I read with intense interest Ray Wilson’s recent column in the
My fascination with this story is based on the fact it adds hard evidence to what I have long concluded myself, namely that we all, to a large extent, “cherrypick” our Bible verses to support what we already want to believe. Any group’s insistence that theirs is God’s own interpretation of the Bible is therefore exposed as merely wishful thinking or bald, self serving assumption.
It is also noteworthy that this Bible controversy is fomented by the ever present adversarial tone of our national politics. I have also concluded long ago that much of the heat and fire generated in our society over politics has its basis in differences of opinion about the Bible, more specifically over the question of what was the message and mission of Jesus. Some perceive of Jesus’ as primarily the judge and rectifier of wrong in the hereafter, while others place their emphasis on His message of Love and its potential to transform our “here and now” world. Those differences are stark and irreconcilable, thereby explaining why groups holding these varied opinions of the Bible appear to come from different universes.
Anyone (that includes me) who thinks his or her interpretation of the Bible is free from powerful and unavoidable outside influences is self deluded.