The importance of sound doctrine

One of the ways the “Christian” Left tips you off to their false nature is how they dismiss the importance of sound doctrine.

First, for clarity:

A man is not to be judged a heretic for speaking or writing an error – we all fall into this group.  A heretic is one who continues in teaching falsehoods that strike at the basics of Christian beliefs.  Stuart Brogden

But many people downplay the importance of doctrine, saying such things as, “All the theology I need is that God is love” or “I just want to follow Jesus.”  They have a false idea of what doctrine is.  It isn’t boring (at least it isn’t supposed to be).  How do you know how to follow Jesus, or why you should follow Jesus, if you don’t have doctrine?  Why on earth would you commit your life to someone without understanding Him or what He taught?

And yes, God is love, but that is just one of his attributes and not his complete definition.  And what kind of love does this mean – a sentimental, pampering love or the agape kind of love where you have the long term best interests of the other person at heart and would willingly sacrifice for them?

There are countless false teachers in our churches today, and they do great damage to individuals and the church.  We must know the truth well so we can spot them.  Here is a great article by Charles Spurgeon about false teachers.  Please read it.

Listed at the bottom of this post are just some of the verses pointing us to the importance of sound doctrine.  Jesus expected the Disciples to understand his teachings. Also, keep in mind that Jesus spent much of his time rebuking the Pharisees for their false teachings, and a major part of the New Testament letters was devoted to corrections of errors in the church.  If Jesus warned against false prophets doesn’t that imply that there are true prophets?

If anyone thinks these verses are taken out of context, please let me know.  Some of my theologically liberal blogging buddies implied as such, saying I had selected them in a “willy nilly” fashion.  However, they provided zero (0) examples.  Perhaps they could start with the first passage, which actually contains the phrase “sound doctrine.”  If I took something out of context it wouldn’t be the first or last time, but I am quite correctable and rarely make the same mistake twice.

One person mocked me for “actually believing that God cares for something called sound doctrine.”  His position is self-refuting and un-Biblical.  Sound doctrine is merely accurate theological teaching.  Given two choices of God either caring about sound doctrine or not caring, he chose the latter while I chose the former.  If God agrees with him, then he has properly taught God’s view.  But that would mean that God cares about the proper teaching of not caring about proper teaching, and that he seems to think it is important to convey sound doctrine on the point of sound doctrine not being important.  Indeed.  It would also mean that God had to communicate his lack of caring about sound doctrine.  Did He do that in the Bible (where?) or outside it?

Read a “few” verses – or the whole Bible, for that matter – and decide for yourself if God cares about sound doctrine.

Matthew 16:6 (ESV) — 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Matthew 16:11–12 (ESV) — 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV) — 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) — 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV) — 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Acts 17:11 (ESV) — 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

2 John 9 (ESV) — 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:1 (ESV) — 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Revelation 2:1–3 (ESV) — 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

Jude 3–4 (ESV) — 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) — 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Romans 16:17–19 (ESV) — 17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

Acts 20:28–31 (ESV) — 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

2 Corinthians 11:2–4 (ESV) — 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

2 Corinthians 11:12–15 (ESV) — 12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Titus 2:1 (ESV) — 1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV) — 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 7:15 (ESV) — 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Acts 13:6–11 (ESV) — 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

Jude (ESV) — 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Also see Jesus’ messages to the churches in Revelation 2-3 and all the passages where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their false teachings.

The “Christian” Left will be defending pedophilia in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

See Pedophilia Is Not a Crime, Says Rutgers Prof Margo Kaplan for a taste of what is to come.

The pedophiles are following the LGBTQX game plan.  The “Christian” Left will be supporting them soon — if they aren’t already! — with the same terrible arguments (Jesus never said anything about pedophilia, they were born that way, it is all about love, etc.).  They will shift right along with the world, because they worship and follow the god of this world.

Remember that churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have nearly identical views to the world. It shows who their real father is. The “Christian” Left will always mirror the world.  It is one of the ways you can know how fraudulent they are.  And it won’t be any different when the pressure to affirm how “normal and biblical” pedophilia is.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Jude 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lots of children are murdered after “unsuccessful” abortions

Yes, this happens all the time.  Kermit Gosnell was not an exception, he just got caught.  And even most pro-lifers I know haven’t heard of him because of the successful media blackout on the trial of the most prolific mass murderer in American history.

In theory, the ghouls on the “Christian” Left would protest these murders because they insist that life “really” begins at the child’s first breath*.  You know, because they are such biblical literalists when it comes to Adam and Eve /sarcasm.

But their silence about this shows who their real father is and how they don’t care about infanticide, either.

Evidence: babies born alive after abortion are murdered | Pro Life.

