If you’re going to do Bible study without a Bible, you might as well throw in a seance. You’ll have more fun.
I’m beginning to think pseudo-Christianity is a bigger problem in our world than atheism.
Yesterday someone told me about her adult son’s Bible study group. She attended it recently, and was rather put off to see that no one in the group had a Bible. When they wanted to cite or consult a verse of Scripture, they looked it up on their smart phones. That way you can get the verse you want in total isolation from the rest of the Bible, and you can get it to mean what you want it to mean.
They didn’t bring a Bible, but they are currently studying another book in lieu of the Bible–something called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I haven’t read it, never heard of it, so I looked it up on Barnes & Noble and read some of the Customer Reviews. My friend described this book as “no substance, no current issues, no reality–just soft Jesus-loves-me stuff.” Some of the B&N reviewers were not so kind.
She added, “This week’s chapter is about giving away all your money, living below poverty level, and helping others.” She asked, “If everyone is poor, who will help the poor?”
We’ve been here before. In fact, we were just here a couple of days ago with GOP Presidential hopeful John Kasich saying that if you don’t support Obamacare, you’re probably gonna go to Hell ( https://leeduigon.com/2015/10/07/john-kasich-theology-superstar/ ). He backs this up by taking Matthew Chapter 25 in isolation from the rest of the Bible, to come up with a theology of salvation through good works that the government forces you to do whether you like it or not.
But pseudo-Christianities abound. You’ve got Planned Parenthood’s “Clergy for Choice” groupies, who think Jesus wants you to cut up unborn babies while they’re still alive, and sell the parts. There’s President *Batteries Not Included, whose bizarre version of Christianity moves him to empower sodomites to go on anti-Christian witch hunts, to break the laws he took an oath to enforce, and to urge others to do the same. And you’ve got that whole Romans 13 crowd, who isolate that single chapter of the Bible to justify doing anything “the powers that be” tell you to do, no matter how abominable. They’d make good guards at a concentration camp.
All of this comes from ignoring the Bible and substituting for it the opinions of fallible, sinful men and women. Cherry-picking the Bible is as bad–maybe even worse–than ignoring it altogether.
Ignorance can be fixed a lot more easily than willful blindness.
Do you sometimes get the impression that the Church in America hasn’t quite done its job?
I’ll return to this topic another day.