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The Computer Says 
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 01:35 PM - Extra Christy
I dabble in computer programming so I am not impressed with the magic incantation: "The computer says..." as the final answer. I know there is a lot of interpretation between data and display.

Years ago, I was out to a late dinner at an empty restaurant with the cream of the Presbyterian Church (USA) computer folks. The waitress told the 10 of us that the restaurant computer wouldn't allow more than 8 diners to sit together. I don't think she was prepared for the responses:
So, you want us to fix your computer?

How does the computer know where we're sitting?

If you tell the computer that two of us are sitting over there, God will forgive you...and that's official--three of us are Reverends

Together, we figured out a solution that allowed us preserve our togetherness and her gratuity.

Religious folks sometime use the Bible the same way. "The Bible says..." is used as a debate point in the issue of the day instead of the guide for a lifetime of faith. Last week's scripture reading even had the Devil himself trying it: using "the Bible says" in one of his temptations to have Jesus launch BASE jumping. Our Savior didn't fall for it.

Like our Presbyterian computer workers, we Presbyterians church members bring several questions to Bible interpretations offered by folks. There are 18 big tests in Presbyterian Understanding and Use of Holy Scripture one of which is "The Rule of Love":
The fundamental expression of God's will is the two-fold commandment to love God and neighbor, and all interpretations are to be judged by the question whether they offer and support the love given and commanded by God Any interpretation of Scripture is wrong that separates or sets in opposition love for God and love for fellow human being.


So Presbyterians have objections and alternative suggestions when someone comes to the Lord's table and tells us "The Bible says" that all people can't sit together. For we have studied this system and know the designer too well to be distracted by the tiny bit momentarily lit up on the display.
Then the devil took [Jesus] to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
" 'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' (Psalm 91:11,12)"

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'(Deuteronomy 6:16)" -- Matthew 4:5-7 (NIV)

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