First off, Id like to give fair warning. I believe some of the words I am about to say will be convicting to the point of angering some of my Brother Christians. Second.. I realize I am as flawed..if not more as the next man.. so I dont approach this from an aire of perfection. At all.
So, the back story – Recently there was a meme and others, taking a jab at Ken Ham. It pointed out that, with the money he spent on this replica, he could have essentially bought housing and a meal for the homeless in Kentucky.
I shared this to my wall (I have since taken it down), as I thought the concept was challenging. However, instead of getting the spirit of it, and engaging in some self reflection as Christians, people have been up in arms over it. “How dare we challenge his attempt to evangelize, or his capacity for love? “, those were statements thrown around.
One of my more learned friends, a wonderful Dominican Friar priest, pointed out our Lord, rebuked the disciples who tried to stop Mary Magdalene from using oil on him, because to quote our Lord “There will be poor always, but you will not always have me”. My retort was, our Lord realized that Mary was doing something practical. Jesus knew he was about to die. Myrr he was anointed with was a foreshadowing of the grave. Alas, the good Father and I disagree, and I have to respect his opinion, as it was articulate, and certainly him being a Dominican, dwarfs me intellectually.
However, that was when some took it personal. I was asinine (quoted), for challenging both his evangelization effort ( Of having an Ark Museum), and pointing out that his capacity for love was low (I compared the effort to the “Clanging Cymbal” St Paul mentioned).
I tried in earnest, to point out, that given the fact Mr Ham, is an avid Creationist, and is well-known for it, that he does our unified movement no service, given that we all get to be lumped in with a kook. Scripture scholars have always maintained that the 1st and Second Creation Stories, and the Ark, are not to be taken 100 percent literally, but instead are inspired stories meant to teach (Look up the word “Elohist”… They wrote genesis…I digress)
First of all, the bigger issue – You want to evangelize, FINE do it right – Teach on the Cross, and WHERE our salvation comes from – The Ark was merely a precursor to Calvary. All you are doing with an Ark Museum is opening a door.. that people can look in … but it’s still not them inside the house.
Calvary is the source of our salvation. NOT an Ark. If you leave out the Cross (as many TV Evangelicals DO).. you are teaching soft Christianity. You are trying to make people feel good. You are not gaining anything for the kingdom. Period.
Look at this – THIS is our salvation.. Not a cross
Second, and this is the Convicting part – When did we as Christians become such pansies? Have you people even read any of the ecumenical Councils? The LENGTHS the church fathers endured to ensure that the faith and teaching remained pure. There is even an account of St Nicholas (where we get santa from) Punching Arius in the Jaw at a similar Biblical interpretation gaff. He went to jail, only to be released and exhonorated once the rest of the Bishops came back to their good senses.
The only person who will keep our house clean as Christians is US. We have a duty to challenge each other (in charity..and always with Charity), in order to hold ourselves accountable. Do you think the Master will go any easier on you?
This past week My Pastor’s homily mentioned the Good and Faithful Servants.. and the Wicked servants – Which one will you be? The ones who Buried their Talents.. (equivalent to ignoring error when it is there..) or will we cultivate and work those talents? It’s up to us. The Message we teach, has to be challenging, and not simply self-serving.. else we are simply burying the talents.
Look, I’m probably one of the most flawed people around. I have my sin just like anyone else. At the same time, I also find it disturbing that we as Christians, don’t keep our own house better. It makes it that much more difficult for those inside to maintain a good path.
Do I think Mr Ham, meant well? God only knows (I mean no pun or hyperbole there) – However… at the same time, if we are going to allow at best… erratic thinking such as Creationism to have a stage, and at worse, never condemn the WestBoros.. or the Abusive backwoods Christian faiths that are out there (and also in heresy… think Early Pentecostalism, Oneness.. Snake Charmers.. etc), or the Mega Churches that simply profit off of people’s spiritual greenness.. Then we have NO BUSINESS criticizing other faiths for their lack of effort in that regard. In the end we look non intellectual. We look inarticulate. We look stupid. We will have to answer for our spiritual cowardice.
I know this comes off like a rant. It partially is , but I sincerely direct it out of love. Our Lord, in his trial, didn’t say much, except what he needed to say. He didn’t hold back, one bit though. We should follow that example. Even Peter and Paul Rebuked each other on more than one occasion.
They’ll know we are Christians by how much we LOVE. Not by the buildings we create or how many salvations we can count on some website.