Showing posts from February, 2017

How You Read the Bible has Nothing to Do with Your Faith

What you believe in doesn't matter as much as who. Once upon a time, a talking snake tricked a naked woman into eating an apple with the power to curse the entire human race. In order to restore the world to how it ought to be, a sword-tongued, albino Jesus will eventually do battle with a seven-headed leopard-bear and his minions of horse-sized scorpion-locusts. At least that's one interpretation. Another suggests that Jesus' resurrection was metaphorical, his deity illustrative, and his existence more pedagogical than historical. God reveals himself in many different ways, and the Christian religion through its ancient myths and fables is just one of them. Most Christians fall somewhere in the middle. Few take such a rigidly literal approach to cosmogony and eschatology and even fewer dismiss the texts as uninspired allegory. We're all more likely to nuance our hermeneutics according to literary genre and cultural context while accepting Scripture as th

For the Love of God, Read the Whole Bible

And stop rewriting the parts that make you question him. Liberal Christians love Jesus. They love his teaching and his example, and they have a habit of prioritizing his words above all others in Scripture. They don't love the Old Testament or honestly much of the New Testament, so they often limit their faith to the gospels, particularly Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It's filled with lots of left-wing ideology about love and pacifism and conveniently fits the average liberal's slacktivism without confronting their shallow theology of the living God. It's all about the love, so nothing else needs to be said. If you know your Bible pretty well, don't bother arguing with a liberal Christian because they have the same answer for everything. Doesn't the Bible prohibit homosexuality? "No, that would be unloving." Doesn't the Bible prohibit women from preaching? "No, that would be unloving." It's an argument from authority wh

Don't Do Anything for Love

Do the right things. Being a 90's kid, I've seen every episode of Friends so many times. But my least favorite was the one where Rachel goes to London to tell Ross she's still in love with him--on his wedding day with Emily. There's one particular scene where Phoebe tries to convince her not to go, but Rachel says she has to tell Ross how she feels so he can make an "informed decision". Phoebe retorts that the real reason she's going is because she's hoping Ross will say he loves her too. She then says that her going will only ruin his wedding and that it's too late. She missed her chance. Of course, Rachel ends up going to London anyway with the support of a cheering studio audience. The Rachel and Ross story arc is beloved by fans because the will they/won't they narrative ended the way everyone hoped: they will. They were meant to be. As they say, love will find a way. No matter the obstacle (including other people), love wil

When Following Jesus Means Dying for Nothing

What if Jesus was serious about taking up our cross? Last week, Betsy DeVos was officially sworn in as Secretary of Education, but she had already made headlines weeks earlier for her comments about guns in schools. Of course, this was largely due to her crediting "potential grizzlies" with the need for guns. Nevertheless, she reignited a necessary conversation that Christians need to have. Christians are divided on whether it's a good idea to put guns in schools, but fewer are divided on the efficacy of self-defense in general. There are a number of stories where concealed carry permits have prevented injuries and in some cases fatalities. It's hard not to wonder how different situations like Sandy Hook or Columbine would've been if someone there had a gun. Thirteen people were shot and killed in the Columbine school shooting, and another twenty-one were injured by gunfire. But if someone had a gun, maybe some of those kids would still be alive. Wh

Self-Defense Isn't Biblical

It's a blatant mistrust of God. Christians are divided over President Trump's recent executive order on immigration . Russell Moore of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission called the order "reckless, demagogic rhetoric". Likewise, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops "strongly opposed" the ban saying, "we will work vigorously to ensure refugees are humanely welcomed." Others, like megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress , have supported the ban for safety reasons: "All of the recent homeland attacks have been committed by Muslims, not by Hindus, Jews or Christians." Franklin Graham went even further saying, "I think a thorough vetting process really needs to apply to people coming into the U.S. from all countries—not just 7... if a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come." Christian commentator, Jim Denison , encapsu