[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Why won't the national media cover the story Americans care about most?

Nolte: Looting Charges Dropped Against Hundreds in Democrat-Run New York City

Is Virginia About to Swing Red? Evidence Indicates the Blue Wave Has Crested In the Old Dominion

What happened when Trump tried to stop U.S. funding for the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab

squad golads

How Biden's climate change agenda hurts children

SCOTUS Wimps Out on Obamacare — Again

Woo hoo!! And we're now working on the last $4.4k!! Let's get 'er done. [FReepathon LXXX]

High-level Chinese Defection Rumored

For VP Kamala Harris, the presidency looks more and more like a long shot

Rep. Massie: sell off the U.S. embassy compound, get out of Iraq

Senate Democrats weigh $6T infrastructure bill, without GOP

Heck of a job on border security, Kamala

Bring back Trump to call out China and the Globalists

Biden’s illegal-immigration welcome mat caused disaster at the border

‘Even North Korea is not this nuts’: Defector slams ‘woke’ US schools

Noah’s Ark replica faces cosTly dilemma ... of biblical proporTions --- Replica deemed unseaworThy

My Top 10 media lies: Goodwin

Leaks Show Maricopa AudiT Will Deliver ... We MUST Begin FighTing --- The Cover-Up - Propaganda - Lies.

Covering Biden -- or Just Covering for Him?

The Media Didn’t ‘Get It Wrong’ On Lafayette Park, They Lied To America — And They’re Still Lying

How This All Ends

Omar Is Forced To Clarify After Democrats Say She Equated U.S., Israel With Terrorists

Facebook and More Media Trump Lies

LIBERTY'S FLAME - T-SHIRT

Republican victories in South Texas prove once again that demographics aren't everything

Congress Must Keep Liberty’s Flame Alive

Progressives get vicious with Joe Manchin because he has principles

The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak

Because They Got Away with Russiagate

How China turned a prize-winning iPhone hack against the Uyghurs

Obama Predicts Major Discovery Could Spark 'New Religions'

Facebook suspends Trump's accounts for 2 years, citing public safety risk

Conservatives more susceptible to believing falsehoods

Joe Biden has his MAGA: Make America Goofy Again

They Lied, People Died: Media and Dems' Deadly Wuhan Narrative

Dreams of a new #NeverTrump political party? Good luck with that.

DeSantis signs transgender sports ban on first day of LGBTQ Pride Month

An Evangelical Battle of the Generations: To Embrace Trump or Not?

Paul Ryan’s Impotent Appeal

Trump's back. Here's what his re-entry means for 2024.

Texas Gov. Abbott to veto funding for state legislature amid spat over election bill

Fox’s Lone-Wolf Liberal Had a Tough Job. But It Made for Better TV.

3 Ways We Can Pray for Our Nation

Stop China From Getting a Civilization-Killing Pathogen | Opinion

House Republicans Introduce ‘Stars and Stripes’ Bill to Ban Flying ‘Political,’ BLM Flags at U.S. Embassies

Vice President Kamala Harris under fire for 'disrespectful' tweet

3 Ways We Can Pray for Our Nation

As pandemic wanes, Florida’s DeSantis seizes national stage

Memorial Day Prayer Honoring Those Who Have Sacrificed Their Lives


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: 2 Reasons using the Bible to prove your point is often wrong.
Source: marcalanschelske.com
URL Source: https://marcalanschelske.com/use-the-bible-wrong/
Published: May 6, 2015
Author: Marc Alan schelske
Post Date: 2020-11-03 12:56:56 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 940
Comments: 17

2 Reasons using the Bible to
prove your point is often wrong.

If you read comments online, you’ve undoubtedly seen this scenario:

Someone is upset about some behavior or other. They hammer out their comment declaring that such-and-such is PROHIBITED BY THE BIBLE!!! Almost immediately someone else retorts so is wearing polyester and eating shell fish.

You’ll hear some people claim that it was Biblical Christians who invented hospitals, championed abolition, elevated women’s position in society. Others will argue that it was so-called Biblical Christians who used the Bible to uphold slavery in America, or to keep women from getting the right to vote.

I still feel that anxious cringe whenever some crazy on TV starts quoting scripture to justify his teenage wives, or his white supremacy, or war in the middle east. It’s not just the crazies. People on both sides of every cultural debate in our country all use the Bible to bolster their arguments, and hopefully draw Christians into their support.

