We humans can be really
1. Some Mormons once told me they were forbidden to drink any coffee or tea, because caffeine was addictive. The restriction, which I believe was universal, i.e., not specific to a ward/district, excluded herbal tea, which is not tea, strictly speaking, and which contains no caffeine at all. On the other hand, Mormons were allowed to drink hot chocolate, which does have caffeine.
Hmm. And we won’t even get into the rather blatant, blasphemous inconsistency presented by the very existence of the Book of Mormon.
2. As I understand it, Amish citizens are ruled by local bishops, at least in some respects; some of the rules do change by the district/area. I know of one Amish man who agreed to advertise his repair business through a local community theater, which was at the time producing The Sound of Music. Leaving alone the generally wholesome nature of this particular show — it ain’t Gypsy or Rent, after all — I found interesting the connections between racial/religious persecution (well known in Amish history) and the Alpine area from which this Amish man’s family originated. He had no prior conception of the show, but there developed a conflict. His decision to advertise in The Sound of Music program was overruled by his bishop; the man retracted his ad, but generously, strangely allowed the money to remain in the hands of the theater organization.
Hmm. Didn’t want to be associated with something in print, but allowed his money to support the enterprise. It’s commonly known that Amish folks are forbidden to have telephones as communication devices in their homes, and yet some are allowed, by special dispensation. Telephones are either tools of the devil or not, right? Amish folks do not have electricity, yet they run hot water heaters on diesel fuel. So many inconsistencies.
Please know that these paragraphs are not intended as a special indictment of the Amish. We live near quite a few of them and consider one family our friends. All the Amish I’ve ever interacted with are pleasant, charming, industrious, decent people. Although they attempt to live devotedly plainly and unspotted from the world, they are, in another way, quite like the rest of us: they are inconsistent and have some really silly rules.
3. Churches of Christ are notorious for disallowing women from participating in certain roles. One particularly striking, stark example is that, traditionally, women do not serve the elements of communion while standing and passing the trays from row to row. However, women almost always pass the trays from side to side on a given pew. Perpendicular service is not okay, but parallel service is?
Hmm. Contrast the above lack of opportunity to serve with the frequent identification of church women as very good cooks who serve wonderfully at congregational meals. In one case, we forbid serving, and in another, we essentially require them to serve.
Inconsistent? I think so.
I see another inconsistency in the common notions of “Sabbath”: despite the biblical fact that there is no Christian Sabbath — it was a Jewish thing with no documented, post-Pentecost manifestation — we look down our noses at those who rake leaves or wash their cars (do laundry? wash dishes? pick up toys?) on Sunday, and yet we have church staff who are required to work on the same day. Here, we could eradicate church staff altogether and solve the problem, :-o or we could at least stop holding tenaciously, with what I tend to take as false piety, to an a-biblical idea.
What are some other inconsistencies found within Christendom?
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Recently my blog has attracted a dozen or so regular followers who don’t appear to have Christian underpinnings. I’m glad for these new readers. But I’m sometimes embarrassed about the inconsistencies seen within Christianity. Those from without can see them; why can’t we see them from within, and make adjustments in our thinking and practice?