Friday, July 31, 2009

Obscene Bible comments reflect ‘failure’ of church

Obscene comments written into a Bible on display as part of an art exhibition reflect the failure of the church to demonstrate the message of God’s reconciliation with man through Jesus Christ, says the head of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

The Bible was put on display at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow beside some pens and a notice by Metropolitan Community Church telling visitors: “Are there any gay people in the Bible? Out of the tens of thousands of people who appear in the Old and New Testaments, there must have been.

“Same-sex love, such as that between Ruth and Naomi, existed, but has been written out over time.

“If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”

Some visitors responded to the invitation by scribbling abuse onto the pages of the Bible, including “F*** the Bible” and “I don’t want a fascist God”. Exhibition organisers have since removed the most offensive pages.

Eddie Arthur, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, said: "It's disappointing that people feel the need to deface a Bible when offered the opportunity.

“But it is understandable that people who feel excluded would react to that exclusion. However, it is not the Bible that has marginalised people.

“Sadly, it is a failure of the wider Christian church to adequately live and demonstrate the message of God's reconciliation which is the issue.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: “We have got to a point where we call the desecration of the Bible modern art.

“The Bible stands for everything this art does not: for creation, beauty, hope and regeneration.”

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