“Savage Text”

“When the Bible is elevated to a status above Christ and embodiment of love and grace, it turns into a savage text that perpetuates persecution, oppression, and pain.

No, the savage text is not the Bible. It is what Christians have made of the Bible when they have used its pages to endorse cruelty, hatred, murder, oppression, and condemnation, often of other Christians.

The savage text is what the Bible, or parts of it, becomes when it enables Christians to convert the good news of God’s revealed love in Jesus Christ into the bad news that people are the wrong color, or race, or gender, or denomination, or orientation, or religion, or class, or empire, just because they differ from the Christians who are preaching this bad news.

The savage text makes hatred holy.”

— A. Thatcher, 2008 — “The Savage Text: The Use and Abuse of the Bible”

Reflection:

Text is neutral, but the reading of it is not, since the reader engages with the text from a specific standpoint, reflecting her/his own ideological, political, cultural, and socio-economic leanings.

Don’t let the interpretations and biases and preferences of others dictate or impose upon your very personal and intimate relationship with God. God’s word will connect with you in whatever form that takes– it is personal– and not for others to dictate or impose.  God knows how He wishes to be known to you.  God sent Jesus to speak on His behalf– Jesus as His one and only Son.  God can also speak rather directly to you through the Holy Spirit. Trust that God will speak to you and trust in your ability to listen and receive His messages, whatever they may be.

As always, there is no room for hatred or intolerance or bigotry at the table of communion or in the company of Jesus.  If a pastor or priest or preacher wants to justify the discrimination of LGBT persons of faith or otherwise using the Bible as his or her tool of justification, that clergy member is turning the Bible into a corrupt and abused savage text.

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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