In my Christianity Post from earlier I put a great emphasis on the importance of timing.
Early on, I sited John 9:1-12 as having some personal significance to me as an individual who was born blind. I did not discuss the next section of that chapter.
13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.
16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
So here this miracle has taken place. A man who was once blind can now see. What do the Pharisees concentrate on? They say that Jesus can’t be a man of God because he did not keep the sabbath day. There was some debate but ultimately it was centered more on the mechanics than the miracles.
This brings me back to Eric’s post.
Like the Pharisees two-thousand years before them, 20th century quote-on-quote “fundamentalists” began adding to the list of fundamentals. Instead of simply embracing Sola Scriptura, and allowing that to be the dividing line, they began marking other man-made ideas and values as essentials.
Soon, drinking became a reason for separation. Tattoos. Rock Music. Going to theaters. Even not belonging to a particular denomination was grounds for division and separation.
I saw this a lot. I saw more arguments over church policy than I ever did over doctrine. A friend was even criticized once for not serving on enough committees. I dislike committees in general so had that charge been leveled against me (and it easily could have since I really didn’t serve on any committees) I would have worn it as a badge of honor.
Like Eric, I do not identify myself with the modern version of Fundamentalism and certainly not with the cultural stereotype of Fundamentalism. I will forever identify myself with the historical definition, however.
His article is a good one and he says a lot in very few words. As you all know, I say a lot in too many words. lol