First off, I need to clarify that I have no claim to biblical scholarship.  While I do have a theological degree from a respected (?) seminary under my belt, I confess there is much in the scriptures that just plain baffles me.

While Facebook and blogs alike are littered with personal directives and opinions on what the bible tells us about how to live our lives and what we should and should not consider worthwhile we probably might plan to dig deeper for real understanding.

Offering oneself as a biblical literalist, while seemingly a badge of great honor, is really just a lazy mans effort at self promotion and lack of original thought.  Forcefully demanding allegiance to certain passages while conveniently overlooking or avoiding others is disingenuous and dishonest.  From this mindset,  instantly a person can be the director (or dictator) of social thought based solely on ones personal beliefs and agreeing opinions.  Statements like “the bible clearly says” means everyone else with differing perspectives or views is wrong or even an opponent against God.  For every statement that is clearly “what the word of God says” there are equal or more that can mean something different or even just the opposite.

Issues that seem to offer pastors and church leaders the most job security (abortion and gay issues) somehow are absent clear teachings on the subjects.  With that in mind I thought I’d share how I interpret passages that aren’t completely clear.  I start with number one and then determine if I need to go any further down the list of possibilities if the issue can’t be addressed.  Almost all the time, we can stop after number one and then look and see if we’re creating a manmade dissention to divide and create self importance.  I offer these in descending degrees of importance.

  1. Did Jesus say anything about it?
  2. Did a disciple say anything about it?
  3. Did anyone who spent time with Jesus say anything about it?
  4. Did anyone who knew someone that spent time with Jesus say anything about it?
  5. Is there a context for the issue or just an isolated mention?
  6. Is the issue based on cultures and customs of the time?
  7. Is there a modern understanding that evolves a previous understanding?
  8. Does the issue fit within a certain sub-cultures directives and not others?
  9. Does the issue happen to fall in a political persuasion?
  10. Does it really matter?

Maybe if we filtered these topics through the funnel of love instructed by the Master instead if divisive desires of self-righteousness these conflicts could ease and even disappear in time.

Imagine that.


1 Comment

  1. Don said,

    April 23, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Fish, seems to me like this would be a great Top 10 for Letterman some night!
    Although I fully understand the 10th question, “does it really matter?” it is so subjective in that what seems to seriously matter to one can be of absolutely no importance to another. But then, it is appropriately listed as number 10 and not numbers 1-3!

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