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:: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 ::

Denominational Hermeneutics

This was posted on a discussion list I am a member of....I found it amusing:

Reprinted from Clergy/Leaders' Mail-list No. 437

How would the Uniting Church deal with "the cat sat on the mat" if it
appeared in the Bible?

The liberal theologians would point out that such a passage did not of
course mean that the cat literally sat on the mat. Also, cat and mat had
different meanings in those days from today, and anyway, the text should be
interpreted according to the customs and practices of the period.

This would lead to an immediate backlash from the Evangelicals. They would
make an essential condition of faith that a real physical, living cat, being
a domestic pet of the Felis Domesticus species, and having a whiskered head
and furry body, four legs and a tail, did physically place its whole body on
a floor covering, designed for that purpose, and which is on the floor but
not of the floor. The expression "on the floor but not of the floor" would
be explained in a leaflet.

Meanwhile, the Catholics would have developed the Festival of the
Sedentation of the Blessed Cat. This would teach that the cat was white and
majestically reclined on a mat of gold thread before its assumption to the
Great Cat Basket of Heaven. This is commemorated by the singing of the
Magnificat, lighting three candles, and ringing a bell five times. This
would cause a schism with the Orthodox Church which believes tradition
requires Holy Cats Day [as it is colloquially known], to be marked by
lighting six candles and ringing the bell four times. This would partly be
resolved by the Cuckoo Land Declaration recognising the traditional validity
of each.

Eventually, the House of Bishops would issue a statement on the Doctrine of
the Feline Sedentation. It would explain, traditionally the text describes a
domestic feline quadruped superjacent to an unattached covering on a
fundamental surface. For determining its salvific and eschatological
significations, we follow the heuristic analytical principles adopted in
dealing with the Canine Fenestration Question [How much is that doggie in
the window?] and the Affirmative Musaceous Paradox [Yes, we have no
bananas]. And so on, for another 210 pages.

The General Synod would then commend this report as helpful resource
material for clergy to explain to the man in the pew the difficult doctrine
of the cat sat on the mat.

:: Karl :: 8:48:00 AM [Link] ::

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