It is always fascinating how many biblical scholars there are walking the streets today. These scholars aren’t just the students attending theological seminaries. They are Hollywood stars, recording artists, politicians and numerous others, with megaphones and protest signs. What is fascinating is how these individuals are so fluent in their understanding of the word of God. They so easily extract scriptures and effortlessly apply them to fit their specific need of the moment.
Some of these newly dubbed theologians are so in tune with the application of scripture; they don’t even have the need to regularly congregate with other students of the Bible. Don’t let their lack of church attendance or commitment to the tenants taught in the Bible fool you. They have a commitment, just not completely to God and using His Word in context, to guide their life entirely.
Unashamedly, I am a Christian. I believe the Bible truly “is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV). When individuals have a belief, based on proven historic documentation, it is insincere for those who don’t accept the same belief, to throw words in people’s faces, when disagreements arise.
Multiple social issues are plaguing our communities today. These issues aren’t easily resolved or ignored. Disagreements today are deeply rooted in beliefs. Heart centered, life committing beliefs. In a free society, it is proper for disagreements to arise. That is the core of freedom. For each individual to be allowed the opportunity to believe what they choose is a basic tenant of our Constitution. True freedom extends past the ability to hold those beliefs, to allowing the expression of them, without fear of retribution.
In disturbingly, greater proportions, these freedoms are being choked out of America’s communities. A byproduct of this choking is throwing the Words of Christ into Christians faces when political disagreements arise. This action of choice is an attempt to condemn Christians for their beliefs by using the Bible as a whip.
Context is the key to understanding and applying scripture. All of us can be convicted of misusing the Bible at some time to support our ideas. It is the continual misuse of scripture and lack of evidence of believing scripture, which presents a problem.
Recently, Stephen King, used the King James Version of Matthew19:14, in a tweet, to rebuke Christians and Tea Party members. King used Jesus’ quote of “’suffer’” or “let” (NIV) the little children come to me” in response to the recent influx of illegal immigrants. Using this scripture to describe the illegal entry into America, as equal to coming directly into the presence of God for a blessing, is completely out of context.
In this passage, Christ was speaking to His disciples, because they were behaving more like bodyguards rather than helpers. Christ wasn’t supporting an illegal act against the government. He wanted to speak with and bless the little children who were in His presence at the time.
In America today, Christians are rebuked and painted as selfish, child haters, when wanting to follow our nation’s laws.
Tom Petty is joining the ranks of “theologians”, insisting Christians don’t understand the Bible at all. I am heartily amused by his accusation, as I am sure he was top in his exegesis class, as well as an active pursuer of the Word of God. In truth, it is not that there are those who don’t ascribe to the teachings of the Bible. Whether it be Old Testament teachings or New Testament teachings. There isn’t even a problem with admitting, Christians sometimes do misinterpret or misunderstand portions of the Bible
The disconnect in fighting social wars with scriptural context, is understanding the purpose behind the text and then actually trying to apply it properly. If someone, evidenced by their actions in life, does not ascribe to the principles of a religious belief, then it is highly inappropriate to use the tenants of the belief against others. Certainly, in a purposeful debate of a religious topic, (ex. Atheism vs. Christianity) it is necessary to use your “opponents” text, to build your arguments. However, criticizing a group of people for standing on their beliefs and on the laws of the country in which the problems are occurring, by using their basis of belief against them, is unreasonable.
If Stephen King or Tom Petty were visibly active participants in any form of Christian faith, I might say they have an argument. Not much different than if your pastor or priest stood up on a Sunday and showed his congregants the error of their thinking.
We now have an environment where liberal thinkers, are using the Word of God to bully Christians into a position which is unacceptable. It is truly using God’s Word for their own convenience.
Celebrity is such a powerful influence. If celebrities are driven to “make a difference” and use the Bible to do so, they should establish the tenants of their faith in the Word of God. Upon doing this, they then should come talk to Christians about what can be done better in our community.