Sometimes babies survive late-term abortion. International treaties and some domestic laws protect the lives of those children in word, but they are ignored in practice. Consequently, many of those children who survive are left alone to suffer and die, while some are even killed outright.

infanticide

Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002. That law is meant to legally protect children born during botched abortions. Yet, according to the Center for Disease Control at least 362 babies between 2001 and 2010 were born alive after botched late-term abortion attempts and died afterwards. All this despite the many medical advancements that continually increase viability for premature babies.

When Florida introduced a similar bill two years ago Planned Parenthood explicitly defended “post-birth abortion” (otherwise known as infanticide) insisting that a doctor’s obligation to help a struggling baby lying on the table is a decision that “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.” The baby gasping for air has no say though, because she can’t speak.

The United States is not the only place where this happens. Cases have been reported in all countries that allow abortion on demand for health reasons. Here are just a few examples:

In January 2014, Norway passed a law banning all abortions after 22 weeks. This happened only after there were several reports of babies’ hearts continuing to beat for 45-90 minutes after the abortion.

In France, children born before 22 weeks or during a botched abortion are not even given a birth certificate. They are recorded as a lifeless child. They keep no record of which children are born alive and which are stillborn.  Sometimes doctors don’t even tell parents that their child is alive.

The Netherlands, in cases of serious malformation, legally allows abortion after 24 weeks, and sometimes even infanticide.

These phenomena are so common that the World Health Organization has made it an official cause of death (termed, “Termination of a pregnancy, newborn”)

*From the “Christian” Left: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”

What can man do to me? Uh, all sorts of nasty things. But . . .

The closing chapter of Hebrews starts with this passage:

Hebrews 13:1–6 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

But people do all sorts of terrible things to believers.  Was the author naive or mistaken?  Of course not.  He had just finished describing a few of the things that had been done to faithful believers.

Hebrews 11:32–39 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

So his point is that despite the things that may be done to us as believers, these pale in comparison to what Jesus has done and will do.

2 Corinthians 4:17–18 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Side note: Notice how the first passage tells us to be content with what we have, because Jesus won’t leave us or forsake us.  That’s the contentment Paul spoke of in Philippians 4:13, an oft-misquoted verse that teaches how to be content in any situation (do everything through Jesus!).

A commonly misinterpreted verse: Philippians 4:13

Hello visitors!  I hope you enjoy this post and come back regularly.  If you go to the main page you can subscribe via email in the upper right hand corner.  Also see another commonly misinterpreted verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

phil413

Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”) is one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. I used to misuse it. I can’t remember the last time I heard it used correctly. It is one of the top 10 searched verses on biblestudytools.com, along with another frequently misused verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

We can’t ignore 2 Timothy 2:15 (Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.).  Getting Bible verses wrong isn’t a felony, but if we love God and our neighbors we’ll want to be careful with his word and humbly change our views once we realize we’ve been mistaken.

I enjoy the Pyromaniacs blog and agreed with the basic premise of Self-esteem, Possibility Thinking, and Philippians 4:13 .

That verse is not a manifesto for self-esteem and possibility thinking —although it is often used that way. People quote the verse as if it meant “With Jesus’ help you can achieve whatever dream you have for yourself.” That’s not the idea at all. Paul is speaking as a man who wants to do the will of God and knows he is too weak and sinful to do it, but he is laying hold of Christ’s power to do in him what he knows he cannot do on his own.

I agreed with the first part but not as much with the last part. Yes, people misuse the verse to mean that they can accomplish all sorts of things through Jesus. It is technically true that we could accomplish great things with Jesus, of course, but that isn’t what Philippians 4:13 means. The verse refers to Christ’s power doing something very specific in the believer, not some sort of general power.

I love using Phil 4:13 as an example of how to read in context. You don’t need to be a Greek scholar.  You don’t need to read the entire Bible, or all of Philippians, or chapter 4 or even a paragraph to get the real meaning. Just go back one verse!

Philippians 4:12-13 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Verse 13 is Paul’s secret for being content in all situations. That’s it. Do every thing through Jesus and you can be content in everything. It isn’t about what you accomplish, it is about how you do whatever you do.

For starters, remember that Paul wrote this letter from prison.  Having done prison ministry for years I assure you that if the believers there could do “all things” in the context most people us it, they would start by getting out of prison immediately.

I would never actually say this to someone because it would come across too snarky, but when people quote Philippians 4:13 I’m tempted to ask, “Really? You can do all things through Christ? Does that include reading scripture in context?”

Instead, I say something like, “Oh, yes, Paul’s secret for being content in all situations. I love that verse.” I usually get a slightly puzzled look in return, but I hope they re-read it themselves and see what I meant.

