Saturday, October 17, 2009


Whether you are a Christian or not, this video of the interview with Rev. Peter J. Gomes, minister at Harvard University, is a wonderful explication of both the Bible as well as its relationship to God, Christianity, the spiritual life, and the stuff of life amidst which we all live.

Rev. Gomes is the author of several books, two of which I think are absolutely superb: "The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart"; "The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?" I strongly urge you to read both of these books!

Rev. Gomes is a gay Christian who is about the most thoughtful and erudite contemporary exponent of the Christian faith and the Gospel who will give you a perspective about the subjects with which he deals that you may well not have been exposed to before!

This interview occurred before Obama was elected President, and Gomes deals with the role of race and class in U.S. society, and predicted that "race" would be a significant issue that would have to be dealt with in every aspect of U.S. society should there be a Black President. One doesn't have to listen to too many reactionary radio talk shows to hear some of the hosts and callers talk about, "taking our country back" which, in my opinion, is often code for them wanting a white person back in the office of President.

I must say that I disagree with Rev. Gomes when he attributes equal authority to the Old and the New Testaments; advocates the relevance of the Law within the Old Testament.

I firmly believe that Jesus fulfilled the whole Law within Himself; His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven replaced the Law with the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to those who trust God over and above seen circumstances.) that the Apostle Paul beautifully explicated, particularly in the Books of Romans and Galatians.

This is the video of the interview with Rev. Gomes that I urge you to see in its entirety:

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You are absolutely correct about the Gospel of Grace, Jerry. Anybody who calls himself a Christian at the same time that he tries to validate Levitican Law is not yet a true Christian. There is simply no such thing as an Old Testament Christian, but far too many people don't know that!

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. As you know, the "Gospel" means "good news." What's the "good news" if we have to obey 613 Mosaic Laws?

Jesus came to free us from the Law as He fulfilled within Himself the whole law and now, in this new dispensation, we are under the Gospel of grace. As the Apostle Paul said, "The law was our tutor, or schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ."

Why so many professing Christians fail to understand that fact is a mystery to me. And their failure to understand the essence of Christianity, and then have the temerity to propagate their ignorance, has caused them, LGBT people, and so many others untold suffering, and has besmirched Christianity, and even Jesus, in the eyes of so many intelligent, decent, and sensitive people. Best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

This is just my opinion but quite possibly many Chrstians tie teir beliefs with being in control of everything. What they don't consider is that there are Christians form every race, socioeconomic and cultural background who love and serve God humbly regardless of their material possessions.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi genevieve: It seems to me that the "me culture" that has long existed in secular society has infiltrated much of the institutional Church so that many professing Christians have a tendency to make God into their own image; that they see God as some kind of cosmic bellhop Who puts them at the center of things.

Taken to its extreme limits, the notions that "God wants you to be rich," or the "name it and claim it" doctrine seeks to make God the servant of human beings; many fail to understand our contract with God where Christians are to serve God, and God is not here to serve us!

The reactionary politics of most of the institutional Church also reflects this heresy where professing Christians can pray for us winning the war in Iraq, for example, or for their extolling of capitalism and militarism as part of what is all too frequently and erroneously defined as our being "a Christian nation."

With heresies such as these in abundance, many professing Christians can see no inconsistency between xenophobia and their proclaiming themselves to be "Bible-believing Christians."

Best wishes, Jerry.