Deconstructor

To read a holy text,
Though with best intent,
Tenacious for anything
Other than a humble pursuit
Of authorial intent,
Be it inherently good:
Equality or justice,
Will do violence
To that text
And will hide its truth.

To do so is
To read it supposing
One’s own superiority of
Enlightenment and ethic,
To ignore its time and place
And judge its people
Against the present,
Against oneself.

I’ve been present
When a passion for “truth”
Made seeing it impossible.
And I have seen
A desire for justice
Foisted on the text
Do such injustice to
Its story and its people
That God’s loving effort
To create a place for the
Marginalized without
Marginalizing the enfranchised:
To create community,
Was dismissed as naïve,
Primitive, powerless misogyny
By the deconstructor.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Deconstructor

  1. Nathan

    Beautifully put. I wonder if part of why this happens is the (unbiblical?) desire to draw all important ethics from scripture. I tentatively suggest that scripture tells us to regard God as king, not scripture as law.

    Perhaps there are truths and cries for justice that honor God and accord with what scripture reveals about his character, even if they can’t rightly be drawn out of a single particular passage.

    In trying to drink the map that marks the way to the well, we do violence to the map and lose what it can offer us. Scripture is not the Word of God — Jesus is, according to scripture.

    • I believe that what we will find in scripture is the ethic from which all ethical pronouncements can be derived, that ethic being Christ. The problem I hope to articulate here is that it is important that it is drawn from not foisted upon.

      My assumption, then, is that all scripture is about Christ.

      What I find among folks who commit the sin you refer to is that they DO try to draw that out of a singular passage or genre (whether you’re a fundamentalist trying to read Pauline literature without the Gospels or a progressive only reading the Gospels and dismissing the rest.

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