There comes a point when a reasonable person would not be blamed for throwing their hands up in the air and dismissing the whole thing. I mean, if anyone can make the Bible mean anything they want, then what possible good could it do as a source of guidance? Fair question.

Two ways to tangle up your reading of the Bible. The reason people think that anything can be proven from the Bible comes from two common mistakes.

1. We prefer bumper-sticker quotes to careful nuanced reading. Our first problem is that we just hate complexity so much. We love the easy-to-quote lines that work well for mugs, Facebook posts, and arguments.

For example, it’s far easier to quote Paul saying, “I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man,” than it is to study the context of that passage and learn about the important role of women in the early church across the New Testament.

The famous scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” is so encouraging and empowering. It sounds like a downpayment on all our hopes and dreams… unless we read the full context. Then we see Paul is most likely saying that Christ can strengthen us to bear up under terrible, painful circumstaneces—like being imprisoned for your faith. That’s a great promise, but one not quite so many people hope to need.

Many of us want simple black-and-white bumper-sticker-worthy statements from the Bible. We want them because they’re clear. They sound final and authoritative. Mostly, we want them because we don’t want to do the hard work of living with the Bible, and letting God to teach us, through an ongoing engagement with this powerful book.

This unfortunate desire leads to our second mistake.

2. We try to read the Bible like it’s a democracy. When we quote specific verses in isolation, specifically for the purpose of proving a point, we are relating to the Bible as if is a policy manual, some list of standards and practices. We treat the Bible like it is a democracy, where every verse from cover to cover has exactly equal say and weight. This is a complete misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of the Bible.

This is just not the case. Consider only two examples.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus does something interesting. He says “You’ve heard it said…” and then quotes an Old Testament scripture. Then he says, “But I say unto you…” and proceeds to give a new and deeper interpretation of those passages.

Do you see what’s happening? Jesus’ words (which are in scripture) supersede the verses he was quoting (which are also in scripture). Biblical commands on adultery, divorce, making oaths, and how we see our enemy all get this treatment, among others. Jesus’ action here shows us not every verse of scripture carries the same weight.

In Acts 10, Peter had a vision. Now, he was a good practicing Jew who had faithfully followed the ceremonial cleanliness laws from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Violating these laws left a person ceremonially unclean, unable to participate in the life and worship of the community. That included touching or eating with a gentile. Peter believed these were God’s standards expressed in scripture.

Then Peter had this vision where God made clear things had shifted. Food and people that were unclean in the Old Testament were now declared clean. Not only did this change the way Peter saw his food, more importably, it changed how he interacted with people who weren’t Jewish. This vision allowed Christianity to break out of the boundaries Judaism and into the rest of the world.

The instruction God gave to Peter in Acts 10 superseded the instructions from earlier in scripture. Acts and the rest of the New Testament assume that followers of Jesus will live in alignment with this newer revelation, rather than the older perspective from the Torah. This is just two examples!

The Bible itself teaches that there is a hierarchy of authority within the Bible. Plainly put: Certain verses are more important, binding, or authoritative, than others. Sound different than what you learned or thought? Maybe this makes you a little bit uncomfortable. But understand: this is something even the most strict literalists act on already–een when they say they don’t.

For example, Psalms 137:9 literally says that the person who grabs your baby and smashes their head on a rock is happy. No literalist I’ve ever met says that verse is authoritative over your life. Why not?

First, it violates the 6th commandment. Second, it violates Jesus’ words in Matthew 5. Third, it’s poetry, and poetry is read differently than policy. Finally, when you read the whole poem, you see that the “you” in verse 9 is “Daughter Babylon,” not any old “you” you might want to substitute. Reading the verse in it’s accurate context and through the lens of more authoritative verses gives you the best understanding.

Another example. Deuteronomy 23:1 says that any man with a genital defect isn’t allowed to participate in worship. Now, I have never met any pastor who has a plan for enforcing this in their church. Why? Because nearly every Christian church teaches that these community- defining standards from Leviticus no longer apply.

How can we make this claim? Aren’t we picking and choosing? No! First, Isaiah 56, which comes later chronologically, says that God welcomes eunuchs. Second, this is one of the ritual cleanliness laws that God freed the church from in Acts. Third, in case all of this is still unclear, one of the very first converts to Christianity was an Ethiopian Eunuch. He was welcomed into the church on the basis of a short Bible study and baptism. Philip never one asked him about the state of his genitals.

