Sunday, June 3, 2007

FOH: The Low Point: Yvette Flunder

Dr Yvette Flunder

Senior Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ Presiding Bishop, Refuge Ministries/Fellowship 2000

Dr. Flunder was the only one of the preachers at the Festival of Homiletics that simply disgusted me. I appreciated some thing she had to say, but her ending—totally trashing the uniqueness and divine origin of both the Bible and of Christ offended me greatly. Her message is what gives “Progressive Christianity” a bad name.

She used as her main texts: Gen. 16:7-10 and Gen. 21:13-20. She spoke of Hagar and Sarai. We think of God’s blessing being on Isaac, the son of Sarai. But God’s blessing and protection was also on Ishmael, the son of Hagar.

The point she sought to make was that we have a God who prefers “Both/and” over “either/or.” Flunder noted that both/and preaching does not go over well in either a conservative fundamentalism or liberal fundamentalism.

We want to know what side people are on in the big issues of our day. “Choose your side. Choose your folks. Pick your folks and agree with them. Choose which you are.”

She (fairly correctly, I believe) noted that fundamentalism is based on the idea that I know all about God and how he would act. When something seems both-and, fundamentalists explain why it can’t be. It HAS to be “either-or.”

Scriptures speak to the both/and-ness

  • “Other sheep have I”
  • ”Mary has chosen better”
  • “Neither male nor female”

In the Garden of Eden, there were two trees: the tree of Good and Evil and the tree of life. Christians have spent too much time at the wrong tree. Don’t look at good and evil. Look at what brings life and spend your time listening and studying there. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we didn’t make an idol of the books but honored the God that is named in the books.”

It is not Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad. It is Jesus AND Buddha and Muhammad. It is not the Bible or the Vedas or the Qur’an. It is the Bible AND the Vedas and the Qur’an.

I left, thoroughly disgusted. Neither the needs of the world here and now nor the needs of people for all eternity benefit from this sort of trash preaching. It was pure, unadulterated garbage. If she truly held to her convictions, she would have no place helping the poor, seeking justice or helping people become reconciled with God. There is no ultimate good or evil, and so do what you individually things give YOU life. (However that is defined). The God of Jesus and the God of Muhammad are not reconcilable. The understanding of the nature of reality as preached by Jesus and the scriptures are incompatible with the understanding of the nature of reality found in Buddhism.
In the soft-headed culture in which she lives, her message is politically correct (because our culture refuses to think of the consequences of their philosophies), but her message is totally contradictory both to the spirit and the message of the Christ she claims to follow.
"Nuf said." I was not impressed.

1 comment:

President Ahmedinajad said...
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