Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hermeneutics Fifth grade style

Yesterday my son came stomping home from his best friend's house across the street. Sensing that there had been an altercation of some sort, I asked what had happened.

"We were playing Monopoly," my son explained. "As usual, we were kind of making up our own rules. When Tom landed on the square where I had a hotel he owed me, like, $1000-but I let him move his piece one more square forward so he wouldn't totally lose all his money. Then when I landed on his railroad, he wouldn't let ME skip ahead. He said I had to pay him the $50 dollars I owed him. So I flipped the board over and came home."

"Hmmm, I said. You know, there's a story in the bible kind of like that . . ."

His eyes widened.

"Oh yeah! We heard that story at camp!" And he proceeded to recount for me the parable of the unmerciful servant--triumphantly concluding that this biblical story proved that he was right to upend the Monopoly board and come home. He retold the part about the master grabbing the unmerciful servant by the throat with particular relish.

"But the bible also says we shouldn't let the sun go down on our anger." I pointed out. "Maybe that means that after you've cooled down a while, you should go back over to Tom's house and try to patch things up."

Long silence.

"Well, I don't have to do everything the bible says."

Wow. He's already absorbed our modern hermeneutic. Stand by what enables you to feel righteous and justifiably outraged. Ignore what would be really difficult and might force you to change your heart.


Anonymous said...

Hee hee. Well, at least you have a sermon example, the next time that one comes around.

lorna (see throughfaith) said...


more cows than people said...



SpookyRach said...

ouch. definitely.

Sally said...

:-)- what does that say about us as teachers?

ellbee said...

So all along, my brother behaving that way was Biblical???? Who knew??
Doncha just hate it (love it?) when God reveals our own idiocy through our children? I get more sword cuts through my heart in conversations with The Boy than anywhere else.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Hey! works for MY pastor.

Mitch said...

Yeow - ouch indeed! Love the posting!

Mary Ann said...

Poignant indeed. Could I use that some time, with attribution? (I'm a United Methodist pastor.)