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Clarifying a fanatical letter in Federal Way | Feb. 17
A fanatic may be defined as a person who "can't change his mind, and won't change the subject."
Shelly Matson, who wrote the extremist/fundamentalist letter to The Mirror (Feb. 14) condemning Wayside United Church of Christ member Rev. Sharp, should reflect on whether or not that shoe fits, and if so should wear it.
I've attended that same Wayside UCC church weekly for two decades, with time-outs when I was living and working out of this area. Rev. Sharp is not on our church staff, but he has now and then preached as a guest minister. His own candid account, as part of one sermon, was simply that his mindset always has been male, and as a transgender he changed his body to be consistent with his mind. He does not see that change as any rejection of how God made him. Nor do I.
Contrary to Matson's assertions, the Bible was not written all at once and dropped upon humanity like a thunderclap. It was developed over many hundreds of years, by dozens of authors. Some books were first composed in ancient Hebrew, some in Aramaic and some in Greek. All of these languages are still spoken, in modernized form, in the lands bordering the eastern Mediterranean. None of them much resembles English. The history of our Bible is well documented.
Today, Jews, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Catholics and Protestants all vary as to what books they include within their sacred Bibles. The first Christian Bibles were compiled at the direction of the Roman Emperor Constantine, three centuries after Christ. What we today call the Old Testament had already been in use among Jews for hundreds of years by that time. To become a Christian minister or priest today, a seminary student must learn this complex Biblical history, book by book.
Any Bible in English, whether King James Version or Revised Standard Version, has come down to us through many calligraphic scribes (in the days before printing technology) and translators. Our Bible is, to Christians, our most sacred and supremely important book — but it obviously is not "inerrant" except to those who don't know or choose not to know its fascinating history.
Chuck Hastings, Federal Way