance with the recently enacted national civil rights
      anti-discrimination laws. One semester, my survey classes included 30
      Moslem students from Iran, most of whom had never seen a New Testament.

      I met individually with each of the Iranian students and told them that I
      would help them pass the course, because I realized that everything that
      they gave to me on a test was learned in the class and that they had no
      background at all in New Testament to draw on. They all passed. I felt that
      this was my way of being a true follower of Jesus and that this could help
      open the door for them to know about Jesus in a positive way. Who knows, I
      might have had a future President of Iran in my
      class!

      All of my survey classes included Jews, Catholics, Pentecostals,
      Atheists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists,
      other Evangelicals, and many varieties of religion. Local clergy also took
      my classes. I am sure that a lot of Gay and Lesbian people were in the
      classes, but at that time, of course, everybody tried hard to remain in the
      closet, including me.

      Teaching these college classes helped to prepare me for my increasingly
      inclusive ministry in MCC in Atlanta, San Francisco and Nashville and laid a
      foundation for my web site and book. One fact was obvious to me as I taught
      college level courses in Bible. Most people are not prepared for objective
      study of the Bible based on what they have been told about the Bible in
      their homes and churches. Misinformation about the Bible is far more deeply
      entrenched in our culture than I had ever imagined.

      THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF MISINFORMATION

      The word most used in the Greek New Testament for "ignorant" or
      "ignorance" is "AGNOSIS" from which we get the word "agnostic" that
      means "not to know" based on the Greek word "gnosis" for knowledge.
      "Agnosis" is translated by the word "ignorant" in Romans 1:13, where
      Paul said: "I do not want you to be ignorant, sisters and brothers."

      Other uses of "AGNOSIS" as "ignorance" are in Romans 10:3 and throughout
      many of Paul's writings. One very strong use of the term is in 1 Peter
      1:15: "It is the will of God that by doing the right thing, you may silence
      the ignorance of foolish people." (See the variety of uses of this term for
      "ignorant" and "ignorance" in Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 10:l, 12:1; 14:38;
      2 Corinthians 1:8; 2:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Ephesians 4:18; Acts 3:17 and
      17:30; and 1 Peter 1:14.)

      The word "agnosis" is used in a very negative sense as a "sin" in
      Hebrews 9:7: "The high priest offers (blood) for himself and for the
      sins (Greek: "agnoematon" literally "ignorances") of the people." The
      term is used in the Apocrapha for "the sin of ignorance."

      A different more intense word is used for "ignorant" in Acts 4:13, where
      Peter and John were called "uneducated" (Greek: "agrammatoi") and "ignorant"
      (Greek: "idiotai") which referred to a "homebody" or private person as
      contrasted to a learned professional. Our word "idiot" derives from it and
      goes beyond the original meaning to refer to a "simpleton" or someone who is
      foolish or stupid.

      JESUS CONFRONTED MISINFORMATION

      Jesus always dealt with the ignorance of the common people with
      compassion and understanding. Jesus explained Bible passages that had
      been misused to hurt people and took the time to give correct
      information about God and God's unconditional love and acceptance of all
      people.

      Jesus, however, was far more stern in rebuking the religious leaders for
      their blindness and false teachings. Jesus is pictured in Matthew 23 in
      eloquent confrontation with professional religious teachers who had
      misinformed the people about God. At the end of the story about the man
      born blind in John 9, Jesus said that religious leaders were the ones who
      were really blind.

      "Not seeing" and "not knowing" often were used interchangeably in the
      Gospels, as in Mark 8:17-18, "Do you not yet see or understand? Do you
      have a hardened (dull and insensible) heart ? Having eyes, do you not
      see? And having ears, do you not hear? (quote from Ezekiel 12:2) And do you
      not remember´┐Ż?" And in 8:21, Jesus added, "Do you not yet
      understand?" This theme of the ignorance of the disciples in grasping the
      message of Jesus continues through most of Mark chapters 8 and 9.

      MISINFORMATION CAN BE DEADLY

      Incorrectly labeled medicine can kill. Misinformation about the Bible
      and homosexuality has led to an epidemic of self-destructive behavior
      and suicide. Twisting and abusing the Bible to mislead people about
      God's inclusive love and acceptance of all people is one of the greatest
      crimes of our century. Misinformation about the Bible and about God covers
      the land like a giant blanket of dark polluted fog that blinds and stings
      the eyes and confuses the mind.

      Much of modern American "Christianity" has begun to offer a deadly brew of
      emotions, prejudices, scientific errors, political ambitions and
      manipulations, and mind darkening false explanations of selected
      biblical texts instead of the clear consistent "good news" of the Gospel of
      Jesus Christ, "once delivered to the saints" and continued through those who
      faithfully follow Jesus. Gloomy legalism has replaced the joyful good news
      of freedom in Christ for multitudes of people.

      Churches: Get back to Jesus, where you belong, or quit calling
      yourselves "Christian." This is the challenge to the Christian world
      in the beginning of the new millenium. LGBT believers are God's special
      chosen people to lead the way out of the darkness and back into the light of
      God's love for all people. You have an important role in this new beginning
      of God's love and truth. You are helping to shape the future even now as
      you read this.

      We will not fail. We cannot fail. Eventually, the TRUTH that has been
      smothered in misinformation and radical ignorance will burst out of the
      darkness and into the glorious light of the presence of God. The exact
      forms of this new beginning are only now beginning to emerge and grow. What
      is your role in what is happening and about to happen in the spiritual
      renewal of America and the world and in your own personal rebirth of life
      and hope?

      After the Sunday service, a pastor asked his wife what was wrong with
      his sermon. She replied, "Your prayer was misdirected. You prayed for
      power, but what that sermon needed was ideas!"

      Rembert Truluck

      "It's a pity that ignorance isn't painful."

      For encouragement read all of Romans, chapters 5, 6, 7, & 8 and dwell on the
      hope described in 8:31 "If God is for us, who can stand against us?" and the
      absolute promises of God's unconditional love in 8:31-39.
      See http://www.truluck.com/html/legalism_as_idolatry.html for a
      corrective to misinformed religion. Click and Read the Bible passages.

      PO Box 24062, Oakland, CA 94623. Phone: (510) 533-4588
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