Monday, 9 July 2012

The Skipped Bits in the Revised Common Lectionary

Yesterday we had another edited Revised Common Lectionary Old Testament reading. We skipped the reference to David's unseemly prejudice against the lame and the blind as he captured Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 5. I've expressed my dismay concerning this editing before. Here are some things that concern me:

  1. Sunday only readers and hearers will not only get an unrealistic impression of the Biblical witness but also skewed portrait of important Biblical characters like David.
  2. Holy Scripture's impact as a dynamic, "living and active" account of a real God dealing with real people who are not only capable of great love, faithfulness and goodness, but of error, sin and cruelty, is diminished.
  3. Real Biblical people like David become mere cut-out figures in a politically correct religious fairy tale.
  4. It becomes easier to manage or avoid other disturbing passages such as those that get a little close to the bone on matters of sin and judgement and God's anger, and those that call into question the ways in which we might like to express our sexual selves exramaritally—all the references to homosexuality, for example, have been excised.
  5. We miss the opportunity to compare and contrast the "offending" bit with the loving reality of Jesus and his teaching.
  6. I feel I'm being managed so that rather than being under the authority of God's utterly demanding Word, I am being invited to accept a religious, politically correct revisioning of Scripture based on what a small group of humans think God would have said if He'd been as progressive and compassionate as they think He should have been.