Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do You Pick and Choose What You Like From the Bible?

Christian wrote: "Do you simply read the Bible in regard to what you like and what you do not? Thomas Jefferson simply marked out the parts he did not agree with, yet calling it the "Good Book".

Michael's Response: This will be a short answer. Yes, I do, and so do you. After twenty years in the evangelical movement, as a seminary student, pastor and seminary professor, I came to see that everyone picks and chooses from the Bible, and have various subjective interpretations. There is no "Objective" approach to the Bible. Every human being reads the Bible through his/her personal education, theological slant, current morality, deep seated prejudices, preferred political views and the temperament they were born with. Stop the pretense that you take the whole Bible without picking and choosing. Christians choose to condemn homosexuals and yet wear mixed fabrics, eat pork and work on the Sabbath. Christians rail against sex before marriage and ignore that the same passage condemns gossip. Christians march against the evils of abortion and eat themselves into gluttonous oblivion at the Sunday night potlucks. Reformed Christians focus on the sovereignty of God passages, Wesleyian Christians focus on the free will of man passages. Pentecostals quote the healing passages, prophecy fanatics focus on Daniel and Revelation, Pauline Christians read and memorize Paul, social Christians focus on the gospels. Amillennialists allegorize and preillennialists literalize. Jefferson was just honest.

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