Anyone desiring to attend seminary should think long and hard about what they are considering. In AnOldSinner’s case, the idea of going to seminary was not even a consideration when higher education was first on the agenda. For those who are familiar with AnOldSinner’s early work, the reason for that should be clear. In case someone is a first time reader or has forgotten, this writer had no thought of going to seminary because church, religion, God and other seminary related ideas were for others. Science, reason and freedom to do whatever one pleased were the focus of that young sinner’s life. So, what does all that have to do with the title of this piece.
Seminary only became a consideration after God got AnOldSinner’s attention in the early 90s. After a few what was I thinking moments, AnOldSinner ended up back in church, and rebuilding the believer’s side of a relationship with Christ. It was then that seminary became a thought. As will be chronicled at another time that thought did not turn into action for a number of years. Once it did, the challenges created by the reality of seminary studies came close to derailing those plans.
One challenge was being forced to examine one’s personal reality. This writer is not a relativist, but the reality is we all have our personal view of the world, and our relationship with God. We may accept the doctrinal statement of our church or tradition, but we accept it as we understand or interpret it. Seminary, if one is paying attention, makes one rethink his or her position on many things. For example, take the Sixth Commandment.
The sixth commandment, in case you didn’t snap on it immediately, is the one about murder. At least, that is the way it is translated in most modern English language bibles. The one exception is the King James Version, which uses the word kill instead of murder. As someone who served a short time in the military and the better part of three decades in law enforcement, the NIV, ESV, NASB, etc. translations of the Bible were very important. Taking a human life is not always murder, but it is always killing. When one is faced with a deadly force situation, there is no time for an internal debate concerning the merits of a particular translation of the Bible.
That last sentence probably makes a lot of sense to everyone who takes the time to read it. The problem is that seminary study requires someone like AnOldSinner, who is also OneOldCop, to take a serious look at the question. That is exactly what happened during a Biblical Ethics and Morals course. The result was a paper for that course bearing the title of this piece.
If this were a less weighty question, this piece would be near a conclusion. After all, it would be possible to simply summarize the research and conclusions reached in the paper. It is not a less weighty question however, and simply summarizing the research and conclusions is not appropriate. Accordingly, the link below will take you to the paper in question. Given the world in which we live today, I would encourage you to read it, even if you think you know exactly how you feel about the question of murder.
© AnOldSinner – 2017