Thursday, May 2, 2013

Things change

Growing up a baptist, I had many friends who would proudly announce they were fundamentalists and strictly adhered to the Bible( unlike the Catholics).
Well then comes today's reading from Acts.

It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.

Idols - easy enough

Porneia- in Greek, a term whose exact translation is debated, translated here as unlawful marriage or fornication. How many are divorced and remarried?

Meat from strangled animals- even my own mother told stories of ringing a chickens neck.

Blood- how many Christians actually kosher their meat removing all the blood before they cook it? And then there is English black pudding, German blood sausage, andnFilipino dinuguan. Are they all sinful ?

From our Catholic perspective these things do not cause great consternation , because we do not see the Bible as the end. We believe that Jesus founded the Church as a living reality guided by the Holy Spirit.

Selling your daughter (Ex 21:7) we now recognize as sin.
Tattooing forbidden (Lev 19:28). Coptic (Egyptian) Christian have done for years to proudly proclaim their Christian identity.

We distinguish between the unchanging truths that make up the deposit of faith and those things which with time can change. We trust that God guides the magisterium. Today's reading from acts reminds us that God gave us a structure and a system to deal with unchanging truth and an ever-changing world.