People often say they just believe the Bible and do what it says. This is never true! Everyone who reads the Bible makes priority decisions about which texts to give more weight to. We make the judgement that certain verses, or certain voices within scripture, have higher authority than others.

If you grew up in a more conservative or fundamentalist church and home, that statement probably feels uncomfortable to you. It may sound like I’m advocating tossing out precious truth and the authority of the Bible. I’m not. The Bible itself tells us that certain verses supersede other verses. Certain verses become the lens through which we see others. We aren’t expected to treat a story about Israel’s military campaign against its enemies with the same weight that we treat Paul’s letters to the church. Even Paul’s writing must always be subservient to and interpreted in light of Jesus’ words and actions.

When we pull individual verses out of the narrative without any attention to the larger narrative they fall within, we run the risk of trying to prove something that the Bible isn’t ultimately saying. It’s a little bit like assuming that because characters in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain use racist language, that Mark Twain was advocating and supporting racism. That’s clearly a bad reading of the book, but we read the Bible that way all the time!

Let’s make sure we’re hearing what the Bible is really saying. The Bible is a book for grown-ups. What I mean is that it requires our engagement and reflection. It requires thought, study and discovery. It challenges us to seek God, and to keep on seeking, even when the “moral of the story” isn’t obvious.

Now just because we have to make decisions about which parts of the Bible to weigh more heavily, doesn’t mean it’s potluck time, where we can all just pick and choose the parts we like. If we recognize that there is a hierarchy of voices in the Bible, and that there is a narrative flow that moves through the book, we discover something else vital. We don’t have the leeway to determine that hierarchy ourselves. The Bible itself, particularly the revelation of Jesus, will point us in the right direction.

We can’t take any old verse and make it mean what we want it to mean. Anyone who says so is ignoring what the Bible says about itself. In order to treat any verse with integrity, we have to read it inside its context. We have to know who said it, when they said it, and who they were saying it to. We have to know where it falls in the overall timeline and narrative of scripture. Only then can we begin to hear what scripture is really saying. Even better, over time we will become more familiar with that particular theme across the whole of scripture.

The Bible does mean something. It does say specific things. And it doesn’t say just anything anyone wants it to say. If you come across someone who is using the Bible to support some authoritative viewpoint, don’t take their word for it. Read the verses they are quoting in context. Compare their interpretation against the overall narrative of the Bible. See what you learn. In many cases, the Bible itself will clear up the confusion.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: All (#0)

REPEATING:

The Bible does mean something. It does say specific things. And it doesn’t say just anything anyone wants it to say. If you come across someone who is using the Bible to support some authoritative viewpoint, don’t take their word for it. Read the verses they are quoting in context. Compare their interpretation against the overall narrative of the Bible. See what you learn. In many cases, the Bible itself will clear up the confusion.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   12:57:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: All (#1)

REPEATING:

Compare their interpretation against the overall narrative of the Bible.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   12:58:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Gatlin (#2)

Help me out here.

I looking for a word that describes a person who is trying to avoid dealing with a matter at hand.

The matter at hand is an uncomfortable subject, so the person is doing everything in their power to delay action on the matter, to draw attention away from the matter, and to hopefully dismiss it all together.

There must be one word that sums up such behavior...I just can't bring it to mind.

You're the wordsmith. Help me out please.

watchman  posted on  2020-11-03   13:08:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: watchman, A K A Stone, All (#3) (Edited)

Help me out here.

I looking for a word that describes a person who is trying to avoid dealing with a matter at hand.

The matter at hand is an uncomfortable subject, so the person is doing everything in their power to delay action on the matter, to draw attention away from the matter, and to hopefully dismiss it all together.

There must be one word that sums up such behavior...I just can't bring it to mind.

You're the wordsmith. Help me out please.

I suggest the use of this word:

Provocateur: One who provokes.

Provokes: Stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone.

Synonyms for provocateur:
agitator, demagogue (also demagog), exciter, firebrand, fomenter, incendiary, inciter, instigator, kindler, rabble-rouser

In "provocateur," a word borrowed directly from French, one sees the English verb "provoke." Both "provoke" and "provocateur" derive from Latin provocare, meaning "to call forth." Why do we say "provocateur" for one who incites another to action, instead of simply "provoker"? Perhaps it's because of "agent provocateur," a term of French origin that literally means "provoking agent." Both "agent provocateur" and the shortened "provocateur" can refer to someone (such as an undercover police officer or a political operative) whose job is to incite people to break the law so that they can be arrested, but only "provocateur" is used in English with the more general sense of "one who provokes."

