An Ecumenical Ministry in the Parish of St Patrick's Catholic Church In San Diego USA


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

shedding a light on the Unification Church

Inflation has gone up more in the last year than it has anytime since 1981 and church food pantries are paying more while they try to meet the rising need.

An explanation of the crisis going on in Sri Lanka, and the role the church can play in the country’s “second birth.”

The fact that some evangelicals keep debating the story of David and Bathsheba reminds us of the importance of returning to the biblical text itself.

Behind the story

There are some arguments in American evangelicalism that seem to get rehashed in cycles. Last week, New York Times religion reporter Ruth Graham tweeted, “David and Bathsheba online debate season seems to start earlier every year.” We had also noticed Bathsheba trending. The latest round seems to blame progressive theology and the cultural expectations brought by #MeToo for shifting our views of the biblical king.

However, scholars have been challenging the Sunday school-style characterization of the story long before that. Old Testament professor David T. Lamb, author of Prostitutes and Polygamists, wrote for CT in 2015 that Bathsheba was a rape victim and “we soften the story by reducing the affair to consensual adultery.” In today’s post, fellow OT scholar Carmen Joy Imes goes further to say that even by the standards of his own day, David’s adultery couldn’t have been consensual. The Ten Commandments directs male heads of households when it addresses adultery, and “Bathsheba is literally his neighbor's wife.”

When an issue of debate like this reemerges among evangelicals, we have to decide whether we assign another article to address the latest discussion, go back to reshare what we’ve run in the past on the topic, or let it pass (obviously not every Twitter spat is worth covering). What pastor Kyle Worley wrote for CT when the David-Bathsheba saga came up a few years ago still seems relevant: “Perhaps more intriguing than determining David’s motives is our own determination to spare him from disrepute.”

In other news

Russia is using the war with Ukraine to further restrict minority religious groups, including Baptists, Pentecostals, and other Protestants. As CT previously reported, Russia has gone out of its way to punish evangelicals in the disputed territory of Crimea.

The recent assassignation of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is shedding a light on the Unification Church, the religious movement founded by self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon.

A church that once served as the hiding place for the Liberty Bell during the American Revolution has been recognized with a historical marker.

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