Pastor Feldmeyer’s Beef with the “Literalists”
12 October 2006
Mr. Feldmeyer offered us counsel against the buffoonery of those in the persuasion of the naive “biblical literalist” (WNJ, 6 Oct., 2006).
I was disappointed. But not surprised.
Mr. Feldmeyer, the Pastor of Wilmington UMC, inveighed against a “biblical literalist” pastor in Watertown, New York who was attempting to apply the biblical and historically Christian doctrine (however out-of-vogue and offensive to the contemporary egalitarian ear such a doctrine may be) which postulates distinctions in sexual roles. Specifically, the New York pastor made “the news” for committing the grave offense of removing an aged, female Sunday School teacher from her post because she was, in fact, a female.
The fact that Mr. Feldmeyer criticized (Judged? Condemned?) an out-of-towner takes nothing away from this salient fact: Mr. Feldmeyer judged the pastor’s teachings (along with the teachings of many pastors in Wilmington who may hold the same views) to be false. This is the rub. Everyone makes judgments, both those who declare that there is a God who has revealed Truth and those who say there is neither. There are those who judge from the Scriptures that women can be pastors and there are those who judge to the contrary.
The irony here – maybe even disingenuousness – is that the hermeneutical principle (albeit a fatuous and arbitrary one) by which Mr. Feldmeyer “interprets” Scripture is what he calls “a lens of kindness, acceptance, generosity and love” (What pray tell does that mean?). But those who handle Scripture as the New Yorker (and Christendom down through the ages) are reckoned by him to be wrong. Indeed, they read the Scriptures through “a lens of judgment, condemnation, and exclusion,” says Mr. Feldmeyer (What, again, does that mean?).
(It may not have occurred to Mr. Feldmeyer that he condemns the interpretations of the Jews and Seventh Day Adventists. But then, there aren’t many of those folks around Wilmington to raise a ruckus.)
There appears to be a big “log” in the eyes of those Christian denominations which approve of abortion, sodomy, and social egalitarianism and reject the biblical doctrines of the image of God in man, sexual purity, and social hierarchy. The United Methodists (theological “modernists” in contrast to the fathers – Wesleys et al) – declare in their Book of Discipline that the Bible “contains the Word of God” (my emphasis)– rejecting the orthodox and historic doctrine of Scripture, namely, that it is the Word of God. And that crucial (and subtle) point is the fount of all kinds of false teachings flowing forth in the name of Christianity.
Perhaps this United Methodist pastor would do well to tend to his own flock and see to it that they don’t imbibe such obscene doctrine coming out of his denomination before trying to help out that New York Baptist pastor with his splinter.