Monday, March 21, 2005

Hermaneutics and other religious tracts

From two great sites:
first: the Slacktivist
A Christian take on hermaneutics, very funny...

Our Text:

So this gorilla walks into a bar. The gorilla slaps a $10 bill on the counter and says, "Give me a beer."

Bartender figures what does a gorilla know? So he gives him the beer, but only gives him $1 in change. It's a slow night, though, so the bartender figures he should make some conversation. "We don't get many gorillas in here," he says.

Gorilla says, "Yeah, well at $9 a beer I'm not surprised."

The Fundamentalist Interpretation

(Fundamentalists read the text literally. This means they adhere as closely as possible to the simplest, most obvious reading of its meaning.)

The talking gorilla indicates that the great apes, perhaps all beasts, once were able to speak. This, like the great longevity of the early patriarchs, seems incomprehensible to us. Yet the text says it is so, so therefore it is so.

How is it that gorillas could speak? How is it that Methuselah could live to the ripe old age of 969? Those of you who have been attending our Wednesday night Bible study series, "Six Days; 6,000 Years Ago," already know the answer to these questions.

In Matthew 24:38, Jesus says that, "in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking ..." Our story is set in a bar, a place designated for eating and drinking, so we can conclude that it takes place "in the days that were before the flood."

Please note, however, that this was not what we today understand as the sin of drinking. The "beer" in our text is not the alcoholic beverage we think of today, just as the "wine" the Bible speaks of is not what we think of as wine. (Drinking wine is a sin. Jesus was without sin. Jesus drank "wine." Therefore "wine" is not wine.) The "beer" the story speaks of thus was probably a nonalcoholic drink similar to malta.

In the days that were before the flood, the earth was still protected by the great vapor canopy, or "firmament" (Genesis 1:6-8, KJV only, of course). This canopy shielded the earth, protecting the grandchildren of Adam and Eve and allowing them to live much longer than humans can today without the benefit of its protection. Creation scientists have posited that another consequence of this canopy may have been that, um, gorillas could talk. They lost this ability of speech after God unleashed the canopy, creating the Great Flood.

Public schools refuse to acknowledge that gorillas could ever speak. This is an example of the persecution that we face as believers.

The Premillennial Dispensationalist Interpretation

(Premillennial dispensationalists also consider their interpretation of the text to be literal, but they also believe that we must "rightly divide" the word of truth [see 1 Tim. 2:15]. The dispensational approach provides a key -- a kind of codebreaker -- for interpreting the text, which is explained in simple charts like this one.)

The meaning of this passage is made clear through its use of the number nine: 9 = 3 + 6, or three sixes, or 666. The bartender thus clearly represents the Antichrist, who gives this number to the gorilla, or Beast.

The beer represents the alcoholic wine consumed by the apostate church of Rome. The $10 presented by the gorilla represents the 10 kings of the rebuilt Roman Empire, also represented by the 10 horns of the Beast described in Revelation 13:1. The apostle John, of course, would never have seen a gorilla firsthand and thus could not known what to call this Beast, but consider the description John provides in Revelation 13:2: "The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear [i.e., Soviet Russia] and a mouth like that of a lion." That sounds very much like a gorilla (or, perhaps, a gorilla in a leopard suit).

Thus our text makes it clear that the Antichrist is none other than the Roman Pope and that his servant is Leonid Brezhnev Saddam Hussein.

I have read that in many bars and restaurants in places like New York City it is not uncommon for patrons to be charged $9 for a beer. Such prices were unheard of before the recreation of the state of Israel in 1948.

The signs therefore are clear: We are living in the Last Days. Even now, the Bartender and his servant the Gorilla are preparing for a one-world government and a New World Order that will mark the beginning of the Tribulation.

Also Cthulu mirror Tired of the same old religious tracts? Try this one... Not for the faint of heart!

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