Example of provocateur in a Sentence:

Gatlin is a provocateur to the religious know it all on LIberty's Forum.

Click here for A warning for the many religious know it alls.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   14:44:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: watchman, A K A Stone, All (#4) (Edited)

You're the wordsmith. Help me out please.

Anytime.

Glad to help out a fellow Christian.

Click here to read:
What the Bible Say About Helping Others.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   14:51:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: watchman (#5) (Edited)

You're the wordsmith.

You got the right !!!

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   15:00:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: watchman (#0)

I trust you learned something from reading the article:
2 Reasons using the Bible to prove your point is often wrong.

Probably not, since you did not even read it.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   15:29:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Gatlin (#4)

Provocateur: One who provokes.

No, that's not it...there's another word...what is it?

Oh, I got it!

To obfuscate!

Creating a smoke screen/diversion, dodging, evading, circumventing, shuckin' and jivin'

From wiki: Shuckin' and jivin' (or shucking and jiving) is joking and acting evasively in the presence of an authoritative figure.[1] Shuckin' and jivin' usually involves clever lies and impromptu storytelling, used to one-up an opponent or avoid punishment.

Example, I say the following:

If you want to discuss salvation with me...let's start with this simple verse.

You then proceed to obfuscate: post videos of cows, toss out some lofty words, open up red herring threads with useless, time wasting articles...oh, man, you've got years of practice and it shows.

Wouldn't it be easier to just man up and discuss the verses?

watchman  posted on  2020-11-03   15:53:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: watchman (#8)

Provocateur: One who provokes.

No, that's not it...there's another word...what is it?

Oh, I got it!

To obfuscate!

Nah !!!

Far too trite – overused and consequently of little import; lacking originality or freshness.

It in no way fits.

You said I was the expert.

Then, trust me.

We stick with – Provocateur.

And be sure to let me know if you again have a problem.

I am always glad to help out a fellow Christian – Ya know.

It’s in the good Book:

100 Bible Verses about Helping Others.

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   16:08:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: watchman (#8)

Wouldn't it be easier to just man up and discuss the verses?

Why do you so desperately need to discuss verses?

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   16:13:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Gatlin (#10)

Why do you so desperately need to discuss verses?

I don't. You do.

watchman  posted on  2020-11-03   16:17:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: watchman (#11)

Why do you so desperately need to discuss verses?

I don't. You do.

I never discuss verses – and I will tell you why.

It has been my experience far too often to Christians discussing the verses with each other. One always thinks it knows what they mean than the other – and they end up arguing. And you know = maybe you don’t remember – Scripture is clear that God hates discord and fighting among His children (2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:15; James 3:14, 4:1-3). Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” If every believer lived by that rule, arguing would virtually disappear. Any parent frowns upon bickering between siblings, and God is a Father who also frowns on it. However, there are three key words in this question that deserve attention: Christians, always, and arguing.*

And that is why I don’t discuss verses …

What Does the Bible Say About Arguing?

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   16:47:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Gatlin (#12)

Enough of your stupid let me lecture you articles.

A K A Stone  posted on  2020-11-03   17:08:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: A K A Stone (#13) (Edited)

Enough of your stupid let me lecture you articles.

That’s fine …

I see here that you enjoyed posting stupid articles like the one that had PICS AND VIDS SUGGESTING HUNTER BIDEN HAD SEX WITH NIECE AND OBAMA’S DAUGHTER.

Would you like me to find some more of those stupid articles and post them for your enjoyment?

Better still – You furnish me a list of the subjects that meets your approval for posting articles.

I will henceforth cease posting any and all articles until I received your approved list.

At your service …

Is there anything else I can do for you?

Respectfully …

Gatlin  posted on  2020-11-03   18:22:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: watchman (#3)

I looking for a word that describes a person who is trying to avoid dealing with a matter at hand.

prevaricate

goldilucky  posted on  2020-11-04   0:47:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: goldilucky (#15)

prevaricate

Yep.

watchman  posted on  2020-11-04   9:41:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: watchman (#16)

:)

goldilucky  posted on  2020-11-04   11:12:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com