Stop It

A friend of mine recently posted a meme on Facebook about a social issue using scripture to justify their viewpoint.  While I was sympathetic to the scripture, I was uncomfortable with how the Bible was being used to justify their application of the Bible to the political agenda they were putting forth.  The Scriptures are to teach the individual.  In a theocracy, they would also apply to national policy.  The problem here, is that this nation is not, and  never has been a theocracy.  Its fine to have the scriptures guide us, but they are not the law of the land any more than sharia law is or should be the law of the land.  The reason we don’t use the Bible as the law of the land is that the problem is not with the Scriptures themselves, but of who is interpreting them, and how they are being interpreted.
The issue is really about how we “use” scripture.  If we are doing anything but listening to it, and letting it guide us, we are misusing scripture.  It was not intended to be a tool to prove our viewpoints, whether left or right.  The practice of “finding a verse” to fit your political, social, or ethical proclivities, however well-intended or poorly-intended they may be is not following or obeying scripture; it’s using and twisting the Word of God.
I object and cringe when atheists pull verses out of context to “prove” the bible is inconsistent or unjust, or violent.  It’s twisting the message.  I object just as strongly to people who believe the Bible but take verses out of context to justify their agendas.   In justifying your views, you are profaning the Word of God, claiming He says something He may not in fact be saying.
The truth is, if you submit yourself to the Creator of the Universe, if you fall at His feet and worship Him above all,  you do not take His word and bend it like its  play dough to fit yours or anyone else’s agenda.  It one thing to apply a principle of scripture to guide your decision making, but to claim that YOUR decision IS God’s decision is self deception.  You are supposed to be submitting your decision-making to His word, to the wisdom of scripture,  not making it fit what you are trying to “prove.”
The worst part about it is that it makes God look like He agrees with YOU.  When God hates the same people you do, wake up!  you are in a cult mentality.  My personal recommendation is to STOP IT!.  Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will direct your path.   


2 thoughts on “Stop It

  1. As a Jew by Choice, and having come from the more fanatical side of the Church, I can only say amen and amen to your post, Rabbi. The side of the church we came from was inhabited by lots of self-proclaimed prophets. In every case the “prophet” would cite Scripture to support his position. I used to get a kick out of showing them other Scripture which could be used to directly contradict their positions. Usually the conversation would end with me being “instructed” that God had spoken to that individual, and I ought to listen and learn.

    Reading Scripture as you suggest, and looking to it for guidance rather than corroboration can certainly be a humbling experience, but it also can give a lot of peace.

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