Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

right back at you

5/4/14

 

Anyone who objects to the message of Christian Orthodoxy will likely hear a litany of favorite Bible verses in support of the standard church message. This methodology is predicated on the idea that, if even one Bible verse can be referenced in support of a doctrinal point, there is no room for debate or argument . Many people are nonplused by this routine use of the Bible, not knowing exactly how to respond to the church's claim that everyone must conform to church theology because the Bible supports what the church says.

 

The fact of the matter is that in teaching their hereditary theology Orthodoxy ignores significant portions of the Bible which don't neatly support that theology. The instructions of Jesus and Paul to love even our enemies and to overcome evil with good are not church favorites because they call into question longstanding cultural norms. Likewise Jesus' commandments to forsake judgment and to forgive in order to be forgiven don't fit into the church's standard mode of operation.

 

Unhelpful verses like those referenced above are dealt with in standard ways. The most prevalent is to simply ignore them, hoping they remain unnoticed. The second approach is to explain them away by fancifully reinterpreting them somehow to make them more compatible. That re-interpretation is often justified by claiming that these verses simply cannot mean what they seem to say because that would contradict verses supporting the orthodox understanding. Therefore the faithful Bible expositor must find an interpretative scheme for these unsupportive verses which eliminates the apparent conflict. One can easily see that this is a type of circular reasoning which is little different from just ignoring the verses in the first place.

 

In view of how readily Christian Orthodoxy dismisses much of the Bible in their limited use of scripture, I'd suggest the following response to Bible bullies. "I'll pay attention to the verses that inspire you as soon as you pay attention to the ones that inspire me."