So today I read this story about a pastor who pitched a hissy. (There’s a link at the end of this post.) As Inigo Montoya said, “Let me sum up.”
The Pastor of a church in southern California (one Caleb Kaltenbach, lead pastor at Discovery Church) saw Bibles for sale at Costco with a sticker on them designating them as “Fiction.” He gets interviewed by Fox News (big surprise) and proceeds to “express outrage,” saying that he and others are “shocked and upset.” Others (from a seminary, no less) see this as a deliberate attempt to undermine the Christian worldview (“a practical front for an ideological foundation that assumes things spiritual are unreal,” this from Steven Smith, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).
Now here’s my response:
Give me a break!
1. If this is the worst thing to happen to Christianity then Christianity is doing just fine.
This is probably the most important point in this post and the whole post really could have been this one point.
2. Apply Hanlon’s Razor.
Hanlon’s Razor says: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” That’s most likely what is going on here. If there is any malice it’s probably some doofus at the store or some punk kid who thought this was funny.
3. Words like “outraged,” “shocked,” and “upset” are little strong.
Is this the first time these Christians have ever interacted with unbelievers in public? This is what some unbelievers do: they mock, malign, etc. You know, just like they did to Jesus. I mean, has Pastor Kaltenbach never read John 15:18-20? Some unbelievers especially love to do little things like this that get some Christians’ panties in a twist and Pastor Kaltenbach certainly gave them what they wanted.
But remember number 1 above: If this is the worst thing to happen to Christianity then Christianity is doing just fine.
4. Ditto the seminary guy’s statement.
Read this statement from the story: “To label the Bible fiction is a practical front for an ideological foundation that assumes things spiritual are unreal.”
Once you read past the ten-dollar words, this statement is like saying, “The sun appears to come up in the morning and that’s why we call it ‘sunrise.'”
Duh? And he works for a seminary? If this is the best they can do, remind me not to recommend it.
He apparently doesn’t realize that there are many, many people who don’t believe the Bible. This is kinda naive.
5. No word yet on whether this pastor is as outraged at things like the Prosperity Gospel, churches that have capitulated to the culture, or “Christians” who think the teachings of Jesus are merely suggestions.
These things are a much greater danger to Christianity today than a sticker on a Bible at a secular retail store.
I reiterate: If this is the worst thing to happen to Christianity then Christianity is doing just fine.
Here’s the story (Pastor Outraged After Costco Labels Bibles ‘$14.99 Fiction’).