Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

addressing Biblical Inconsistencies

6/17/14

 

People occasionally note that what the Bible indicates Jesus taught and what he did are inconsistent. Such an observation is a call to explanation. One possibility would be that the Bible record has been corrupted by the various human interventions which brought it to our attention in its current form. That explanation is generally dismissed by the church by quoting from the book itself and/or asserting that God's revelation has to have been preserved infallibly because otherwise humanity has no where to turn for divine truth.

 

Assuming that one accepts the inerrancy of the Bible, then some sort of reconciliation process is required. The issue generally boils down to how much emphasis one wants to place on Jesus' words versus Jesus' actions. Are his instructions most reflective of divine truth or his actions. Of course, in choosing that area of emphasis, a new problem of consistency arises. Sometimes church theology, which establishes the starting point for most biblical inquiry, is most supported by Jesus' words and other times by his actions as opposed to his words. If words trump behavior in one instance, why would we then conclude that actions trump words in another.

 

For a specific example, when Jesus warned his disciples to forsake judgment is that overruled by the example of Jesus' anger toward the religious leaders of his day. When he instructed to judge righteously, did that release his disciples to be the judge of others, despite Jesus' warning that judgment would return upon those who judge? What mere man can actually judge righteously? Isn't God alone capable of such?

 

When Jesus commanded his followers to love even their enemies is that superseded by his warning about hellfire, supposedly reserved for God's enemies? Finally, when Jesus lived an apolitical lifestyle of poverty, humility, and self sacrifice, does that serve as our example; or do we, instead, honor the church encouraged cultural norms by seeking fulfillment in material achievement and political power.

 

To the extent biblical issues of this sort force us to think, they are beneficial, drawing us out of potential blindness. No one can really demand that anyone else accept their position in resolving these inconsistencies. When the evidence points in two directions at once, all anyone can do is go with their heart.

 

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