Monday, April 22, 2024

Church’s stance on Spartacus welcome


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THE ISSUE INVOLVING the House of Spartacus, which some church leaders strongly condemned over the weekend for allegedly allowing adults to engage in sexual fantasies while sometimes donning masks, struck me as more than coincidental this week.
Now I’m no Bible scholar but I believe there are many who have faced situations where, upon reading a passage from the Holy Bible and mulling it over afterwards, one then witnesses some phenomenon  enacted in real life that directly harks back to what one had read; and it then confirms, at least for me, that God’s Word is alive and relevant despite the doubts that we all have occasionally.
Recently, I was reading Genesis 3 and 4 when the House of Spartacus raised its head. Those chapters deal with how the serpent deceived the woman, how the man disobeyed by also eating the forbidden fruit, how they felt a deep sense of shame and nakedness though they had absolutely no concept of clothing – go, figure! – and their sewing together of fig leaves to clothe themselves.
After this, the Lord cursed the ground, used skin to cover their shame and nakedness, and drove them out of the garden.
Now, commonsense would dictate that God would have had to slay some animal to get the skin, as is still done today; and that our first parents would never have thought of killing another living being with which they existed in perfect harmony – hence their previous use of unsustainable fig leaves.
Later, their children Cain and Abel took offerings before the Lord. Abel brought the best cuts of meat from his flock while Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil”, according to the New International Version.
Clearly, Cain was not thinking, since he was going into God’s presence being woefully wrong on at least two counts: fruits would have immediately reminded God of the original sin that caused Cain’s parents to be driven out of the garden and the soil, from which Man and the fruits were made, had been cursed. This is not to say that God cannot bless something He has already cursed, because He is sovereign, but it is not within Man’s purview to assume so.
If God wants to bless a cursed thing, He will do it of His own will and doesn’t need a man or woman to bring it before Him and say “Bless this”, which more than borders on presumption.
Hence, the Lord blessed Abel’s offering because it wasn’t from the cursed soil and reflected the process God would have used before, and much later after the coming of Christ, to cover man’s shame and sin.
Some dismiss this first story of Genesis as an allegory but it points to everything afterwards in terms of the condition, decline and eventual rescue of the world.
How does all this apply to Spartacus?
Just thinking of a woman’s form and her reaction to touch can give one a sense of innate and inexplicable joy, but when such pleasure is abused and bodies become objects of every craving imaginable, the society – for we’re all living in cursed bodies made of cursed soil – can reap nothing but God’s further displeasure that was expressed from the beginning of time.
Therefore, I’m proud to see Barbados’ church leaders taking a stand – though I would like the church to not only speak out against sexual sin, but other issues that smack of corruption in high places; prejudice based on colour, class or creed; the inequitable distribution of opportunities and wealth; political favour, and so on.
What Dr David Durant and Reverend Vincent Wood have declared is founded on strong biblical principles and goes far deeper than the moralistic or legalistic. For while the law enforcement fraternity and some of the established denominations are waiting in vain to get more information on Spartacus without actually going and seeing for themselves – go, figure! – there are members of the body of Christ not only preaching biblical precepts at church on Sundays, but also taking a stand at the national level.
This is why I have settled in my mind for years now that the church and state cannot coexist in total harmony. Morality and legality are a bit too superficial to agree at all times with a conviction that is borne out of faith in the saving and restorative power of Christ’s pure body and blood, as opposed to Man’s inherently cursed flesh.
But that’s an argument for another time. 
• Ricky Jordan is an Associate Editor of THE NATION. Email


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