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How should you read the Bible?

December 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I can describe “how” in two words:

In context.

Those on the right who quote passages in Leviticus to condemn homosexuality should also be aware of passages that describe what we’d consider odd, inexplicable Mosaic laws dealing with slavery, sex and what animals were fit and unfit for food (if you love bacon, guess what–it would’ve been considered unclean).

Those on the left who quote passages in Acts to justify socialism or communism should also be aware of what the Bible says about not eating if you haven’t worked or those who take for themselves what others have earned.

I do believe the Bible is God’s Perfect Word, but I also believe that some rules God gave at various times were exclusively meant for those times and those particular circumstances.

For now, as I read, I consider the audience, the customs of the times and whether the command qualifies as an absolute from God or something He chose for that time.

Richard Zowie lives in the Texas Hill Country and is a reporter for the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. The views expressed in this blog posting do not necessarily represent those of the Standard newspaper staff, editor or publisher. Post comments here or e-mail them to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

Homosexuality: a Christian perspective–first observation

October 12, 2010 11 comments

I’ve been chatting online with one particular Christian friend. I knew “Sammy” back at Pensacola Christian College, and he told me about what he’s up to these days. In previous messages, he and I debated about whether homosexuals serving openly in the military was pragmatic. Sammy felt his friends should have nothing to hide.

And in a private message this past week, one where I asked him some questions about the Christian church and how it deals with gays, Sammy outed himself to me.

He told me about his life growing up, his feelings about being gay and how he has witnessed to witness to gay men (including some who are dying of AIDS) whom, I suspect, would probably never listen to a heterosexual Christian.

Sammy tells me that many Christians have forsaken him. The ironic thing is that in reading Sammy’s testimony, I see far more Christianity than I do in some Christians who can quote large chunks of the Bible.

(Feel free to disagree with me, Condescending Christian).

While I’m not as ultra-ultra-ultra conservative on the gay issue as I used to be (I’ve worked with a few open gays and found them to be far more professional and friendly than some raging heterosexuals I’ve known), I’m in no hurry to jump on the gay rights bandwagon. What I am looking to do, though, is study Scripture and ponder on some areas.

For those Christians who view gays as undesirables who should quarantined and shunned by the church, they should visit the Gospels and read about all the “undesirables” Jesus spent much of His time with (prostitutes, tax collectors and even Samaritans–whom the Jews absolutely despised). They should also re-read the Book of Jonah, which, besides the story about the giant fish swallowing Jonah and putting him back on the path to Nineveh, teaches that God wants the entire world to come to Him–not just the people who act, dress, talk and look the way we think they should.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer who, though a Christian for 29 years, still has a lot to learn about God, the Bible, the world, life, etc. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.