Dysfunctional -- when those teachings remain unvetted.
Tony asks, and is shunned.
Expect that, for going against entrenched orthodoxy
Religious researchers would say: the gravity of the offense is clear. It is worse for the offender, than if a millstone were tied about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
So? Where is the action?
Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on the occasion of his early retirement:
- Love the church. Be courageous in making difficult, painful choices. "Keep sight of the good of the church and not ourselves." http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/28/3258381/quotations-of-the-day.html
Consider: Let's say that the church has become comprised of nests of teachings that veer from the Founder, and for reasons that include buttressing the institution's survival, and expanding its numbers even by force, is there an alternative for the faithful. Should the loyalty not be in faithfulness to the Founder, the moral obligation to return to the original concepts?
Current clerical bad behavior, condoned for centuries: child sexual abuse. Pedophilia.
Is there a prohibition against that? There is a prohibition that includes multiple other meanings, but the strongest is against ensnaring, causing little ones to sin, to place a stumbling block in front of them. In translation, the agenda of the translator governs the meaning chosen.
1. The translations of the prohibition against doing what to little ones, is from the ancient Greek, Strong's G4624: It is a complex concept encompassing, for the orthodox, approved meanings, a range of activities, but note the root, "scandal" to us -- alizo skan-dal-id'-zo from 4625. It means to entrap or entice to sin, apostasy: i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):--(make to) offend. See http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=greeklexicon&isindex=4624
Those meanings, appearing in the main body of the lexicon, have been approved by the institution.
Move to another. Try Thayer's lexicon, and find that it is objective, not concerned with whether or not meanings in the old words fit with established dogma.
2. For Thayer, go to the same word, G4624 in the Strong's lexicon, at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4624&t=KJV. Entice to sin is the first definition. Entice, like the scandal, the entrap. Then come others: Lots of ones -- to cause one to distrust one whom one ought to trust; and recognition of the indignant response of the one caused to stumble.
3. Where do those words appear? We found the references while researching a convicted priest-sexual abuser, Franci Frantar of Slovenia. See three Gospel versions, laid out at a site exploring a particular transgression in Slovenia, memorialized in a sculpture grouping, see Fr. Franc (or Franci) Frantar Kranj or Ljubljana, Cardinal (or priest?) in Trouble, Slovenia .
Did the church hang a millstone around his neck and cast him into the sea? Apparently not. He was enabled to escape prosecution temporarily by a reposting to Malawi. No "scandal" no concern for the child, or children if there were more, just concern for the image of the church.
Was he defrocked before or after his conviction, and now parole? Checking.
4. Is research useful? Yes, if a mind is open to vetting things given as received authority, and not to be vetted. Vet anyway. So: Which comes first, the "church" and its dogma-focus, causing it to deflect even its own attention from its stumblers; or what a Founder said. Bookmark the sites offering quick transliterations of words. Start there.
Conclusion so far: The church is an institution, it lives for itself. Claiming "inspiration" or revelation is useful in creating followers, but may or may not have more function or reality than that. Not even the Pope on the occasion of his early retirement sets out the accurate presentation of the supposed Word of God as top priority. No. The priority is to love the church and make painful choices in order to do so. Keep sight of the good of the church, not ourselves. But what if the church leads people astray from original meanings in order to perpetuate itself on us.
For the religious that should be important. For those of us who focus at this stage on vetting, trying to find roots scraped clear of human dogma-teaching, Popes' misplaced loyalty to the evolved institution's needs, and not original precepts of helping and respect for all, is another piece of an ongoing puzzle.