Some people may think they’ve lost something special when they realize they’ve misinterpreted the verse. But did they really think that Jesus was going to help them win every race, get every job, get A’s on every test, leap tall buildings, etc.?

This theme of contentment and being strengthened by Christ is found in other passages as well.

Being content sounds bland compared to our worldly desires, but what a phenomenal blessing the real interpretation of Philippians 4:13 is! How wonderful would it be to have contentment in every situation in life? That’s the true promise of scripture that we seek and rejoice in.

As often happens, the real meaning of the verse is better than what we wanted it to mean.

Also see Reading the Bible in Context for a very important lesson and other examples.

The Tiny Bible of the “Christian” Left: Read it all in 5 minutes!

This started off as a tongue-in-cheek exercise, but I just kept thinking of more and more examples until my fingers cramped from typing so much.  Seriously, the more you think carefully about what the “Christian” Leftists teach and claim to believe about the Bible the more obvious it is that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  

—–

There used to be a video store near us that rented movies with objectionable parts removed so the whole family could watch them.  I remember thinking, “What a time saver — you can watch Pulp Fiction in 5 minutes!”

In the same way, you can read the Theological Liberal Bible in about that time, and that is barely an exaggeration (although in this case there are no objectionable parts — at least to believers!).  Thomas Jefferson famously made his own religion with his “Jefferson Bible.” The “Christian” Left just goes many steps further.  I’m pretty sure this post is longer than their Bible.  Just think about all the things they have to leave out:

First, they must delete the many warnings against false teachers.  There are loads of those, even in the Sermon on the Mount that they think they like but don’t really understand.

Matthew 5:17–18 has to go from the Sermon on the Mount because it shows how Jesus fully supported all the Old Testament.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Then they need to delete various passages that warn not to add or remove anything from the word of God.

They must cut the 100+ passages passages explicitly or implicitly teaching that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  You can’t have that while you’re busy teaching that all religions lead to the one true God.

They must delete the ~3,000 verses and surrounding texts that claim to directly speak for God.  In their hypocrisy many will claim that God is still speaking to them – such as with the UCC slogan “God is still speaking;” – but they don’t believe the original claims made in the Bible.  They treat it as a purely man-made book.  Why should we believe He is speaking to them in a reliable way?  Are we to believe that God has always been a 21st century far Left politician and was just waiting until the culture drifted his way before He was brave enough to speak?

All the claims that the Bible is the word of God have to be cut.  Psalm 119?  Gone.  2 Peter 3:16?  Gone.  And so on.

The beginning of Genesis must go, because they worship Darwin more than God and they “know” how we really came into being.

The countless passages in the Old Testament commanding us not to worship other gods.  For those of you who have actually read the Bible, you know how hard it is to go more than a couple pages without that warning or without reading about the horrible consequences of disobeying it.

The whole book of Joshua, because they think it would have been genocidal for God to clear out the promised land — even if the Canaanites had sacrificed babies and committed other atrocities for 400 years.

The messages about Adam & Eve, Sodom & Gomorrah, Noah and Jonah have to go, of course — as well as Jesus’ unapologetic commentary on them and his treatment of them as real events.

The whole Exodus passage, because they can’t believe that those miracles happened or that God would judge Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  And most of the wilderness experience and the Tabernacle creation must be removed, because they don’t think God really did miracles like providing manna or gave guidance to the Israelites.

The whole book of Judges, because they think God wouldn’t really punish Israel for cycle after cycle of turning from him and worshiping false gods.

Psalm 139 is out, because it teaches how we were knit together in our mother’s wombs by God.  And the same goes for all the other passages acknowledging the humanity of the unborn, such as when John the Baptist kicks in the womb of Elizabeth when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, comes to visit.

All the do not murder / do not shed innocent blood passages have to be cut to support unrestricted abortion rights.

The book of Daniel, plus all other prophetic works, because their stunning accuracy leads theological Liberals to say they must have been written after the fact.  They seem to think that the proper Christian worldview is that Bible writers were big liars, so how could you possibly include those books?  After all, their god could never know the future like the God of the Bible.

Most or all of Paul’s letters, because they think he was a homophobic misogynist who could not have spoken for God.  There goes nearly half the books of the New Testament plus a big chunk of Acts.

The story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, because they think God wouldn’t do that.

All the animal sacrifices, because PETA opposes those and God wouldn’t really command blood to be shed as payment for sins.

All the passages about God having the Northern Kingdom and then the Southern Kingdom taken into captivity for disobeying him and worshiping other gods, because the god of liberal theologians would never do that!

The beginning of the book of Acts, because it has Jesus there after a physical resurrection.

All the passages about judgment and Hell (that’s a whole bunch of the red letters, btw).

