Interesting Read

July 2, 2009

Tip of the Hat goes to reader Tony.

I, apparently, am not a Bible character.

I do want to note a quibble I have with the author (other than the whole “Blame the Puritans” thing; would it have hurt the argument to change it up? Maybe refer to Cortez or Pizarro?). Here is the pertinent quote:

You are not a Bible character – other than the one indicated in the New Testament – those who have put their faith in Christ and trusted [Him] for their salvation.

First off, it seems like Presbyter Freeman entitled his post poorly. Is he saying the repentant sinner is not a Biblical character?

The bigger problem is that he forgot a possibility. I would argue that you are not a Bible character, except for either the repentant sinner who has put one’s faith in Christ, trusting Him for their salvation, or an unrepentant sinner who (tacitly or not) put one’s faith in Satan, trusting him to keep the good times a’comin’. Putting one’s faith in Satan takes many different forms (idolatry, secularism, straight up Satanism, et cetera), but it all boils down to worshipping the One or the other. Need proof?

“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” – Luke 16:13

Mammon, of course, being either the name of an idol of prosperity in Christ’s time or wealth being personified (take your pick).

The question Presbyter Freeman forgot to ask, then, is, which master do you serve?

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” – Mark 1:15


2 Responses to “Interesting Read”

  1. Liber,

    Apparently you did not read the last two paragraphs of my article:

    You are not a Bible character – other than the one indicated in the New Testament – those who have put their faith in Christ and trusted him for their salvation. Our conversion experiences are whatever they may have been – but the Damascus Road conversion of St. Paul is not required of any but St. Paul.

    The behavior of pilgrims, priests and governors should be guided by the same moral teaching that applies to all Christians. There are no special circumstances that, as Bible characters, exempt us from the repentance and responsibility required of all. The words of Christ addressed to each and everyone are the same: “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” If such repentance should cost us a political office or even a continent – so be it. This is the character we were meant to be.

    I would gladly have spoken about Cortez’ genocide, except that he did so under a different sin than seeing himself as a Bible character. The early American exegesis that white settlers were the Israelites while Native Americans are the Canaanites was simply one among many historical examples I could have chosen. But it is an example where bad theology yields genocide. A useful example I would think.

    Just some thoughts – but I cannot understand your criticism “repent and believe the gospel” in the light of my last two paragraphs.

    I think I made it clear that Christ is the only right, true and good master.

  2. liberexmachina Says:


    First of all, thank you for noticing my semi-coherent ramblings. I certainly do appreciate feedback whenever it is given.

    I actually DID read the whole thing. My complaint was not about you quoting “repent and believe the Gospel” (I quote it myself at the end). My complaint was that you assume in the text that the only people reading your article are repentant, Bible-believing Christians. It is not a safe assumption to make. Some reading your article have already heeded the call to repentence, some have not. I do not know your readership, but I can point to one self-avowed atheist that has been over to my little part of the Interwebs.

    I just thought it wrong to exclude the possibility that someone does not fit the Biblical role of the repentant sinner. Excluding that, I agreed with what you had to say.

    Sorry for the confusion.

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