Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pick 'n' Mix faith

I was searching for a bible verse in Google - what did we ever do without that handy tool? - and came across a page where someone had compiled a list of verses they took as proof that Christians pick and choose what they actually want to follow out of the Bible.

They were saying that Christians choose verses that suit them to attack others and support prejudices against homosexuals, but ignore other things the Bible says. They listed some examples such as what should be done to women who commit adultery, about women covering their heads when they pray, about slaves obeying their masters.

Two things made me sad...

1. This person, or group of people, compiling this page has been so hurt by people in the Church that they are driven to find all the verses they think break down Christianity; they have missed the opportunity to hear the real message of the gospel.

Most of the verses they used were from the Old Testament, or they contained cultural references or metaphors or need more context. That collection of books we call the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is hard enough for most of us to understand at times even if we are Christians; what we do get out of it is that there is a whole lot of punishment that deserves to come our way - except that Jesus came to die in our place.

That is the Amazing Love that others should hear about, not to feel so attacked that they want to get us back.

2. The author of this page was right.

They may have misinterpreted or misunderstood the verses they used, but the fact remains that we, as Christians, do pick and choose.

And that is what has caused people to create pages like this. We believe 'Love your neighbour as yourself' and we try to do that when our neighbour is that nice person down the road. But not so much when that person down the road is gay. And 'Love your enemy' gets whipped out when someone cuts us off in traffic. But pushed back under the rug when it's Osama Bin Laden.

Christianity is difficult. It's radical. It's unnatural to our sinful nature. Let's not pretend we have it all together and give reasons for others to call us out through our hypocrisy.

Let's show the kind of radical love that Jesus showed, even when it's not convenient. Even when it hurts.

What are some of our more common verses for conveniently ignoring when it suits us?
Where do you have an opportunity to show radical love in your life?


  1. I just discovered your blog from SCL and I really enjoy your thoughts! This blog hits home for me, in particular. I live in Chicago and there is a festival that is going on which remains a perfect opportunity for protestors and people with opinions to share them . . . :-/ Last weekend, there was a group of Christian protestors (I almost put that word in quotations) and they were preaching about what "men" and "women" should do in this world, as "God intended it to be." Things such as "women should be . . . seen, not heard; tending to children; silent in church; etc." It was really hurtful! I also saw it affect people around me and I just wanted to hug them and tell them all about Jesus' love--if I could go back, I would have done something just like that.

  2. It's no wonder so many non-Christians have the wrong idea about God when they see so many Christians who have the wrong idea too!