All the Gospel presentations in Acts, because they never mention how much God loves us unconditionally but they continually mention that Jesus died and rose again for our sins and that we are commanded to repent and believe.

1 Corinthians 15, because it claims that Jesus was physically resurrected.

Most of the passages about the crucifixion being God’s idea, because that would be divine child abuse.

All the claims for Jesus’ divinity.

All the claims for the virgin birth.

All Jesus’ miracles, because they “know” those couldn’t have really happened.

All the Gospel accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.

All the passages saying Jesus died for our sins.

All the passages about sinners and how humans can’t be good on their own.

All the passages about Satan and demons (there are more than you might think).

Most of the passages about human sexuality, marriage and parenting, because they view that version of God as homophobic, misogynistic and hopelessly politically incorrect.

All passages about God’s wrath.

They even have to take out Leviticus 19:18 (” . . . love your neighbor as yourself”) because they dismiss the rest of Leviticus with their flawed “God hates shrimp”argument.

Pretty much all of Revelation, and especially chapters 2-3 where Jesus addresses the faults of many churches.

And so many more!  Truly, they are the original Leopard Theologians, claiming that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Dalmatian Theologians, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

Leave a comment with others I missed and I’ll update the post.

So what’s left? Roughly a dozen verses, which they take out of context or just plain misinterpret.  Examples:

  1. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged. They don’t have time to read the next 4 verses that explain how He meant not to judge hypocritically – which, ironically, is exactly what they do when they use that verse in isolation to judge you.
  2. Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. They use that to oppose capital punishment, among other things, even though it is hard to turn the other cheek if you are the victim of murder and to apply it would mean you’d oppose not only capital punishment for murderers but any punishment at all.
  3. Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ They love mentioning the least of these to justify asking Caesar to take from neighbor A to give to neighbor B, but of course that isn’t what Jesus meant.  And they ignore the other language of eternal judgment in the passage.  Oh, and they are pro-legalized abortion and pro-taxpayer-funded abortion, which means they are pro-abortion.  I can’t reconcile that with helping the “least of these” or with loving your neighbor.

Seriously, we have a precise, highly technical theological term for people who hold those views about the Bible: Non-Christians.  Run, don’t walk, from their “churches.”  Highlight their errors until your throats are raw and your fingertips are calloused.  It is the loving thing to do for scores of their church members headed towards Hell.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to ignore those who claim his name then lie about him.  He didn’t call us to be politically correct.

If you love him you should agree with him about the Bible.

There is another way: The Christian way.

If you came into church shaking your metaphorical fist at God and insisting that we teach that homosexual behavior isn’t a sin, that Jesus is OK with killing unwanted children up their first breath*, that Jesus doesn’t have a divine nature, that the Bible is full of mistakes and was written by blasphemous liars**, etc., then I’d say, “Sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place. The United Church of Christ building is up the street.”  The “Christian” Left is all about rebellion against God and that won’t turn out well for you now or for eternity.

But if you came in and said that you are tempted by same-sex attraction, or had an abortion, or pressured someone to have an abortion, or spent time in prison, etc., but were a Bible-believer or wanted to know how to get right with God on his terms, then I’d have lots of time for you, and lots of Good News.

I repeat: Lots of time, and lots of Good News.

Most people can see the distinction between the two scenarios. The “Christian” Left can’t — or, more accurately, won’t. They pretend that you are either pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQX extremism like they are or you are like Democrat Fred Phelps. But there is another way. The Christian way.

I’ve seen it work spectacularly well in pregnancy center ministry and prison ministry.  You can reach the “least of these” — the ones rejected by society and even their family and friends — with the love and truth of Christ and see remarkable transformations.  It works with regular people, too.

All grace and no truth makes no sense, because you don’t need grace if you aren’t a guilty rebel against your creator.  And all truth and no grace will just leave you crushed under the weight of a hopeless works-based righteousness system (i.e., every system besides Christianity, which has a monopoly on grace).

Jesus had the perfect balance of grace and truth.  Strive for that every day.  I absolutely love this verse:

John 1:14 (ESV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

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*The “Christian” Left is far more extreme in their pro-abortion agenda than the average pro-choice person. They insist that life begins at the first breath and insist that Jesus is fine with killing unwanted children until that point.  I realize how ridiculous their views sound and how many people must think I’m making a straw-man argument. But that is just because their own words are so clear and extreme: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”  More here about how to respond, with full, in-context quotes from them.

**Rachel Held Evans: “God never told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that God told them to kill the Canaanites.”  Sure, Rachel.  Should I believe the authors of the Bible or the ones who call them blasphemous liars and just happen to agree with the world on all major issues?