02 January 2007

About selective interpretation

My wife and I were in Mobile last week, and some of the letters to the local paper would have made me laugh if they weren't so sad. People wrote in talking about how some parts of the Bible were made up, or don't apply today, basically the same tired arguments people try to use to excuse some sin. Here is one example, with my commentary in green italics:

Unlike the author of the Dec. 14 letter, "Parts of the Bible fabricated by men'," I do not believe that the Bible was written with malicious intent.
Ok, so far, so good

Instead, I believe that parts of the Bible have been taken out of its cultural and temporal context to suit the desires of those who want to obtain and maintain control.
Here we go....

The old laws and punishments show us that mankind could not keep the laws and that we need a redeemer. Fortunately, that redeemer came in the form of Jesus.
Unfortunately, even Jesus has been unable to completely redeem women, because men of the church have stood in the way.
This doen't even make sense. But, the people who try to make these arguments never do.

On Dec. 11, in another letter, "Church follows biblical principles," the writer quotes St. Paul regarding submission of wives and the authority of men in the home. As expected, these Scriptures are viewed as being just as applicable today as when they were written.
Who are we to say they're not?

The writer does not take into account the circumstances of the early church. My guess is that there are many other Scriptures that he would argue were for that time and place only.
Please, do be kind enough to point them out.

He then goes on to blame (yes, blame) the liberation of women for the increase in the divorce rate, sexual permissiveness, lower morals, the AIDS epidemic, the removal of prayer in the schools, the removal of the Ten Commandments from public places and the legalization of abortion.
Wrong. We blame the "Women's Lib" movement. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, the NOW gang. There is a difference between "Women's Lib", and equal rights!!!

He reminds me of the story of Adam, who was with Eve when she ate of the forbidden fruit but made no protest or comment at all, even joining her in the error. Then, a few verses later, he placed all of the blame on her.
May I suggest that the women's liberation movement is a result of thousands of years of abuse, neglect, subordination and suppression from the "protectors and providers" of women?
No, the "Women's Lib" movement was spurred on by a bunch of women who wanted to be men, tear down the church, and create anarchy.

Men of the church have had 2,000 years to follow the teachings and examples of Christ and fully liberate women of the church. Instead, they chose to interpret Scriptures to suit themselves.
And the writer of this letter doesn't????? I could point to the overwhelming body of great works performed by true Christian men who PROPERLY interpreted the Scriptures. And, again, I'm not quite sure what the writer means by "liberating women".

[...]

In my work and social experiences, I have heard horror stories from women who were emotionally, financially and physically abused by their "Christian" husbands, only to be further abused by their pastors, who told them to go home and submit to their husbands' authority.
Then these men were NOT Christians.

Is there any wonder that the divorce rate has increased since women now have that option?
Painting with a broad brush, aren't we? How many women have left their husbands because they didn't live up to their soap opera fantasy? "My husband leaves me home all by myself all day!!! Why can't he be more like 'Jake' on 'Days of Our Turning World' and whisk me away to the south of France?????"

If one takes a good look at the other social problems, it is clear that under the double standard, many of these were already being practiced by the male gender.

H. B.,
Mobile

This is obviously a woman who feels that she needs to twist the Scriptures, and usurp the role of the man in the church in order to validate herself. Does she not understand that "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed"? (John 8:32). But, as is so typical of those who think as the letter writer does, she decides to turn a blind eye to what the Bible so clearly states, so that she can feel free to believe however she wants.

She uses what I call the Exacto® method of reading her Bible (I mentioned this method in a November post), where she uses her Exacto® knife to cut out the parts of her Bible don't suit her fancy, and winds up with a Bible that looks nothing like what GOD intended.



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